Idea Power from Your Back Pocket

When Companies Want to Hear Your Next Big Suggestions for Them, Be Prepared by April Mitchell


“WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?” I was asked with enthusiasm from a potential licensee while on a meeting.

This is something we inventors always want to hear, but how did I get to this point? Let’s back it up a bit and pull back the curtain.

I had built a relationship with this company by pitching several items to it throughout the years. The company had decided to move forward on a couple concepts I had developed; I was on a Zoom meeting with its representatives discussing factory samples of these two products.

It took time to get to this point: There were several months and reiterations of designs. They had a sample and I had a sample of each concept, which they had sent to me. We went through every detail, trying items to use with them—checking size, sturdiness, angles, and much more while looking at what was perfect and ready, as well as what we could improve. I had the opportunity to give feedback on the factory samples of these two products and propose new versions and extensions to the line as well.

Ready to respond
It was a fantastic meeting. I learned a great deal about the manufacturing process for this company, and we got to build on our relationship. As we were wrapping up the meeting, I asked, “What can I do on my end to help you?” That’s when the owner responded quickly with “What else you got?”

I was pleasantly surprised to hear this and jumped right into the next perfect product for the company. We discussed the concept and virtual prototype while they viewed it on the call. We discussed the possibilities of this next concept and how it would fit in with their product line, what changes they could make, what other product of theirs it would work well with, etc.

They then suggested they should send me a couple of their products for me to see and use and see what I could design to use or work with them that could bring additional value to their product line. I was thrilled about this additional opportunity to work with them on more projects!

Be a step ahead
The two products we reviewed in the meeting will probably be presented to buyers this spring. We are working on getting licensing contracts signed soon for them. What will come of the third product that was ready in my back pocket? Or the ideas they want me to come up with to use with existing products?

Only time will tell, but at least they know I always have a new idea ready. Be sure to have that next idea in your back pocket. You never know when and where you will be able to pull it out!