Ideas, Inventions, & Patents, Oh My! - Access Music Therapy

Do You Have An Idea? An Invention?

Have you ever been doing something and said, “It would be cool if I had this…it would make this so much better.” If you have, you might have an invention. Some are worth pursuing and developing further. It happened to me early in 2013. Here’s my story…

I am a Music Therapist – Board Certified, and in my work, I am frequently in close proximity to my hospice clients and clients with physical disabilities. My most used instrument has always been the guitar, but the guitar has sharp string ends that wrap around pegs at the head of the guitar. Those sharp ends can be hurtful if touched or if the guitar head accidentally bumped a vulnerable individual.

I also work with kids who are very mobile. Kids are curious about the tuning pegs and try to turn them. These are issues I didn’t want to worry about when being present in my sessions. I love to create from nothing, so I brainstormed ideas to resolve this problem. My big idea! I tried putting a sock over my guitar head….lol! That worked okay, but with issues. It didn’t last long.

A good invention responds to a need, solves a problem, or makes life easier.

I decided to design a cover to fit correctly and sew it. After designing one that worked well for myself, I used it with my clients and loved it. The Guitten was born! The name is a combination of Guitar + Mitten (I know it’s on the head of the guitar, but Guitar + Head didn’t work). I received lots of good feedback from others about the Guitten. I began sewing other samples with different colors and prints. Then, as the creative started flowing, I was further inspired to create the covers to look like animal characters and flowers (as the ones you see today). Eventually, I shared them with a networking group where I received a lot of positive feedback. I thought that if I solved my problem with the guitar head, then it might solve other music therapists same issue.

From there, a fellow business person who thought I should protect my idea, introduced me to his cousin, Mr. Louma, who invented the Zip-It for unclogging sinks (sold at retail stores everywhere). That changed a lot for me! After talking with him on the phone, taking his advice, reading a few suggested books (see below) and researching online, I gained more perspective on how to proceed. I decided to get a Patent Pending to protect my product idea. After submitting my application for a Utility Provisional Patent, I received the approval a couple months later.

Do you have an idea?

Start with these tips:

  1. Start by getting your ideas out and onto paper. Document it!
  2. Keep a journal to keep a timeline of your creation.
  3. Research your idea. Make sure others haven’t already create it. You can research it on these sites:
    1. USPTO Patent & Trademarks Office
    2. Google Patents
  4. Research whether people will buy it. Ask yourself these questions:
    1. Does it fill a need?
    2. Can it be manufactured?
    3. Will the cost of production turn a profit?
    4. Will enough people want to buy this product for you to invest yourself in it?
  5. Make a prototype or demo of your product.
  6. Create a (see my example sell sheet.)  A sell sheet is a good way to generate interest in your idea; attracts attention to the product. It includes the following:
    1. Color photos
    2. What is it? Who is it for? What makes it special?
    3. Testimonials
    4. Product details
    5. How to order
  7. Market your idea. (More on a later post)

NOTICE! I did not suggest that you tell anyone or submit it to some website that asks for your ideas. Keep it to yourself! Until you are ready to release it to the public.

[blockquote]“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” by Thomas Edison[/blockquote][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullscreen_row=”yes”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”6778″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”6781″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row fullscreen_row=”yes”][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Books I Suggest

“Invent it, Sell It, Bank It!” by Lori Greiner (Star of ABC’s Shark Tank)

 

“One Simple Idea” by Stephen Key

 

“Speaking of Success” World Class Experts Share Their Secrets featuring Stephen R. Covey, Kathlynn McConnell, Brian Tracy from Insight Publishing Company

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