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Creating the Great Invention
All inventions start with an inspiration about something that needs great improvement, or just someone coming up what they think people would like. The question is now how to move from a problem that needs solving to an invention that will really work. I recommend the first four steps of any invention to be: 1) understanding all aspects of the problem or opportunity from an end-user point of view; 2) doing a search of available technologies; 3) brainstorming; and 4) choosing your best choice. .
- Understand All Aspects from an End User Point of View
My first invention related job was with the inventor of the first reclining dental chair. When he came up with the idea, he started by spending whole days in dentist offices watching the dentist work. He kept asking the dentists “why are you doing that?” Great inventions most often come when people understand all aspects of a situation, including what people do know to solve the problem and how current products work.
- Doing a Search on Available Technologies
YouTube is a great resource, especially when your product is not a variation of an existing problem. Just do an internet search for YouTube How to and then list the situation you are trying to address. Typically you will see all types of solutions to the problem you are trying to address. You can also ask questions on Google and Facebook groups as well as at groups.io. Other helpful techniques includes a google patent search, or an internet search about how to solve – and then list your problem.
Brainstorming works best with a group of people, some with technical knowledge and some with knowledge of the end use. They don’t need to know anything about your idea, which for brainstorming is to come up with a better way to do something. No ideas are bad, and you don’t want the group to choose the idea, you only want a list of 50 different ways that can solve the problem, different approaches. Let people comment on what they like or don’t kike about idea s and have someone keep track of what is being said. Wild and crazy, practical or impractical, possible or impossible, it doesn’t matter. These sessions are just to help you break out of the box of traditional thinking. Don’t go on without at least 10, preferably more, ways to solve the problem.
- Choose Your Best Choice
Now is the time to think things over. Not quickly, maybe even taking a month to decide what to do. First write down the ideas that do what the end-user wants, even if you don’t think you can do them. Write them in sequential order, first being the one the end-user will like best. What product ideas will make the end user say wow, that is a great idea. Second write down the ideas on what will be the easiest ones to manufacturer again listing the easiest one first. Finally write down the ones by what you think they will cost to make the, the cheapest method being first. Finally get a list of competitive products in the market and what they cost. Now just let all this information stay in your head for awhile and you will start to lean towards some combination of ideas that you feel are the best solution –that is the idea you should then pursue.