Can I sell my invention idea as exactly that - just an idea?
No! A thousand times no! (Or at least nine hundred and ninety-nine times no.)
What determines success with an invention - as with much of life generally - is not the idea itself but what you do with it.
Always. There’s no way round the necessity to do at least some development, even if you’re operating in a field of invention where you can’t reasonably be expected to get very far without help.
Let’s face it, invention ideas are ten a penny. In the time it takes you and I to share a coffee, we could probably ‘invent’ half a dozen things. They’d all be major contributions to the betterment of society. Next day we’d probably have forgotten most of them.
Whatever you think of, it’s highly unlikely you'll be the first to have thought of it. Ideas are not in short supply. It’s people with the ability and tenacity to turn them into reality who are in short supply.
When it comes to selling your invention to companies in particular, before you can expect any serious interest you need to have developed it to a point where it’s possible for them to have confidence in both the invention or product and you.
Early-stage invention projects tend to be so personal that you need to be at least as impressive as your invention.
You need to be seen as a doer, an achiever, a problem-solver, an expert who deserves help to develop a product whose potential you have researched and can demonstrate.
Otherwise, all people will see is a lack of commitment to your own idea. If you won’t make any effort or take any risk, why should they?
You’ll be shown the door even faster if you make the crashingly naive mistake of demanding payment before you’ll disclose your idea.
To be brutally frank, what we at abettermousetrap.co.uk call ‘magic wand’ inventors - because they expect others to make everything happen for them as if by magic - never succeed and are welcome nowhere.