today we are joined by product creation expert she is an expert in product development you may have read about her in forbes you may have her products in your house right now she’s the creator of creation nation Donteacia Seymour welcome to show thank you mark thank you for having me i’m happy to be here it’s my pleasure you carry yourself very well you got a great profile online and i’m so excited to help all the entrepreneurs out there get that idea out of their head and onto shelves so i’m excited to have here thank you so let me start here with kind of like a broad picture broad concept everyone’s got this idea in them that they want to get out there they want to launch what is the common denominator of a successful invention what do they all have in common ah so when it comes to inventions like the inventions or the inventor because those are two different things there are successful inventors and there are some successful inventions successful inventions are basically just good marketing honestly if we’re just being honest you can sell anything if you have really good marketing really good like messaging around what you’re solving if you’re targeting that market that you’re like trying to get into i have this thing called focus messaging where you focus specifically on your target like uh client customer and then you put all of your marketing around it we’ve seen people sell i mean not even people like the pet rock sells like 10 million dollars a year and it’s just a rock in a box right but the marketing is oh you don’t have to feed this thing you don’t have to water it but if you want some companionship there’s this rock in a box so if if you sell a pet rock you can sell anything right so when it comes to successful inventions honestly if it solves a problem like a real pain point where like you get up every day and you’re like oh man i really really wish there was something for this because we all say that we all say damn i really wish there was some way this could be better i really wish someone this can be easier i really wish someone would create this thing guess what you’re the someone right and that’s usually a problem that millions of people are having and if you can get that product developed and you can actually target that person and say hey i know exactly how you feel when this happens then you’re off to the races when it comes to a successful invention now an assessed successful inventor it’s just like every other entrepreneur just someone who has like grit resilience perseverance and execution just like in any other industry yeah yeah i love that because when you watch inventions and these shows on television always looks like i have this idea now it’s on the shelves but there’s we’re missing a lot of what happens between point a and point b So let’s say that you’ve you’ve got this problem and you’re like i’ve got a problem there’s not a great product on the market to solve it what would be the first thing you would do would it be to start jotting down stuff in a journal how would you recommend someone starts Donteacia? yeah so what i do is i actually would identify like different ways to solve the problem right because sometimes we’re like i have this really good idea and then we’ll look into we’ll see some stuff out there some things not similar similar what i will say though is look for the closest thing possible to that product and then read the reviews if you want to know how to make a product better if you want to know how to really solve a problem figure out how people are already solving that problem and then find the gaps in that solution because they’re always out there there’s always something really close maybe like just you know 20% away from solving the problem that you want but it’s missing that thing so i always like read the reviews because there’s reviews for everything online right so read the reviews go to like the one stars and the two stars those are my favorite things to read all about amazon and all those other websites and see what people are saying a lot of times it’s a little tweak a little something extra that’s missing something being detachable something being spinnable something being more lightweight something coming apart when it shouldn’t come apart so i would look and see what’s out there figure out what they’re doing wrong and then think about your ideas like you’re jotting down your ideas right think about your ideas and how you can take those missing links and like perfect just one thing that’s wrong about it like if you can just like really fix that one thing that makes everyone say you know what i’m so glad someone came and created a better solution for this or this problem you’re like in the money yeah so i actually love that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel but if you can build a better mousetrap you can really just accelerate where you start from because you already have a starting point some people have already done some research so and this is another really important thing that’s come up a few times on the afterhours entrepreneur Donteacia is go to the reviews find the pain points right because i would assume then your experience you can use those pain points you can use those reviews to to develop your messaging right to develop your marketing strategy for sure so what we tell our clients to do is to do and this is probably something some people have heard of some people haven’t if you haven’t looked it up look it up a value proposition canvas like really where you kind of talk about the problems that you’re solving the values like your unique value that your solution is going to have and then also like what are some of the objections that are going to keep people from wanting to switch from what they’re currently using

to your thing and the best way to find that is with the reviews to find out what people are saying ah man i kind of want to i people are loyal most people are loyal to their products right even when they suck and so you want to like say okay this is going to be better and here’s the reasons why i know you don’t want to stop doing this the way you’ve been doing it i know you don’t want to have to learn anything new so i’m going to make it really easy for you and say this is better why this is going to solve your problem and if you can make something more efficient like time efficient or process efficient then it’s even better because if you’re saying i can save you you know 15% of your time with this new solution then people are like oh my god yes right so yeah i think that’s i think that’s really smart and you said something that really kind of resonated with me does my product suck right because i think a lot of people we get these blinders on we’re so in love with our product that we don’t know when to take it out to the barn and shoot it to to channel my inner kevin o’leary here so part of the problem i think with being an inventor is you you you have a sense of isolation you don’t want to share it with anyone because you’re afraid that someone’s going to it’s going to steal your idea so Donteacia how can we actually get real constructive opinions on our idea without the fear of actually losing our idea or having it ripped off by someone? i love this so what we talk about in creation nation is we talk about blind feedback and basically what you’re doing is you’re going to maybe even either a facebook group or a linkedin group or people that you know that has that problem so say your product is a mommy product right or like a nanny product or something for maids or whoever i would actually go into a group and say hey guys so i’ve been experiencing this problem how are you solving it and then figure out like listen to how they’re solving it and say oh i wonder if if if you know if there was a way to make this do this without actually saying what your product does right like what do you guys think what do you got and just getting feedback on how they’re solving it and then actually throwing just a little bit out there like so i wonder if we made this to where it’s faster or if there was some way to support the back or if there was some way to like help with this thing and people like oh my god yes i can’t wait for someone to invent that product one of our clients she has um she’s a speaker and so a lot of women who are speakers they have to put the microphones all over our bodies and in our backs and everything sometimes you don’t even have to go anywhere because if you’re in the speaker’s group especially with women they’re going to all talk about the same thing they’re going to all say i can’t wait to someone makes a wireless remote for speaking so that their men aren’t always feeling down my chest and on my butt and all kinds of stuff trying to mic me up and so a lot of times you don’t even have to ask about like solutions and whether or not you have a good idea just kind of listen to people complaining about the current way that it’s done yeah yeah i mean that’s the entrepreneurial entrepreneurial mindset right there it’s people are complaining they’ve got a problem how can we solve it let’s be solutions oriented i think that’s that’s that’s huge so let’s let’s say we’ve gotten to this first step we’ve started doing our our product research we know there’s a problem we think that we might have a solution what’s the next step to actually realizing that idea do we start going online we start going to china to look for manufacturers and moldings like what do we do? what’s the next step? yeah no don’t go to china and look for molding unless you want to be tied up for two years trying to figure it out um so this is a very simple solution is you want to actually put it on paper i think people just skip this part they’re like i have this idea i’m gonna go straight to a manufacturer and they have no clue like how to explain the idea to a manufacturer and manufacturers are not in the business of prototyping which is something that most people don’t know they like you to come already with a technical pack which basically means all the specifications to mass produce your product and so the first thing you have to do is sketch that thing out sometimes you can sketch it out on a piece of paper so it can make sense and you don’t get that out of your head onto paper and then you can also hire a graphic designer to do some concept design work right because a lot of times what’s in your head and what’s on paper like when you start to see it it’ll evolve before you even get to a manufacturer you’ll realize that this piece doesn’t really work there or this doesn’t make sense here right and so then you’ll make some changes on paper digitally first before you ever get to a manufacturer but before you even get to a manufacturer you want to get an engineer to say okay now we have this beautiful picture that you have let’s figure out how to make this thing work and then have a prototyping company prototype it so you before you spend you know ten thousand dollars twenty thousand dollars trying to manufacture a product you wanna spend about you know one to two grand up front getting the baseline of the prototyping done first okay love that and i just want to remind all the listeners and viewers out there Donteacia seymour she’s laying it all out she’s going to give you all the tips tools and tactics to launch your product you can join the creation nation i’ll

have a link below or you can go to dontishasymore.com Cool so you want to find an engineer you got to get a nice prototype you got to work out some of the kinks maybe hire someone that’s proficient in graphic design again i want to come back to one of the biggest fears that i might have as an inventor is they’re going to rip off my idea they’re going to steal it do you need to start the patent process what, do you need you know legal team behind you? how can we actually protect our product when we start putting it out there what can we do efficiently all right so i’m gonna bust a myth first okay no one’s gonna steal your idea until you’ve made money off of it let’s just start there people don’t sell ideas ideas are like a dime a dozen like people steal really good products they copy things that are making money online they if you tell someone your idea most people aren’t even working on their own ideas right like they have all these fears and all these reservations and hesitations about doing the things that they want to do in their life that bug them they are not about to spend time energy and money on your idea unless you’ve already proven it successful right so people don’t typically steal ideas they still developed concepts that are in the marketplace already making money that’s when they’ll rip you off when it comes to engineers it’s basic stuff it’s a non you know non-disclosure agreement you make sure you want to have them sign it once you kind of get into the development side of things a lot of places won’t actually do ndas until you’ve decided to work with them so you kind of have to keep some stuff back in those conversations and give them an overall general picture of what you’re trying to develop what we do have all of our inventors do though we have them all go through the patent search process because i believe in protecting intellectual property and so i want to make sure they’re not going to spend time and money building something that already is protected right so we go through the patent search process and then after that comes back and we get the designs done we go through the provisional patent process so even if your product is non-patentable and there’s all kinds of reasons why a product wouldn’t be patentable you still should file a provisional patent because it’s good for a year it lets you develop your product it lets you test the market and see what’s out there and even if you’re not able to get like a 5 10 15 20 year patent you’re protected during the building phase just in case your product is patentable okay super smart and i think a nice reality check for everyone out there your idea nobody wants it they want the finished product that’s that’s that’s really smart yeah so i like it a lot because i i think we can very easily get wrapped up in this perfection paralysis and you’re afraid to take that next step because what’s going to happen next but sometimes you just got to to kind of go through it and of course join the creation nation with Donteacia seymour so you can avoid the potholes along the way So, potholes mistakes you’ve worked with a lot of different inventors on many many products what is a common mistake that comes up throughout this process especially at this point let’s say when we’ve got an idea um we’ve got our provisional patent what’s what happens next what’s like the next big mistake that someone might make? i think people tend to focus on like the branding of the products before their product is even there they want to trademark stuff they want to get logos and designs and design websites and the thing the thing about products and this is going to sound like really like kooky is they have like their own voice right they they speak to you when they’re developed so you may think that a product works one way on paper or in your head and then you get that prototype and it works a completely different way it may be heavier than you thought it would be it may be lighter than you thought it would be it may be a little bit harder to fold or clip it and so your messaging and everything has to come after you develop the product so a big mistake i see people make is they go out and they’ll spend like a thousand dollars on trademarks and logos and websites and we’ve had people do that and then change the name of their product right and so it’s like you spend all that money doing that and then you change the name of your product because when you got your products back you realize there was a better name for it based on how the products work another thing we see is we see a lot of people getting these non-provisional patents these long-term 10 15 20-year patents before they even started working on their products and then what happens is they spend ten thousand dollars on an attorney to patent this thing and then it doesn’t work right or they have to completely change it and so then they have to file another patent to cover the new design because the old design is no longer relevant right it doesn’t work and so they end up double dipping in this whole like patent process and sometimes the second patent is denied against their first one as of obviousness so they cancel themselves out in the process right um so there’s all these things that can happen so the one thing i tell people is to not get a full provision or non-provisional long-term patent until you have a physical prototype that you made to test it you’ve iterated you made sure that worked because i mean i hear people crying all the time like i spent 10 15 000 dollars on this on on protecting this thing and i don’t have an idea and then they get the idea and it doesn’t work the way they wanted it to work and they have to completely

scrap it and do something different oh that’s brutal i can just feel my my stomach just shrink just thinking about that i mean and i think this makes a lot of sense with any business i think a lot of people they try to maybe go too far too fast right you gotta crawl walk run because the problem as you you’ve mentioned here is time and money you know you end up wasting thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars on a product that maybe needs a huge shift right So I’m kind of curious, If I’m saying hey i want to bring this product to market let’s say like a simple small household item right nothing too too complex or fancy what’s the approximate budget that i should have or be thinking about to get it to market or should i not even think about that should i not even think about how much it’s actually going to cost should i have an idea what would you be your thoughts as far as funding you know money is a real thing you know especially in when the economy goes up and down like people have to really think about money right so i’m not going to be like no just go all in whatever you have throw everything at the product um so money is a real thing so it’s important to have a budget just like with anything else you want to make sure you have a budget that you’re comfortable with because not all products are successful your first one may bomb your second one may be your million dollar idea your first one could be your million dollar idea but it may be the fourth one right and so you want to make sure that you have a budget that you’re comfortable with like you have to be comfortable losing the money yeah like you have to be comfortable knowing that you gave it your all for this product and it just didn’t work out because for whatever reason the market fit didn’t work or whatever it didn’t work so for a basic simple like kitchen tool or accessory you’re looking at i’m gonna give you some real numbers here just based on my experience over the thousands of products that we’ve helped developed um so you’re looking at about 200 to 300 dollars for your patent search you’re looking at about maybe three to five hundred dollars for a concept design and this is if you’re going straight to engineers and designers if you’re not going to like a product development firm that’s going to charge you $20,000 for a prototype so this is straight to the contractors that can do the stuff for you you’re probably looking at another four to six hundred dollars for engineering which tells you the material type um they’ll do your 3d cad modeling and the design specifications which is what you’ll take to the manufacturer eventually probably for another three to five hundred dollars for a 3d printed prototype especially if it’s a if it’s a plastic appliance plastic tool because that can be 3d printed if it’s um fabric based or textile it’s actually this stuff is also it’s actually cheaper because it’s just fabric and then once you have that you beta test you’re looking at about anywhere from fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars to get through the whole process but what i tell my clients and like what i help people to understand who are just like oh my god i don’t have all the money i tell them to break it down into small affordable steps so you see how i just told you how each individual step is and when you do that then it’s only 250 right and then it’s only 300 and it’s only 500 and that way you can kind of break it down over the period of three to six months so it’s not so overwhelming as you’re working with each person in the product design cycle yeah and what i really like about what you do Donteacia with your creation nation is you you’re kind of helping guide people through all these steps because there’s so many steps like when i start thinking about all these different steps in the process from conception to uh to actually being in the on shelves like there’s a million there’s a million things that go wrong um and just the most simple like you mentioned before pulling a full patent or doing all your logo and website design before you’ve even gone through the the basic engineering or design so yeah really really really smart there and honestly two to three thousand dollars to get through these initial phases to see if it’s going to work actually seems pretty reasonable like i don’t want to i mean look thousands of dollars that’s that’s money and and that’s um it’s very reasonable they always 20 to 30 000. like before i came along and gave away all the secrets in the industry so i’m not loved by some of my larger of friends out there uh before i gave away all the secrets like even for me my product cost me 300 to prototype maybe another 200 to design because it was touched out the product development firm wanted to charge me twelve thousand dollars and all i was making was a fitness glove and they wanted to charge me twelve thousand dollars four thousand dollars a month over three months to do all this stuff that i was able to get done for less than a thousand dollars right and so they’re not happy with me because i am sharing all the secrets on how to make this happen but i’m doing that because i was ripped off along the way and i hear all the stories of people crying because they spent their life savings i think the thing that’s missed is that these are people’s like hopes and dreams right like these are this is a thing that lives inside of them and it’s breathing inside of them and it already takes a lot to pull it out of you and take a step of faith and say i’m going to develop and build this thing and then to have someone take advantage of you it’s heart-wrenching to know that you spent like 10 or 20 thousand dollars and you walked away with basically nothing but like a promise of something to come

in the future maybe possibly potentially and so because i know what that feels like and because i’ve had literally hundreds of people crying on the phone with me when i used to take phone calls which i know anymore when i used to take phone calls like every call was someone crying on the phone about the the pain they had gone through trying to develop their products and people using them in this process um and so my hope is with creation nation that we’re able to kind of change the narrative of the invention community and make this easier and give back people their intellectual property give them back control of their dreams and so like that’s my goal with what we’re doing yeah it’s one of the reasons i love the internet you know i mean that’s there listen if you have a dream someone is going to try to prey on that dream they’re going to try to take advantage of it they’re going to manipulate that vision and make you think that um it’s something that it maybe necessarily isn’t so super super powerful that you are with the right community the right people you have the right uh resources to help and that’s one of the reasons i love the internet it’s because the cream rises to the crop the people that solve problems like don tisha like like you’re doing um that i mean that’s that’s how you that’s how you make it that’s how you build these seven figure businesses because you’re solving problems that that everybody has or a lot of people have i’m curious i want to talk a little bit more about money and crowdfunding because i think that’s one of the biggest challenges people have we’ve obviously there’s obviously a lot of different ways to raise money if someone’s not exactly sure would you recommend starting on kickstarter would you recommend trying to apply to get on shark tank to get a loan from mark cuban how do we how do we go about getting money? what i love about this is i did both of those so i love because i have experience in both of those roads um and i actually did get accepted to shark tank i went through the whole process and but we pulled out right so here’s the thing i recommend you doing what makes the most sense for where you are in your product development life cycle if you already have a developed product in your post revenue and you want to get in front of a lot of eyes then applying to a shark tank and having a really really really solid pitch is the way to go but if you just have an idea and your pre revenue then you definitely want a crowdfund crowdfunding is really good because it also serves as a virtual launch right because you have these people you have them investing in your idea and then once they get it they’re all getting it at once and so there’s a really great way to turn this into like a marketing phenom because if you have like 500 people um crowdfund your product and then they’re they’re all getting it at the same time you can actually like set this up to where those 500 people are all talking about your product at the same time sharing it turn it into a virtual party and then you actually can 10x what you’ve already sold with just that free advertisement from people who believed in you and these people believed in you and invested in you so they want to shout your praises to the rooftop when they get your product they’re going to be posted on instagram they’re going to be posted on facebook that was my experience they want to be really excited like for you to be successful and so you want to you know like take that and capitalize on that momentum and and use that to continue to launch the product forward i am i am um definitely pro kickstarter because i funded my products on kickstarter and so i’m pro kickstarter but for those who are looking to crowdfund there is a way to do it don’t do gofundme like let’s just start there don’t do gofundme but you have to start telling the story at least three to four months out before you start asking for money you have to get people engaged and invested in what you were doing so what i did was when i filed my provisional patent and i got the letter i took a picture and i was like i found a patent for an idea people were like holy [ S**t] like what this is exciting and so each step of the way i’m like oh i found the great designer oh my god like like the designs are wonderful like here’s something for the name and i got them involved in the process and then when i got my prototype i went live and worked out in my prototype right and they were just like i want one i want one and so when it was time for me to physically launch my kickstarter campaign we already had three thousand dollars like pledged in the bank so we were able to raise that fifteen thousand dollars really quickly because we already had so much bankable um cash love that love that creating the buzz creating the excitement creating curiosity like this is this is this goes back to the very beginning of our conversation it’s all about that marketing so what time do you think is the right time to start your kicks kickstarter is it right when you start um at the very early stages it’s like what’s the right time to actually start that kickstarter? yeah so inventors like to work in like a silo like quietly and then like one day pop up and say i got this product that i’ve been working over the last two years and people are like what huh what so it’s actually good to start generating the conversation when you start working on the product you don’t actually have to tell people what it is right or you can be like some of our inventors who went live every sunday night talking about the process

like literally like here’s what i experienced with my engineer this week it was a nightmare or it was amazing and we got through this part we had someone do that and when they finally and they were getting like a thousand shares on their live streams and by the time they did launch their kickstarter campaign they funded their kickstarter campaign in no time or when they did have their order come in they were able to pre-sell the product before and use a pre do a pre-sale versus a kickstarter to cover the manufacturing costs so you want to start telling the telling the story as soon as possible and launch the kickstarter campaign once you know how much it’s going to cost to build your product so a lot of people just throw numbers out there they’re like i need twenty thousand dollars when they only need seven right depending on like the manufacturer and the type of product um so like for my mine i only needed i actually only needed about six thousand dollars to develop the product but we did a kickstarter campaign 14 000 because there were some other things that we wanted to do in terms of packaging and other additions we wanted to add to it but you have to know the numbers before you actually just put up a number because if you put up a number that’s too big and it doesn’t make sense then you have a really hard like mountain to climb to to get that thing to fund yeah i think people are more willing to put money in if they know exactly where their money is going if you just throw out an arbitrary number you’re like we’re going to do this 25 grand that’s but but being specific and i also love the idea of documenting document your journey i think that’s something that every entrepreneur inventor business owner should be doing you gotta start documenting your journey um that people really relate to that people people have a hard time relating to multi-billionaires but they can relate to you they can relate to your story in your journey because they’re they’re living it too all right one last question here don tisha before we get into the the quick rapid fire again we’re talking we’re chatting here with uh dantesha seymour from the creation nation i’ll have a link below so you can launch your own product build fun and launch your project um and your product asap So retail versus ecommerce does it depend on the product does it depend on your funding how do you know where your product should live it depends on your appetite so retail is tough retail is not like they’re not going to sell your product for you so if you put your product in a retail store first of all to get in a retail store you have to show some traction so you have to show that people actually wanted the product to either have like one of those were incredible kickstarter campaigns that did like 200 grand right or you’d have to show that you’ve made money for the last like two years one or two years selling your product and then they have all these different programs where they just like look for local um you know entrepreneurs to support and they’ll put you in retail but retail is an appetite because they don’t actually sell your products and if your product doesn’t sell off the shelves if you’re not still promoting the product on the shelf they’re going to pull it and then they’re not going to pay you for it either right and so you want to make it’s a different type of beast i think ecom is the way to go initially i think you should be selling your product initially for two reasons one the profit margins is larger it allows you to reinvest into your products and position yourself for retail so if you do have a not so great retail experience you’re not like completely dead in the water after that because we’ve seen a lot of companies go direct to retail and it completely killed their company right because the cost to produce the number that they need you have to pay that up front they don’t pay you for 90 days after they’ve received your product so there’s a 90-day gap where you’re getting no money so you have to have that capital and cash in the bank to keep your business running throughout that time so just depends on your appetite and your bank account when it comes to retail versus e-com but i tell all inventors anyone who has a product you should be selling your first 1000 products yourself because you’re going to learn everything about your products and everything about your customer and that first those first 1000 units that you sell to where you’ll be able to answer any question that anyone has about your product words of wisdom words of wisdom you you might it might be that you’re in retail but uh crawl walk run that’s i think the best way to to really start a successful product okay cool we’re chatting with don tisha seymour creation nation link below check her out let me ask you a couple quick rapid fires here don chisholm all right you ready all right what is your favorite subscription right now? oh favorite subscription right now is probably everyone else’s favorite subscription on netflix okay okay so netflix is my favorite subscription it’s the thing that i get oh you know what no no no i take it back i take it back my favorite subscription is audible i listen to a lot of books a lot of books on the go on the i live in florida so on the beach um i’m going to the beach this weekend so i listen to a lot of books and so audible is hands down probably my most used subscription so i guess that makes it my favorite but i do love me some netflix there are some sundays where i do nothing but binge but when it

comes to my most used subscription it’s definitely audible yeah same as uh john lee dumas from entrepreneurs on fire by the way so you’re know you’re in good company there um if you woke up in the morning there was only one business task you could do Donteacia what would you do? one business task that i could do for the whole day that’s it just one task um it would be communicate with the inventors in our in our community like they they are doing such phenomenal incredible things um and then sometimes they’re just like human stuff that’s happening right and they’re feeling like a little dejected i got an email this morning actually from one of them who lost a parent um a couple of weeks ago and they’re like i’m just not really sure how to move forward and i lost my aunt to cancer last year and they were like how did you continue to move forward when it came to like you losing your Aunt like how did you do that and i think like that human connection is the most important part of what i do because like you said inventions can be a very very lonely road and to know that you have a community of thousands of others there and then you have me there as well reminding people that the road may be difficult but there is light on the other side of it i think if there’s only one thing that i could do like in a business day it would be communicate with the inventors in the community and make sure they’re like encouraged and inspired and they’re moving forward and it’s always good for me to go in there because sometimes i won’t be in there for a couple of days because our team is in there and i’ll come back and there’ll be like five or six prototypes that they received and i’m like excited and ecstatic and so sometimes it’s almost um like an energy burst for me to go in there and to see all of the forward momentum yeah and i think that’s an indicator of a great engaged audience a great engaged community that’s that’s that’s awesome it uplifts everyone including yourself okay final question here if you had 10 seconds with yourself 10 years ago what would you say don’t sweat the small stuff and everything is small i like that done Donteacia said it and i agree with it that’s that’s beautiful thank you Donteacia absolutely it’s my pleasure