Are successful inventors just lucky or is there a strategy for coming up with these golden ideas?
Many say a strategy does exist.
Think about what types of problems you would like to solve. As an inventor, that is your goal. The trick is to come up with a unique invention that is the solution to a specific problem. This will help put you on the path to inventing something with a higher profit value. You want your invention to be marketable so it must solve a problem.
Solving a problem is really what all marketable products attempt to accomplish. For the skeptics, let’s go through a few examples. Take aspirin. It attempts (and actually accomplishes for many people) to solve the problem of pain. A board game like checkers attempts to solve the problem of boredom. The Ginsu knife you see advertised on late night infomercials attempts to solve the problem of slicing and dicing food.
Essentially, all products attempt to solve a specific problem. Therefore, your first step is to determine what specific problem you want to work on finding a solution to.
One of the best ways to generate ideas for solving problems is to focus on the solutions that already exist. To accomplish this, you need to read up on your problem area of interest. If you know what is already available, you can recognize the unsolved problems that still exist. From there, you can focus on the existing problems and attempt to solve them with your own unique solution. This unique solution will ultimately become your invention!
Now, how do you become an expert in the types of products already existing in your area of interest? Here’s a tip; once something is patented, it must be fully disclosed and accessible to the public. Therefore, everything you need is actually right at your fingertips!
By searching through old patents and other publications (like magazines and journals), you will become an expert in your field. Keep track of the products that already exist for the problem you are interested in solving. Take detailed notes on the features of each of these inventions. Check to see who owns these inventions (this is available from the patent records).
Are these inventions currently marketed? For those that are, find out how much the item sells for. Look into how it is marketed. Is it popular? Who manufactures and sells it?
All this research is of the utmost importance. If you focus on doing something YOU like, and never consider whether or not anyone will buy your product, you won’t make any money. Successful inventors dream up a good product that is needed by consumers and has a solid market.
If you spend the time researching old and existing patents and pay attention to their marketability, you will not only generate ideas, but in all likelihood, your ideas will be profitable.
To summarize, the key is to recognize and focus on what consumers need and want in your area of expertise. Research patents, publications, catalogs and even the consumers themselves! Conduct surveys and determine what your consumers want.
Final note: Make a product based on the consumer’s wants and needs and you stand a good chance of becoming wildly successful.
Copyright © 2005 Lisa Parmley – Registered Patent Agent
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