Entrepreneurs: Is Your Idea Ready for Prime Time?

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Owner of Make a Living Writing
min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Is Your Idea Ready for Prime Time

When you've got a business idea, it's easy to get excited and start talking it up to possible investors. Often, this happens before the concept is fully baked. And that can mean missed opportunities.

Recently, on the History Channel reality-TV show Invention USA, one entrepreneur blew his chance to land an investment from the show's two inventor-hosts, Reichart Von Wolfsheild and Garrett Lisi.

Related: Quirky's Advice for Inventors: Study the Market

Postal worker, musician and inventor Chris Badynee created a cardboard box that is a stand-up bass and sells for substantially cheaper than a traditional bass instrument. One promising sign: Badynee has sold 2,000 of them already on his own.

In a test with three pro musicians, only one could tell the difference in sound quality. Pretty impressive for a piece of cardboard.

But there were problems. 

The low-cost instrument comes as a do-it-yourself assembly kit -- and Von Wolfsheild and Lisi had trouble putting it together. Some of the pre-cut pieces turn out to be defective -- screw holes have been installed on the wrong side.

Related: The Key Question Inventors Don't Ask Before Seeking Funding

Worse, if purchasers make any error assembling the box-base, they have to buy another one and start over, as parts get hot-glued together. If the cardboard box gets damaged, you're out of luck. Clearly, the design needs some refining.

Finally, the market opportunity is fairly small. How many musicians do you know who play stand-up bass?

In the end, Von Wolfsheild and Lisi pass on investing in the cardboard instrument. If Badynee had refined his construction process a bit more before presenting his invention, he might have made a great connection with a couple of high-profile inventors with strong ties to angel investors. He may get some customers from being on the show, but the big investor who could make his product a national name remains elusive. 

Related: Maker Faire and the Growth of Do-It-Yourself

Is your idea ready for investors to see? Leave a link and give us a look.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources
Discover the franchise that’s right for you by answering some quick questions about
  • Which industry you’re interested in
  • Why you want to buy a franchise
  • What your financial needs are
  • Where you’re located
  • And more
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur