How do new invention ideas get created?
Many people believe new invention ideas are only created by those with a special gift for creativity.
Do you too think new inventions ideas just present themselves to people? Figuratively “hitting them on the head” one day?
Do you sit and wait for new ideas to come to you?
Many inventors come up with their ideas through a detailed and long thought process that is structured and iterative. They think, and try, improve and redo, again and again until the right idea takes shape and form in their head.
Coming up with new invention ideas is possible, for anyone. and its easier than you might think.
Let’s break the process into six easy steps. Follow them often enough, keep your eyes open for ideas and potential areas of improvement, and i guarantee you will have your own new invention ideas pretty soon.
In order to come up with good new invention ideas, you need to focus on an area you know well.
It’s hard to come up with improvements and new solutions in fields you know nothing about.
The more you either know about an area or can learn about it easily through others, that easier it’s going to be to find what is missing or what can be improved.
Make a list of fields you know well. What are you passionate about? Do you have a hobby you have been engaging in often? What field do you work in? Do you have lots of friends or acquaintances in the same stage in life?
They can be parents, or looking to move into a new house or anything really. The aim is to identify and make a list of niches where you either have or can develop an expertise.
You don’t need to know everything about the field. You just need to have access to people related to it somehow, so that you can learn about their habits and their challenges.
Once you define a theme, a niche, you can start digging deeper with the aim of finding areas for improvement. Your new invention ideas will try and solve this issues or provide that necessary improvements.
Your aim is to find what is missing and what can be improved. Your new invention ideas will try to solve those.
What is not perfect in that field you identified in step one? What do people complain about? What bothers them the most? What would make their life easier?
Don’t underestimate the smallest issues and complaints.
The mundane annoyance of having to cope with burned toast for breakfast, led to the invention of the clear walled toaster.
Someone was annoyed enough with having his toast not done just right (either burned or not toasted enough) that he came up with a toaster that allows you to see when exactly your toast is done just the way you like it.
A mother who took her kids to the amusement park, wrote her phone number on their arms with a coloured pen so that if they got lost whoever finds them could call her. During the day, the number kept being erased and getting smudged.
She was annoyed with the imperfect solution, and invented the Safetytat- temporary identification tattoos for children. Isn’t that a great new invention idea?
Ask questions. Interview people around you. Don’t ask them what they would like to see invented. They don’t know, and this is your job to find out.
Ask them what annoys them; what would they love not to have to deal with. What worries them? Be a frustrations detective.
If you feel self conscience asking people directly, use the web , to research what people find troublesome or problematic.
By now you know which niches you have access to, and you have interviewed, observed and asked people what worries and bothers them.
You have a list of problems people are facing and you are ready to move on to the next step.
Look at each of the frustrations on your list and break them into a step by step process. What worries people and why?
Let’s take another invention created by a mother as an example as to how this works.
This mom was annoyed by the fact that her baby was bumping her head on the cot bars, again and again.
She wanted to use cot padding that was available in stores, but heared from her friends that there were safety concerns, and that several warnings were published, cautioning that cot bumpers can cause suffocation.
She needed something to pad her baby’s cot, without using existing solutions that were not safe.
That’s how the invention of Bumpsters - a safe alternative to cot bumpers, was created.
Let’s look how she would have broken the problem into a step by step process, in step three.
What was the problem? Her baby kept bumping her head in the bars.
Let’s break it into steps:
She can now define the last step in the process – the need her invention idea will need to solve:
Her invention was padding that goes around each cot bar, leaving gaps between the bars, unlike regular bumpers that go around the cot.
Another inventor, faced with the same problem, and using the same process, was able to come up with a different invention, that is a different solution to the same problem.
The safe dreams cot wrap is a bumper that wraps around the cot and is made of meshed fabric, so that a child can breathe through it, without suffocating.
By breaking a problem you identified into a step by step process, you too can easily come up with a specific, crystal clear, need.
Once you do that, you will know what you need to invent – what is the solution you need to find.
The next step will help you find it.
For more help on finding your unique invention idea, check out this less known thinking tool that will help you generate new inventions ideas.
You might be more attracted to the opposite method of invention – starting with the creation of a new product by manipulating an existing one, and then finding the right use and benefit for your potential invention. Check out our guide on how to use the subtraction and attribute dependency tools to come up with new invention ideas.
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