Adam Borton - Have Faith in the Theory and the Process
Many professional sportspeople proclaim that they need to have faith and trust in the process, especially when either coming back from injury or during a bad run of results - this also applies to toy and game invention. When you’re just starting out and maybe you’re having a rough time getting licenses or things just aren’t going as well as you hoped, it’s important to trust in proven theories. While they may make it harder in the short term, in the long term they will eventually produce results.
I have listed 3 theories below that I have read and applied throughout my time as a toy and game inventor - when the going gets tough, keeping faith that these are the correct things to do has helped me and my business grow over time.
Remember that toy and game invention takes many years – you need to think and plan in decades rather than months or years.
'Persistence always beats resistance'
Successful invention is half invention, half sales and marketing. Some of the best salespeople are some of the most persistent people. Being persistent about getting meetings, getting contacts and continuing doing invention when times are hard is very important. There is a fine line between persistence and annoyance though! If an invention gets passed on, don't keep pushing the same invention down an inventor-relations persons throat every time you meet them!
It's not just persistence though as you have to have a great product to back it up. Every inventor believes their invention is the best thing ever and you have to constantly give yourself reality checks to make sure that it's new, fun and most importantly suitable for the market. Timing is a huge part of invention licensing and so is luck but try to either improve the invention based on feedback or present other new inventions at the same time so they don't get sick of you!
'Quality is the best business plan'
The above quote comes from John Lasseter, creator of Toy Story and many others. The better the quality, the more you stand out. The more you stand out, the more memorable you are and people will think of you first when they want the best inventions.
Quality isn't just about the quality of the prototype though - it's also about the quality of the toy/game idea, the thought behind it and the quality of the presentation too.
'Learn how to do everything yourself'
Toy and game invention is Research and Development - which is both time consuming and expensive. There's a reason toy companies like to license ready-made inventions! By learning how the whole toy/game design and commercial process works and then learning how do as many parts of it as you can, you make better decisions but you also save huge amounts of money that you would otherwise spend on outsourcing the work. Obviously it's extremely difficult to do everything to such a high level but the more you can do, the more you save. The trade-off is speed and time but if you are just starting out as a solo inventor then cash flow is king!
If you can maintain faith in good, proven theories and apply them daily then they will eventually come good - even if it takes years and years!
I hope these tips are helpful!