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The word “inventor” conjures all kinds of images in our minds. We picture the mad scientist stumbling upon technologies that seem impossible, and whacky characters gluing pieces together in their basement. The reality is that inventing something isn’t always super complicated. If you come up with an idea for a product that doesn’t exist, you can be an inventor! If you’re curious about what this process looks like, read on to learn how you can bring your idea to life.
The first step is to figure out what kind of problem your invention will solve.This process can take a variety of different forms, but the first step is to identify the problem you want to solve. Does your imagined product make a daily task easier to perform? Does your idea entertain people in a unique way, or improve on current solutions? Identifying the appeal will make it easier to guide your design. From there, start brainstorming potential products that could solve the problem you imagine.
- If you can’t identify the need for your invention, you’re not going to be able to turn your invention into a marketable product.
- When you hear “product,” don’t assume that it means concrete physical object. Websites, apps, and services all qualify as products!
- An important note on this process: do not publicly share any of your ideas. If the idea for your product is publicly disclosed, you may not be able to patent it in the future.
Research the existing market to make sure your idea is original.Once you have a sense for what problem you’ll solve, hop online. Start poking around in search engines and online shops to see if anything already exists that solves that problem. If you already have an idea for a product in mind, check to see if it already exists. If it does, your product has already been invented and it’s back to the drawing board. If it hasn’t, you’re in luck! You may have a marketable idea.
- This research process may take some time. You may have to scour pages upon pages of Amazon results, Google searches, and startup websites to ensure that you have a genuinely original idea.
The last step is creating a prototype to start tinkering.A prototype is a real-world version of what your final product will look like. You can make one by drawing a sketch of what your product will look like, or by creating a 3D model of your idea. Then, either you’re your product by hand or hire someone to make it for you.
- You may go through multiple prototypes before you stumble on one that matches your vision.
- For example, if you invented a broom that oscillates back and forth to clean more efficiently, you could physically cut the head of a broom off, drill the hinge into place, and wire the motor yourself to see what it will look like. You could also hire a fabricator to make a custom hinge and a soldering hobbyist to put the motor together.
- For service-based products, your prototype might include a description of your services, a logo, or an outline of how the service would work.
- If you’re inventing an app or website, you might sketch out the home screen, logo, and menu options. Then, you could design the pages in Photoshop or code a few screens yourself. Alternatively, you could hire a freelance coder to craft a basic version of the app for you.