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Beyond the Big Idea

You've got a million-dollar idea; now all you need is a strategy to make it marketable. These inventors brought their ideas to life--and hit it big. Find out how they made it happen.

This story appears in the October 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Brilliant ideas don't get shelf space in big stores or airtime on TV shopping channels. They don't have legions of screaming teens coveting them. They don't have dozens of VCs writing big checks, nor do they demand a high price on eBay.

The fact is, brilliant ideas are just that-ideas-until they get turned into salable products. And the difference between an idea and a salable product is extreme-just ask an inventor who tried and failed to get his product to market, then ask an inventor who determined the proper recipe for turning a brilliant idea into a must-have in the minds of consumers.

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