Sunday, February 5, 2012

25 Ways to Leave Your Idea

Many will recall that popular Paul Simon song from years back, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover". Tim Moddie, a spirited entrepreneur, has been around toy and game invention over thirty years. He is an original member of the infamous Twin Cities inventors group, Elvenbasch, with Girsch Design, Leisure Design and continuing for seventeen years as an indee inventor and writer. Needless to say, he has presented many toy and game ideas over the years. Reflecting on marketers' negative reactions to many of those licensing opportunities, Tim came up with a list of twenty-five reasons for rejection of big ideas. Perhaps he should have taken a hint from Simon and put those ways of getting rejection into lyrics for a sad, tear jerking country ballad. Why not try to turn all that sadness into a hit tune?
Behind toy and game inventors dreams of big royalty payoffs is the real world of rejection. It is a commonly known stat that marketers will reject 9 out of 10 concepts shown by inventors. Stretching that statistic to the biggest marketers who see so many ideas, the odds of an inventor concept making it to retail shelves might reach 1 out of 1000. Those woeful numbers aren't sweet music to any inventor.
When I was on the acquisition's side of the table from inventors, I tried to be sensitive to their disappointments by offering more detailed reasons for rejection. It might be a thought on what the concept was missing, or a suggestion on how the idea might morph into a different form, or a way to give the idea a new twist. Looking back on what might have been heard on the receiving side of the table, at best, the inventor might do more work on the idea, at worst, the dreaded rejection was being postponed.
Little did I know that Tim Moodie was keeping tabs when I was rejecting or "leaving" his idea. Perhaps I should have shortened the responses and just given him one of the simpler rejections he had heard from other reps like: "No Fun", "Boring", "Pass", "Next". Here are more of Tim's twenty-five rejections. The words are different but all had the same meaning of rejection:"We've Seen This Before"  "Too me, too"  "Too close to an Internal Design"  " Too expensive" "Too Many Costly Parts"  "Won't Sell at the Right Price Point" "Marketing Won't Like It"  "Doesn't Fit Our Marketing Strategy" "Not a Market We Want to Enter""Is This Legal?" "This Would Be a Safety Problem"  "Not Cutting Edge"  "Can't Put a License on It"  "Won't Sell Enough to Justify TV"  "That's the Dumbest Thing I've Ever See"  "It's a Circus Novelty"  "Too Confusing"  "No Kid Would Do That"  "No Play Pattern"  "I Don't Get It"  "Counter Intuitive"
If you are an inventor and wish to add what you've heard to this list of rejections email it to Perhaps it will be included if he ever writes a country ballad.


1 comment:

  1. Ron
    After 50 years in the industry working inside, outside and all around, I have found that if you can't thrive in an environment of rejection
    and failure you should not be an inventor in any industry. At my age I invent as a hobby as I've been told that old guys like me need a hobby.
    Your gray haired friend, :)