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How to go about contacting a company with new product idea?
Old 22nd May 2020
Here for the gear

How to go about contacting a company with new product idea?

Hey guys, not sure exactly where to post this question (please move if needed). I have an super sweet idea for a product for guitar players, if it ever happens guitar players will love it. Nobody is building it (that I know of).
Anyways, I want to protect my idea. I have a few companys in mind that are best suited to make it but don't want to contact them and say " look what you need to build!" and not get any $$$ out of my idea. This idea is born out of frustration and tired of wasting $$$ What's the proper way to do this?
Old 22nd May 2020
Lives for gear
lame pseudonym's Avatar

Nobody hates responses that aren't really answers to the question more than I do, but:

1. If you tell a company about something that they're already working on, and they release it, you're going to sue them for stealing the idea that they were already working on. Most companies will avoid having that happen.

2. Ideas are a dime a dozen. The money is in the execution. If you can figure out a way to get an engineer design your thing and some Asian country to build it, you win.
Old 22nd May 2020
Lives for gear
Having done this in a different industry, what you're looking to do is called an "outside submission."

You'd need to find out if your target companies even accept outside submissions; many don't and will state this and that any submissions are considered non-confidential and become their property. This would be true of bigger companies, probably less so with boutique ones.

Outside of that, your best bet would be to consult a lawyer that deals with inventions, like a patent attorney, to see what you may need.

Other consideration - you may feel your idea is unique, and it may be. Or it may be that companies have already seen the same or similar concepts and have passed because:
  • Technically too difficult to manufacture reliably given current standards (ie mass vs. handbuilt)
  • Potential market for this product is too small to justify the development and production costs (design, engineering, tooling)
  • Cost of the product is too high for those who would want it.
  • Not a fit with the company's brands or product lines
  • Concept is not different enough from existing products to justify development costs and could result in the same sales vs. incremental sales (splitting the vote)

there are lots of people that are doing DIY pedals to address gaps in the market, or the kickstarter done for the Gizmotron 2.0. This can be another way to go in that you produce it yourself through a Kickstarter or Indiegogo where only if you get enough people to sign up do you go into production - that can also help you to understand if your concept is something other musicians want, or if if it's not a big enough idea.

Good luck, and check out all of the music related kickstarters for reference on what's worked and what hasn't.
Old 23rd May 2020
Lives for gear
enorbet2's Avatar
In the US, It is possible to get a limited patent to protect people while they iron out the kinks in a prototype but there are no patents to my knowledge for just a novel idea. I had one for a time and can tell you it is an uphill battle unless you are both protected and well-funded. Your idea needs to be at least partly realized as a working device. Like Edison noted "Genius is 1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration". You will have to put the work in or just chalk it up to a fun moment of no consequence.
Old 25th May 2020
Here for the gear

thanks for the feedback guys
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