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Step 1: How to Invent an Honest Product -- Tips From a Shark Tank Contestant

07/09/2014 01:35 pm ET | Updated Sep 08, 2014

If you want to look back at your self many years from now and hold up a product you invented and be really proud of it from the core it takes 10 easy steps.

Step 1
Start from the Heart and find a problem that you really desire to solve.

Is there something in your life right now that drives you crazy? Chances are that same situation drives other people mad and if you can solve it, others would be thankful.

It all begins at the beginning.

Choose your problem well. You are, if all goes well, going to spend a great deal of time talking about it and how and why you solved it. I would make sure the area in which your product is going to be sold is also an area you are keenly aware of or have a deep passion for and truly care about. You will be hanging out and talking to these people for a long time and at every phase of your business.

In the end, if the problem you are about to launch into solving isn't dear to your heart then you have a good chance of going off course because your markers won't be grounded. If you don't care deeply about your solution, move on. Find something you do care about and find what the problems are there. If I didn't care so much about moms or thier issues with meal time, I would have already sold to big box stores after my first show and be sitting on a yacht right now sipping bubbly. My product would be made out of less desirable material that didn't do exactly what I wanted and it would all be built in China and last a maximum of three weeks. I woudl have already been part of the problem I was tyrign to solve in the first place. Mind you, I still image myself on a yacht but my hair is a bit greyer and I I may have grandkids. Step carefully and soundly if you are after an honest invention.

2014-07-04-SteveandMAsonontheplabnethestartfobibbiteccopy.jpg

I found my problem on a plane ride. I had a diaper bag filled with the MUST HAVES when traveling with 2 babies and yet I still walked off the plane two and a half hours later with two food covered kids and I looked like I was in the crossfire of it all. My husband, Steve, on the other hand was perfectly clean. Turns out he was wearing a fitness shirt that a baby wipe cleaned off. Interesting. The money I wasted on these useless items and the time I am going to spend cleaning all this up tipped this tea pot over. The reason this problem was dear to my heart is because I had just become aware that I had been spending way too much money at Target. This was money that while my husband while building his business and I was home taking care of the kids, we really couldn't spare. And yet, as a collage educated person I found myself buying things I was "promised" would make things easier. I turned to my husband, exasperated, and said

Next time I take a flight I am going to have something that works, these bibs suck!

Then he said, "Then why do you keep buying them?" "I don't know! Maybe I should just make my own!" I exclaimed. And that is how bibbitec started.


My problem. I was unable to find bibs that would really keep kids clean. I wanted a bib that worked.

In my 6 years of working on my business I have had many opportunities to cut corners and sell out and totally take the easy road. I believe that the reason I didn't was because

  • I am a stay at home mom.
  • I spent money my family had worked hard to earn on products that were built to break.
  • I felt a strong desire to solve that terribly annoying problem by inventing a bib that really worked and made mom's lives easier.

My advice to anyone who wants to join this wonderful journey of inventing is to start from the heart. Work in an area you really care about because the heart is limitless and has enough energy to get you through the slow times and vault you over the hurdles and even return you to your intention when and if you happen to veer off.

So, what problem that you care about is your invention going to solve?

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