by: Laura Daily from: AARP The Magazine April 3, 2012
You have a great idea, but you need to take it from brain to bank. Now may be the time to try, because your odds of success can increase with age, says Wendy Robbins, a New Mexico based inventor. At press time, about 60 percent of The United Inventors Association of America members were 50 or older, estimates executive director Mark Reyland, and overall membership had grown 243 percent in a little over a year. "Older adults have more experience, plus the insight and persistence to get a product to market," says Jeffrey Dobkin, president of Philadelphia's American Society of Inventors.
Sure, after two years of development, George Weiss, 85, of Brooklyn, has sold 20,000 copies of his word game Dabble. But more common are inventors like Sher Gregory, 54, of Dobbs Ferry, New York, who spent 11 years creating her Puffalicious Body Wash System before selling only about 50 units during her January launch.
That said, you may feel satisfied just seeing your product on shelves. "If you're lucky, you might have a money-making product," adds Johnstone. "But at the very least you are a lot smarter than when you started."
AARP Tips for Success
1. Join a local inventors club to get support and advice. Find a group in your area at The UIA Web site (http://www.uiausa.org)/
2. Be wary of companies that charge hundreds or thousands of dollars to evaluate your product, say experts. Such firms are often scammers.