Northy's Inventor Mantras: The importance of persistence

This week, Wow! Stuff CEO Richard North claims patience is a virtue that needs to be tempered with common sense.
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This week, I want to talk about persistency.

Like patience it's most certainly a virtue, but of course from time to time it needs to be tempered with common sense.

Sure, the more doors you knock on the more chances you have of one opening but tread the fine line between annoying your target and an acceptance of your approach by them.

Take Steve. Steve patented a clever piece of technology way back in 2006 and it's taken him this long to license it for mass sales (to us!).

We then worked for nearly two years to turn his patent invention into something altogether more valuable and a little different.

In this case, Wow! Stuff created the Auto-Take Off and Land system in our TX Juice RC products which resulted in 'Anti-Crash' and 'flying made easy'. Probably the number one cause of complaints from consumers who buy RC Copters is that they crash them on take off and landing, the inherent pairing of the handset and the copter ensures this will generally happen by default.

So from ideation, which was probably at least 12 months before the patent grant (so lets say 2005), to launch on shelves this year, Steve's patience has surely been tested. But he never ever ever gave up!

His skills have also been greatly rewarded through the sales of our products. The measurable results are that our Ai Copter and Hovva Copter Pro are bestsellers on Toys R Us USA and now spreading to other forward thinking retailers who want fewer returns and a great consumer experience.

As an aside, we created the Science Museum Hand Controlled Alien and launched in 2007. We put it live on YouTube in a commercial in 2008, so six years earlier.

So how did we do this without Steve's patent rights at that time?

We had bought the product from a well known factory in Asia and it turned out that this was also properly licensed by Steve before they closed down and we secured the exclusive rights years later. I'm sure Steve had knocked on many, many more doors before he got his deal away. So, persistency is certainly a virtue and is often key to turning your invention into an earner.

Just the one mantra, but worth all it's solitary focus, this week:

  • Never, ever, ever give up! (this also happens to be my family's motto).


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