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Ric’s Invention Development Process

Over the years I have developed an invention/ business development process that is the fastest way I know to getting some success and also maximizing momentum where as little energy as possible is needed to keep things moving forward.

The process is geared around what I feel is the most important aspect of a projects success… the person driving the project. In my case I as the inventor drive the conception to angel funding cycle and then a proven CEO is chosen to drive from angel funding to market entry. The steps are explained below the pyramid picture.

Conception: This is where the initial idea is explored and conceived. This is where I flesh out the idea and see if its worht persuing… it is also where I do research to find out what other people have done in the space and also try to captivate what it means to the end user… who is the end user and why they would want to use this invention? Conception usually ends with me crystallizing the most important parts of the invention down into 3-5 drawings… these are the basis of the next stage namely patenting.

Patenting: Usually this involves a provisional patent filed in the US… keep it simple… if its worth patenting it should be clear and simple to understand even if the underlying invention is very complex. Novelty (a critical basis for patentability) will stand out more if you don’t try and hide the inventions function in a whole lot of tech speak and complicated drawings. I patent early to enable me to speak openly and freely about the invention as I build the next phase namely prototyping.

vPOC/ POC/ Prototype: Once the project is legally protected Ric will set about doing either a virtual proof of concept, a proof of concept or a prototype to prove the invention.

In general terms when this is referred to in connection with Ric's development process, a proof of concept will refer to a prototype that will only work when supervised directly by a demonstration operator. It's only for situations where a one off demo is needed but NOT where unattended use of the prototype is required on needed. A prototype on the other hand generally refers to a proof of concept that can run unattended without operator intervention such as on a public web site or a public test lab.

Publicity: Following this there is a publicity campaign to get some recognition for the project. This stage has four purposes:

  1. To gauge what interest there is in the project to the general public and specifically to the users who will eventually be targeted for the invention.
  2. To refine how the project is positioned and explained to better communicate the underlying idea.
  3. To lay claim to the invention space putting other people and especially competitors on notice that you are formally making a stake. This may unearth patents you don’t know about which may be disappointing but it’s better to know sooner rather than later… it also means that you have only lost a provisional filing fee, not the full time and effort of a full patent application… and;
  4. Allows the project to attract possible partners, customers and investors BEFORE writing the business plan.

Business Plan: Publicity is followed by the building of a business plan to prepare the project for packaging as a fully fledged business requiring…

Angel funding and the selection of a CEO to take the project to market. Further reading about the principles Ric uses can be seen in this article on his blog.

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