InvENting 101: Realistic Expectations and Inventing

InvENting 101: Realistic Expectations and Inventing

In this InvENting 101 post, we’re going to dive into having realistic expectations.

We’ve recently shared blog content around Patience and Fear in inventing. Having these three characteristics in check is quite possibly the trifecta to have a healthy ongoing relationship with the inventing process, but at the same, they are the hardest traits to master.

Let’s dive in.

So, you’ve had that magical “BING” idea and it is your baby. It came from a real need you identified that is not currently being met with products on the market. It took a lot to surpass that fear and have ongoing patience as you waited for it to be evaluated by a third party – whether that is Edison Nation or someone else. It should be the next million dollar idea out there, and can’t possibly be declined, right?

Sadly, not always.


Now, don’t get us wrong, the team here at Edison Nation would LOVE to be able bring you millions. With our 50/50 split, our team is going to always fight to get as many ideas commercialized for as much as we can. We are only successful if you are successful. The reality is that not all ideas are able to be commercialized, and there is no guaranteed success if a product concept is licensed and brought to market.

So, how on earth can you, as an inventor, manage your expectations and continue to work to develop new ideas without feeling defeated from the process? Here is some insight to help you on your journey:

“I’ll set my expectations as low as possible so whatever happens, I can never be disappointed.”

“I’m going to set my expectations really high because I know for sure I can meet them.”

While these are two extreme schools of thought in setting expectations, both are equally dangerous, particularly at the beginning stages of the pursuit of any venture. If expectations are habitually set extremely low, there is no incentive to put significant effort forth because failure is already expected – a self-fulfilling prophecy. In a similar vein, if expectations are set too high, a failure could result in pessimism and negativity toward future ventures.

Given this information, how can you find the happy medium and determine what is truly realistic? The answer?


Live in the moment.

When setting out, try not to expect anything in the beginning. This may be extremely hard, especially when you are talking about an idea that could be the next big thing. Do the best you can and avoid focusing on the outcome. Be in the moment, go with the flow and stay with the present. Then observe what happens, as neutrally as possible. As things progress, and you receive feedback, additional information or results, then you can establish a baseline to determine the reality of the outcome.

Easier said than done? Absolutely. At Edison Nation, we do our best as your idea progresses through any of our evaluation processes, to give you tips and tricks along the way to help your idea move through each stage successfully, and if not, help YOU determine the best next steps for that BING.

Edison Nation’s goal and mission statement is to give your ideas the most opportunities to reach their greatest potential. Beyond idea commercialization, a huge part of our mission is education. Each and every day, we hear from inventors from all walks of life who have false beliefs about the invention process, some of whom are just starting and others who have been “taken” for tens of thousands of dollars. The goal of the much of the information shared on the Blog, in our Forums and in idea feedback is to educate and inform. In some instances, as much as it is difficult to share, the news may not always be “sunshine and rainbows,” but our feeling is that knowledge and being informed is valuable, no matter the outcome. Having that grasp on the reality of this crazy business is the first step on managing your own expectations and continuing to innovate and grow as an inventor.


Learn more about Edison NationJoin Edison Nation for free