Two of the most important ingredients to success for an inventor are timing and fit, suggests Simon Birchenough, a founder partner at Worlds Apart.

Ingredients for success

A recent TED talk by a serial entrepreneur Bill Goss looked at the critical factors in over 200 successful, and less successful, start ups and ranked what he identified as the five key elements of success.

These were:

  • The idea itself.
  • The team behind the execution.
  • The strength of the business model.
  • The funding.
  • The timing of the launch.

Somewhat surprisingly, he came to the conclusion that timing was the single most important element in dictating the likely success in the launch of a new product or service.

It’s true that a lot of his examples were online start ups, but in our experience here at Worlds Apart, this principle still holds true for an inventor presenting any new product ideas.

If the timing is not right for a particular manufacturing company, then they might still pass on a product with great potential.

One of Worlds Apart’s most successful product placements in the USA was entirely down to the fact that at the time of submission, Hasbro had a gap in their pre-school ranging that our product just happened to fill. One month later and that window of opportunity would have probably closed.

The learning from this is that if a manufacturer doesn’t take up your product, then it may be the fit and timing, rather than the idea itself, that doesn’t work for them.

Our advice is to get as much feedback as you can and then look for other companies, preferably with proven distribution and success in your invented product field – and don’t be afraid to recycle old ideas with new prospects.

And that, of course, is why the Inventors Workshop is so well conceived, as it offers multiple potential homes for many types of new products.

For example, Worlds Apart would not be a good partner for the launch of a new board game, but if the idea related to indoor/outdoor active play, or anything to do with kids sleeping, lighting, beds or furniture, then we probably have more expertise and global distribution in these areas than anyone else.

So choose your partner carefully, don’t take no for an answer, and keep presenting until someone says yes!

At Worlds Apart, we use insight from many sources to brief both internal and external designers as well as inventors for new product development, and we are increasingly taking in more inventor items.

For example, we are launching four new products from outside inventors in 2016 and would very much like to meet with inventors at the Workshop with a view to building a long term relationship.

For more information email

To check out the conference programme for this year’s Inventors Workshop or to book tickets, click here.

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