Chances are, if you haven’t heard of fidget spinners, you don’t know many 10-18 year olds. Fidget spinners are handheld toys meant to help teens focus and keep their hands busy. They range in price from about $5 up to $100 on the very high-end.
Teens have become completely obsessed with fidget spinners. They collect them. They trade them. Nobody imagined that fidget spinners would bring as much revenue as they have. Sharon DiMinico, owner of the Wonder Works chain of toy stores told
The Wall Street Journal that she has “…never seen a craze hit this quick, this fast.” Fidget spinners brought her stores $2.6m in revenue in April alone.
Let’s talk about the inventor of fidget spinners. Catherine Hettinger patented her fidget spinner idea in 1997. Catherine pitched the idea to a few of the big toy manufacturers, none of whom were interested in her fidget spinners. As a result, Catherine let her patent expire in 2005.
So, from the tens of millions of fidget spinners sold, Catherine has made nothing.
We consider this a failure. Although she had a great idea, Catherine’s failure to renew her patent resulted in the loss of millions upon millions of dollars in profits. There is little more important than protecting your ideas. You may have the best business idea out there, but without the proper protections in place, that idea is worth nothing.
Always protect your ideas.