I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t get ticked off at technology…
…and I love it!
Well at least from my inventor perspective. Let me explain…
I know, we’re supposed to be spinning around this sun pursuing happiness and all things fuzzy, but when it comes to inventing, I love it when I, my kids, or a co-worker gets frustrated with technology, the way things work, the stupid designs we all come across that seem so un-obvious.
Why? Because every little thing that gets us frustrated might the beginnings of a beautiful, patentable idea.
Here’s what I do: When I get frustrated with technology, something clicks in my head to pay attention. And then, (and this is key), I notice WHY I’m frustrated, and then I write it down. I don’t solve the problem right then and there, but I’ve recorded a nugget of inspiration that can later turn into a patentable idea. And it doesn’t even have to be me that’s frustrated. I can point to at least a couple patents that started with my son saying “Dang, I HATE THIS! If only…”.
Maybe spend a day and try it. If not for the fun of inventing, maybe for the fun of discovering a new product or service you can make money at!
Here are two other things you could try to get ideas to surface:
1) Write down problems you needed to solve regarding a project you work on. Think back to meetings where you and your team wrestled with how to solve a technical issue. Then, recall all of the ideas that you crossed off as ‘too lofty’ or ‘too expensive’. Those may be nuggets for great patents.
2) Sit in a cafeteria/public place and listen for:
- “You’d think they’d…”
- “If only…”
- “It would work so much better if…”
- and my favorite: “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t…”
These are not patents themselves, but they are nuggets of ideas that could turn into patents.
Finally, when you explore new consumer technology, think of how it could be applied to your area of expertise…some of my favorite patentable ideas have come from the strangest of locations (Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas) 🙂
Give it a go! Who knows, you may surprise someone when they say “Aw crap, don’t you hate it when…”, and instead of you feeling bad for them, you respond with a big ‘ol smile, pad and pencil in hand, and say, “Awesome! Tell me more…”