Ways to Make Money with Your Ideas

There are several paths to success in most endeavors. The trick is finding a path that has the best likelihood for success and a path that is a good match for your personality, skills and financial situation. Here are a few paths:

Inventor Contests

You could enter and inventor contest but I strongly discourage it. It’s like trying to win the inventing lottery. If you really have a good idea you need to make it happen. Rarely will someone do it for you. Edison Nation offers “Product Searches” but you can often times submit your ideas directly to the company and bypass the contest.


You’ve heard of outsourcing. Companies ship jobs off to areas with lower costs of production. Have you heard of crowdsourcing? Wikipedia is a great example of crowdsourcing. The public contributes, usually for free, to create something bigger and better that a single person or single company could do on their own. Quirky.com is a Social Product Development website site launched in 2009 and it’s going strong with over five products currently shipping and over 40 products in development.

Manufacture and sell on eBay or Amazon

Depending on how deep your pockets are and your tolerance for risk, you can get into venturing. Design, manufacture, promote, and ship your product. Each of these steps can be outsourced for a fee. The most challenging part is the promotion part. Google AdSense pay per click advertising is a cost effective way to get the word out.

Amazon.com offers a service called “Fulfillment by Amazon”. After you get established and have regular orders coming in because the PPC ad campaign is humming along, you can let Amazon process your orders. Just ship them the inventory. They take the orders, process the payment, and ship the product. You sit back, collect a check minus a nominal fee, and keep on inventing. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

License your invention

This is where you rent your idea to an established company and get a royalty 1-10% of the wholesale price of the product. This is what I do and I highly recommend it.

Benefits of Licensing

  • It’s more efficient to license out new products rather than take up production yourself. The company does the heavy lifting of tooling, production, sales, marketing and distribution.
  • It gives access to new markets that are otherwise inaccessible. By granting the licensee the right to market and distribute the product, the licensor can penetrate markets it could not otherwise hope to serve.
  • A license agreement can also provide a means for the licensor to gain rights in improvements, know-how and related products that will be developed by the licensee during the term of the contract.
  • An infringer or competitor can be turned into an ally or partner by settling an IP dispute out of court and agreeing to enter into a license agreement.
  • A license agreement allows the licensor to retain ownership of the IP and at the same time to receive royalty income from it.
  • It’s passive income! Once you do the work, you can go on to the next invention idea.

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