Warren has helped multiple inventors commercialize their ideas and has been instrumental in several MAJOR product invention successes, such as the SMART SPIN FOOD STORAGE product sensation with over 10 Million Units sold to date. Smart Spin remains one of the best-selling housewares products of all time; Misto Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer has sold over 7 million units around the world to date; and the Toss ‘n Turn Pan has been one of the best-selling cookware fry-pans for several years.
Continuously looking for inventions and inventors that he can match with major Housewares brands/companies as an Open Innovation Director in brands such as: Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart, Farberware and more, Warren’s new book, the Inventor Confidential: The Honest Guide to Profitable Inventing explores taking your product to market while saving your time, energy, frustration, and money. The book will reveal many inside tips within the inventor worlds that the self-professed, for-profit, marketing experts don’t want you to know about.
If you’re an inventor, product developer, designer, maker, or even a dreamer you should consider reading this book. With tips for success in the inventor world, Warren also explores the failures and frustrations in his personal life and helps the reader explore what to do in those circumstances. Please enjoy the following excerpts of the following interview with Warren Tuttle and learn more about Open Innovation and his new book with Harper Collins, Inventor Confidential: The Honest Guide to Profitable Inventing.
Warren has been asked many times to write about his experience, accomplishments and involvement in the invention industry and through the United Inventors Association, but he’s always declined. Friend and inventor Jeff Mangus came to Warren and told him he needed to begin his book. Jeff has written over 14 award-winning and best-selling books for business authors and he helped Warren sit down and organize his thoughts every step of the way.
What is one of the biggest blunders that first time inventors make?
“Marketers (ie: industry/invention marketers), have been promoting the idea that inventing is as easy as coming up with ideas and sending in and it can lead to passive income. Others have written how-to books. It’s all good and fine but I wanted my book to be based on a lot on my experiences, (specifically two things) my story on how I arrived and the success. I wanted it to be more expansive than a typical how-to book.
There are many things going on in the Innovation in the USA that I touch on…. from the Patent office to Capitol Hill to the Maker Movement and Make48. This book responds, in some way, to the marketers who promote gold mines are around the corner, and I don’t see things the same way. I’m not a marketer or really an inventor. I run open innovation programs for large companies.
I want to explain to people developing products how they’re being perceived by large companies and what they need to do to be successful if they want to license with these big companies. Instead of just having them follow a dream I give them specific, hardcore stuff that they need to do to get ready for that process.
That’s why I wrote the book, to be something different from the marketers. I want to explain to people from an Open Innovation standpoint, and really let people know what they need to lookout for and what to watch out for. Be careful of your expectations.
In this half, Warren looks at the difficulty of bringing a product to market and what it means to have the right people around you. Then we get into his favorite chapters in the book, including one that hits home.
A certain percentage of the population have an inventive mind. These people go through life seeing things on how it could be different or be better. They look at problems and how to solve them. They have active and creative minds, similar to artists or authors, and have the inspiration to do things. They come up with ideas, but don’t know what to do next, and they need to partner up with the right people. To me it’s similar to a chef who doesn’t know how to run a restaurant. (ie: need a manager, people in the restaurant industry who can help.)
Inventors are the same way with getting to market. It’s fun and games at the start, but then they have people like me, telling them be careful, you need real expertise, prototyping, IP and this cost money. Then you have other people coming in, telling inventors they just need an idea. Just throw up against the wall and it’ll stick. That sounds so much more enticing than my advice and which would you follow?
You have to look at what the results are of going down that path and the real hard numbers. You need the Awareness of putting yourself through the necessary reflection to make sure that, yes you need help, but are you making the right decisions and partnering with the people? That’s the confidential part in the Inventor Confidential. ….. Inventors in time learn and get better, but many lose money on their first project and leaving the arena. Many of the successful inventors I’ve met over the years have lost money and have been rejected a few times.
How do you watch your money? There are many ways to spend your money. Building the prototype is extremely important! Make48 puts emphasis on that. I believe in IP and seeing what else is out there and protecting your idea.
There are others who have a coaching service, and they say ‘pay us to coach you’, as if that’s the most important thing if you’re an inventor. Question what information you’re getting back from them and does it mesh with you? I get a lot of submissions from these coaches so I get to look professionally at what this looks like from the other side. This is why I wrote the book. To say, “Hey guys, just consider these things, and if you’re going to collaborate you’ve got to collaborate in the right way with the right people.” These are the things you need to ask yourself.
Favorite Chapter of the book?
With 18 chapters, the first half of the book is dedicated to Open Innovation — what that means, what inventors look like today, and how to develop a product properly and what you need to know if you’re going to license it to a big company. I even get into a chapter on the 30 steps to market if you want to go directly to market yourself. The first half of the book is technical with an advanced chapter on highly technical product development.
The second half of the book is more an Awareness part. There’s a section called Beware, ie: inventors beware and another section called, Be Aware. I get into why organic innovation is important and at the end I talk about what’s going on in America and what everyone can do to be better at it.
But my favorite chapter in the book is about failure. It’s called SIAM (acronym), a word I made up. Stop. Identify. Address and Move-on. It’s a personal chapter to me because I have failed twice – once in my inventor life with a product called Stir Chef, and once in my entrepreneurial life. I almost went out of business and almost took my family with me. So I have the right to talk about mistakes because I’ve been there, and I’ve been on the edge. And I’ve been very, very fortunate to have had some hits and come back and today be financially secure. (This chapter)…it takes people through the process of not freaking out and anxiety. It really is a code that I have developed to live with…. And because sometime failure is closer to success and sometimes it’s not. I do spend some time on this personal chapter. Harper Collins wanted me to remove this so I said I’d lighten it up, but basically kept 98% of it. I want inventors to know if they do get in some trouble that there are ways to slow down and identify what you’re doing and get yourself back on track.
Inventor Confidential will be released on March 23rd on Amazon. (due to COVID, the release date got moved back a few months) With 18 endorsements from Warren’s peers including W. Chan Kim (co-author of Blue Ocean Strategy); Ted Decker (President of Home Depot); Dale Dougherty (Godfather of the Maker Movement and founder of Make Media); and Make48’s own CEO, Tom Gray.
Warren, “It’s quite chilling to me, and thrilling, that so many of my friends came out to endorse the book and it represents kind of like a career in this industry. It’s a very serious book, by a very serious publishing company house, endorsed by some very serious people. This is not a game, this is a real book.”
Visit Warren’s website Tuttleinnovation.com to learn more about the Inventor Confidential: The Honest Guide to Profitable Marketing. Why you’re there, listen to his podcasts co-hosted with Carmine Denisco, and if you want to submit your new product, let Tuttle Innovation help take your idea to market!