Inventing New Products/Inventions/Selling an idea

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Question
I have a good idea that combines two existing products to make life a lot better. Let's just say that I have come up with an idea that improves shoes. Because I'm not a shoe designer, perfecting my idea and building a prototype shoe would take me a long time. I would like to simply sell this idea to a company that specializes in my idea, such as, following my example, Adidas. How would I go about this?

Because I can't build a prototype, I'm not 100% sure if the process works.
Using another example, let's say that my idea is a time machine. This is a very good idea but because I'm not an expert on technology I won't be 100% that my process in building the time machine would work. I would like to sell this idea to any company and they will carry out the rest. My idea is not as farfetched as a time machine. it's in reasonable inventing limits but because I'm not an expert, it'd take me much more time to build it than pitch it to a group of experts who will carry out building the mechanics.

Answer
Subject: Selling an idea
You write 1-3

1. I have a good idea that combines two existing products to make life a lot better. Let's just say that I have come up with an idea that improves shoes. Because I'm not a shoe designer, perfecting my idea and building a prototype shoe would take me a long time. I would like to simply sell this idea to a company that specializes in my idea, such as, following my example, Adidas. How would I go about this?

a) Visit their website or contact them to learn if they accept “outside” bright ideas without proof of concept proto; provide evidence of potential demand; size of potential buying public [do not state “everyone will buy one; and, itemize who the market players in the category and why what you “mentally” have improves on their product etc etc etc] and don’t forget to first find out if they accept outside ideas or is it they only produce, market and sell their creations.

b) As you likely know, the U.S. is now a “First to File” (FTF) country; meaning, you don’t give them technical aspects of your invention or risk someone filing a patent (if it’s patentable) before you do.  

2. Because I can't build a prototype, I'm not 100% sure if the process works.

a) Why on earth would you contemplate selling something you do not know has a good chance it will work? That doesn’t make sense at least to me. Besides which, you’ll be thought of, likely, as a fool if you share such an idea with a company. You get a partner with Design and Development experience who might have to rethink your general idea to make it workable and would, most likely, be a participant on any future patent since he/she contributed a utilitarian or design hand in the development of an actual future product.

3. Using another example, let's say that my idea is a time machine. This is a very good idea but because I'm not an expert on technology I won't be 100% that my process in building the time machine would work. I would like to sell this idea to any company and they will carry out the rest. My idea is not as farfetched as a time machine. it's in reasonable inventing limits but because I'm not an expert, it'd take me much more time to build it than pitch it to a group of experts who will carry out building the mechanics.

a) Experts usually get that way because inventors and innovators bring them development inventions or products.

It sounds to me you are thinking to far off into the future rather than working out what you need to learn and/or get done before you get to the step of contacting company or experts to bring an actual working someone to the table. Do you know how to use play dough? Can you or do you know how to find a model shop to buy bits/pieces glue them together to make a model? Do you have any school chums who can build you a 3D model? How about visiting a local college to find a student willing to assist you.

There are a zillion solutions that cost no money to help put something on the table that can be seen, felt, touched which might give others the idea of what one has  - - - after all, anyone you contact, anyone, will be signing a “Non Disclosure, Non Compete Agreement” first, won’t they? If they’re unwilling to sign, what good are they to you anyway since the U.S. is now a FTF country.

There are tons of solutions if you just focus your mind on solutions to actually have something “on the table” another/others can look at, touch etc.

All the best,
Penny  

Inventing New Products/Inventions

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Penny Ballou

Expertise

The Invention Process; Royalties; Licensing Inventions/Products; Pricing; Direct to Market; Marketing/Promotions; Patent Searching; DIY patent writing; Types of patents/costs/how to's; Funding (grants and Angel investors); Prototyping; Off-Shore sourcing.

Experience

I am founder of an inventors group; Advisory Board President of www.inventored.org; former Licensing Executive Society member; researcher for www.piausa.org and a consultant; plus moderate and contribute to several online inventor discussion groups.

Publications
Enter my email address into any search engine to find them.

Education/Credentials
Invention development: well-studied and applied in all aspects of the process and an inventor myself with one invention in patent pending and others ramping up. Lived and attended schools in Mainland China and the UK.

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