The Road to Entrepreneurial Greatness [Through the Lens of an Inventor]

Apr 07, 2024

The process of bringing an invention to market is a test of resilience. There will be a lot of setbacks and dead ends, and you just have to figure out a way to navigate around those issues and keep going.

The following is an early prototype of my invention.

I will explain how it works shortly. But everything starts with a rough concept. The first version does not have to be special.

Here, you can see it is rusty. There are spider webs on it. One of the leveling feet is missing. It does not quite look like a product that is ready to be sold to the public. So, I move on from the initial prototype to a more finished product.

As you can see, this version is a drastic improvement from the initial prototype. Surprisingly, it is still not quite ready for retail.

Conceptualizing everything on paper is one thing. Bringing it to life in physical form illuminates the product’s strengths and weaknesses. So, I go back to the drawing board and try to keep improving.

Here is another prototype where it looks like there might have been a regression. Yes, as you seek to improve, prototyping (trial and error) will give you more awareness of what is actually needed to enhance the product.

In this case, I saw greater opportunity in the device if I could make the arms fold down for storage, a feature that was absent from the previous version.

And with this next version, I am getting very close to finalizing the product and being able to “go to market,” meaning, getting it to the point where it is available for purchase by consumers.

A fairly recent article in Forbes magazine mentioned that only approximately 30% of inventions actually make it to the retail market. Translation: Innovation is one thing. But you have to still cross the finish line.

Here, you can see an adhesive numeric scale has been affixed to the device. It has been professionally painted and looks very sleek and industrial. But I am still technically in the prototyping stage. In fact, the logo is being held on magnetically.

Clearly, the product is close to being final but not yet ready for purchase. A few improvements are still needed before it is ready for mass production.

This is the final version of my invention. You can see that the color was changed from orange to red. There was a good reason for this, which I will reveal in a second. But now I have a screen-printed numeric scale, printed logos, etc. The product is now market-ready.

This 90-degree part attaches magnetically. It is most likely the only one of its kind that functions in such a manner. I have rulers printed both vertically and horizontally. Next, I wanted to give existing devices greater utility.

Some might already be familiar with this vertical leap testing instrument. I do not manufacture this product. It is made by another company. But take note of the red color.

My invention can quickly attach to this device without any tools. The red color integrates perfectly with this popular machine known as the Vertec jump tester.

From the beginning, I started with the end in mind. In the early stages of the project, I thought about... not just all the different potential users of the device, but also the impact of my device on entire industries and even the companies that might be interested in acquiring my inventions down the road.

And when you have options and influence, it is a good thing. This is part of what makes the process worth it. Something has to drive you to the point of greatness—to the point where setbacks and obstacles are no big deal.

This article encapsulates my unique journey as an inventor. In reality, it took roughly 7 years to bring the product to market. I was mentally tested in every way possible, but there was never a time I felt like giving up on the project.

What makes my story even more incredible is that all of the pain and struggles were to get to what consumers see as version one. That’s right. The publicly available product, in this case, was more like the tenth version of the product.

I have already calculated what future versions of the product will look like. The device will be autonomous. The function will improve. Mobile integration is already being tested. Add-ons and upgrades will be available to give it greater utility.

But if you think back to the rusty device I showed you earlier, it represents commitment and determination. Each subsequent iteration of the device is a story of resilience and a test of will. The act of completing the project or bringing the product to market, against all odds, represents entrepreneurial excellence and greatness.

Many of you are still wondering what my invention is and how it works. See the video demonstration.


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