The new invention ideas guide; how to find ideas for inventions (2023)

How do new invention ideas get created?

Many people believe that 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.

Step One – Find your knowledge niche

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.

Step Two – Find problems and frustrations

Find what frustrates people and solve it
Image courtesy of Sybren A. Stüvel
The new invention ideas guide; how to find ideas for inventions (1)

Your aim is to find what is missing and what can be improved. Your new invention ideas will try to solve those.

(Video) 55 Amazing inventions and smart ideas!

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.

What annoys you? Can you come up with a new invention idea to make things better?
The new invention ideas guide; how to find ideas for inventions (2)

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?

Turn daily improvisations into new invention ideas: Safetytat
The new invention ideas guide; how to find ideas for inventions (3)

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.

Step Three: From problems and challenges to identified needs

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 heard 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.

(Video) 4 simple ways to have a great idea | Richard St. John

That’s how the invention ofBumpsters- a safe alternative to cot bumpers, was created.

Improve existing solutions to solve identified needs
The new invention ideas guide; how to find ideas for inventions (4)

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:

  1. She needed something to prevent her baby from getting hurt
  2. She researched what was available on the market, and found regular bumpers
  3. The regular bumpers had a reputation of not being safe. she researched and found out what made them unsafe
  4. Lastly, she narrowed the need into a specific issue- how do i make sure the cot is padded in way that protects a baby, but the baby will not be exposed to suffocation concerns, by having his face stuck against the padding fabric.
  5. She can now define the last step in the process – the need her invention idea will need to solve:

  6. What can she come up with that will pad a cot, won’t have stretched fabric that might create suffocation and will be easy to use?

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.

The same need can be answered in different ways – The cotwrap
The new invention ideas guide; how to find ideas for inventions (5)

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.

StepFour – Finding the gaps in the market

Once you know exactly what theneed is (in our example above –a cot bumper that will not be a hazard ofsuffocation), you can start researching, what already exists and how it can beimproved.

Inventingdoesn’t necessarily means coming up with new invention ideas out of thin air.

Moreoften than not, you are just improving on an existing solution.

Askyourself and try to find out – how is this problem being addressed or solvednow? Do the solutions offered in the market do the job?

Maybeno proper products exist, but people are improvising and their improvisation isnot good enough?

(Video) Inventor Help for Patenting, Prototyping, and Licensing your Invention Ideas

In theSafetytat example, the inventor was improvising by writing her phone number onher children’s hands but realised that the number got smudged.

Shemight have researched what else exists in the market and saw that somebracelets with id tags were being sold, but she could see that they might notbe ideal, as they could get lost etc.

Whatexactly is wrong with the current inventions/solutions to your identified need?Observe how people use these solutions, when do they get stuck? What is hardfor them to do? How can it be improved?

You canalso use the web to find what people think about existing solutions.

Answeringall these questions will give you the background for your new invention. Onceyou know what is the problem, exactly, and how what is currently available doesnot do a good enough job, you will easily be able to come up with improvementsand new invention ideas.

Workingwith a specific issue in mind is much easier than brainstorming in thin air,and it facilitates more creativity .

Haveyou researched existing solutions and they seem to do a great job? You cannotcome up with that specific thing that needs to be improved?

Don’tforget to ask yourself whether there is a better way to provide existingproducts with some additional benefits.

Are the existing solutionsgreat but too expensive? Do they harm the environment? Do they require a hugeinvestment to install?

Find your inner child. Ask “Why?”
Image courtesy of Brendio
The new invention ideas guide; how to find ideas for inventions (6)

There is always something thatcan be improved.

Askquestions like a child – why, why, why. Don’t take ‘because’ as an answer. Ifthere is no obvious reason why something is done in a certain way, there mightbe a better way to do it;

Step Five – Creatingsolutions

Now you know exactly what ismissing from the market. How can you create a solution that will fill the gap?

Startby trying to borrow ideas from other areas. Think of products from completelydifferent fields, with completely different objectives, that have a featurethat is relevant to the invention you are trying to create.

Look atthe description of what you need to create, the one you came up with in steps 4and 5.

Whatsimilar products that you know of, can give you inspiration to create yoursolution?

Theinventor of the KwickScreen, a retractable, portable screen that can be used inhospitals, knew he needed a way to fold a screen onto itself so that it takesas little space as possible. He got inspiration from rolled curtains and rollerbanners.

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Use thefeatures you identified in other products, to come up with new invention ideasthat can solve your researched problem.

Remember,you do not need to design an exact solution. A good invention idea, one thatcan then be formed into a prototype, is all you need.

Step Six – Double checkthat your invention is useful and needed

You have your invention idea.You are excited. Now is the time to stop and make sure - Is this invention ideauseful?

Sometimes,the steps outlined above, will lead you to find some great problems and toidentify great new invention ideas. Don’t get carried away with your owncreativity.

Alwaysask yourself: is this really a problem? How interested will someone be in usingmy invention idea?

Theworld is full of new invention ideas that are useless or have no audience.Sometimes the fact that people have a problem and your new invention ideasolves it, doesn’t mean that they will be willing to use it or pay for it.

It’sbetter to realise it early on, before you spend, time, money and effortdeveloping a product or writing a patent on something that will never succeed.

Beforeyou completely give up on your new invention ideas, stop and think - who elsemight find this idea useful? Could your invention idea be used for anotherpurpose, for something you didn’t originally think of? You might still findhidden potential in your ideas.

For more help on finding yourunique invention idea, check out this less known thinking tool that will helpyou generatenew inventions ideas.

Youmight be more attracted to the opposite method of invention – starting with thecreation of a new product by manipulating an existing one, and then finding theright use and benefit for your potential invention. Check out our guide on howto use thesubtractionandattribute dependencytools to come up with newinvention ideas.

Have new invention ideas and want to monetise them?

If you are serious about inventing something that will truly sell and make you the income you envision, one of the bestmost affordableresources currently available on the process of inventing and monetising your invention is Ken Tarlow's online course: "Invention code: How to make money with your invention" on Udemy.

Tarlow has 81 US patents to his name and has developed 400 products worth over 1 billion dollars in retail sales, so you know he knows what he is talking about (check out thelist of inventions he came up withon the course page, to the left - talk about inspirational!!).

The course is very affordable considering the wealth of information he provides, and you get lifetime access to 47 video lectures (more than 6 hours of quality content) on topics ranging from coming up with an invention idea, figuring if it would sell, to easily licensing it to make money through royalties. It is a truly great resource for anybody interested in inventing. Check thecourse outlineto see all the topics covered. I highly recommend it.

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(Video) Zero to Infinity | Full Documentary | NOVA | PBS



How do you brainstorm a new invention? ›

Step-by-Step Guide to Brainstorming
  1. Define the Problem. To devise potentially viable product ideas, your team needs to be clear on what they're solving for. ...
  2. Explain the Rules. Osborn had four key rules for brainstorming, paraphrased here:
  3. Ask for and Record Ideas. ...
  4. Discuss, Elaborate, and Improve. ...
  5. Repeat Steps 3 and 4.

What are the 7 steps of the invention process? ›

You may ask “what are the seven steps of invention?” Through years of research and work with inventors the Center has distilled the process down to these seven core components: Think It, Explore It, Sketch It, Create It, Try It, Tweak It and Sell It.

What new things can I invent? ›

Practice makes perfect.
  • A) I wrote down an idea here but I deleted it. I'm not afraid to admit when ideas are bad. ...
  • B) Klout as currency. ...
  • C) Use Global Warming to Solve Global Warming. ...
  • D) 3D Printing of Humans. ...
  • E) Advertising in Houses. ...
  • F) Happiness Hotspots. ...
  • G) 40 Percent Unemployment. ...
  • H) Brain Dating.
9 Feb 2013

How do I start an invention with no money? ›

Family, friends, and other people close to you can be a great asset when it comes to starting a business. You can ask them for a small donation to help you start your invention. Even if it's just a few bucks, it's free money that can be used to develop or market your ideas.

Can I sell my idea for an invention? ›

If you happen to find a manufacturer that is interested in your invention, there are usually two options. You can sell your invention idea, or you can outright sell the invention itself for one large lump sum as compensation for your idea. The second option is to enter a licensing agreement.

What are the 4 types of brainstorming? ›

The 4 Types of Brainstorming
  • Reverse Brainstorming. A creative problem-solving technique in which the problem is turned around and considered from a different point of view to spur new and different solutions.
  • Stop-and-Go Brainstorming. ...
  • Phillips 66 Brainstorming. ...
  • Brainwriting.
26 Jun 2019

What are the 4 types of invention? ›

Inventions are of three kinds: scientific-technological (including medicine), sociopolitical (including economics and law), and humanistic, or cultural.

What 3 things do you need to be an inventor? ›

Successful inventors often have the following traits:
  • Creativity. An inventor's primary responsibility is to develop new ideas and products. ...
  • Curiosity. ...
  • Persistence. ...
  • Problem-solving. ...
  • Choose an industry. ...
  • Learn about the business of inventing. ...
  • Develop your ideas. ...
  • Build a prototype.
25 May 2021

What can I invent to become rich? ›

But, it's one thing to start your own business and it's another to become a millionaire from that idea.
  • Agribusiness. ...
  • Bicycle Sales/Rentals/Repairs/Storage. ...
  • Blogging/Vlogging. ...
  • Cannabis. ...
  • Chatbots. ...
  • Construction. ...
  • Drones. ...
  • eCommerce Website.
18 Jan 2022

What will invent in 2050? ›

In 2050, artificial intelligence can outperform humans in a majority of professions. AI software can outmatch humans in white-collar jobs involving constructing company reports, market research, and most administrative functions. In some scenarios, they can also write screenplays, make music, write novels, and more.

Do inventors get paid? ›

The salaries of Inventors in the US range from $47,620 to $153,880 , with a median salary of $97,130 . The middle 60% of Inventors makes $97,130, with the top 80% making $153,880.

Will companies pay for ideas? ›

Many inventors choose to sell their ideas to companies for royalties rather than a one-off payment, especially if the concept is especially promising, as royalties can often end up allowing them to earn much more over a longer period (passive income). As a result, many companies offer this as an option to inventors.

How do I turn my idea into a product? ›

How to turn your idea into a product
  1. Document your idea. All great things come from great ideas, but ideas are infinite and intangible. ...
  2. Check for patents. ...
  3. Research the market. ...
  4. Make a prototype. ...
  5. Consider filing a patent. ...
  6. Market your product.

Do I need to copyright my idea? ›

Protecting your business idea. The Intellectual Property (IP) rights of your business determine the value of your idea, so a copyright, patent or trademark is essential.

Can an idea be stolen? ›

Ideas are most likely to be stolen when action has already taken place — there is a vision and plan on paper. Several examples showed ideas being stolen when a plan-of-action, proof-of-concept, and research were attached to it. If you give someone a treasure map don't be mad when they follow it.

Can someone buy your idea? ›

The short answer is yes. Companies may pay you directly for your ideas, and there are certain companies that are constantly looking for new ideas for their business or product lines. One way to get started is to do some research on your idea, and see if, in fact, it is a new, creative idea.

What is the secret to successful brainstorming? ›

Brainstorms are most effective when they are trying to solve a specific problem -- not just to “come up with an idea.” The problem should be written out and prominently displayed before anyone starts thinking.

What are 3 ways to brainstorm? ›

Brainstorms typically have three steps: idea capture, discussion and critique, and selection. The following strategies will help you and your team, whether you're in person or remote, through all three stages.

How do you properly brainstorm? ›

Here are Keeney's four steps to effective brainstorming:
  1. Lay out the problem you want to solve. ...
  2. Identify the objectives of a possible solution. ...
  3. Try to generate solutions individually. ...
  4. Once you have gotten clear on your problems, your objectives and your personal solutions to the problems, work as a group.
5 Mar 2013

How do you structure a brainstorm? ›

How to organize a successful brainstorming session
  1. Define the problem. The first step should be to determine a problem question that the brainstorming session will address. ...
  2. Lay out the context and definitions. ...
  3. Pick an appropriate facilitator. ...
  4. Invite the right people. ...
  5. Set the agenda. ...
  6. Holding the session.

Do and don'ts of brainstorming? ›

A brainstorm should be focusing on generating ideas rather than criticizing them. Avoid making comments on other people's opinions as stupid or useless. It'll destroy the atmosphere of collaboration and intimidate others, making them afraid of sharing their ideas.

Is brain storming a skill? ›

The ability to brainstorm is a useful skill that can help you collaborate with others and generate original ideas in the workplace. Successful brainstorming involves preparation, creativity and confidence from everyone involved in the brainstorming session.

What are the 5 strategies of brainstorming? ›

We often call these prewriting strategies “brainstorming techniques.” Five useful strategies are listing, clustering, freewriting, looping, and asking the six journalists' questions. These strategies help you with both your invention and organization of ideas, and they can aid you in developing topics for your writing.

Who do I contact if I have an invention? ›

Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and investigate any patents on items similar to the one you want to make. If you have questions or want to ensure your invention is legal for you to create and sell, consult an attorney who specializes in patents and IP law.

What is the secret of invention? ›

“Be alone, that is the secret of invention; be alone, that is when ideas are born.”

How do you innovate? ›

5 steps to improve how you generate new ideas
  1. Foster a culture of innovation. This means a culture promoting employee participation and trust, as well as trying new things, adapting and learning. ...
  2. Identify challenges and collect ideas. ...
  3. Validate. ...
  4. Implement and scale. ...
  5. Measure your efforts.

What qualities do inventors need? ›

3 Personality Traits Observed in Prolific Inventors
  • Curiosity. Inventors are very curious about the world around them. ...
  • Simplicity. Inventors are able to break down complex problems into simple solutions. ...
  • Perseverance. Inventors are not easily discouraged by a few obstacles they encounter.
9 Dec 2019

How much money do you need for an invention? ›

The cost of patenting an invention will range between about $1,500 and upwards of $10,000 depending on the complexity of the invention and on how much of the process you handle yourself. Filing fees are $65 for a provisional patent and between $130-400 for a non-provisional patent.

Can I sell my ideas? ›

You Can't Legally Own An Idea

And if you don't own that idea, you can't sell it. The only real recourse you have is to patent your idea, but that may involve producing a prototype that incorporates said idea and may be more than you're willing to do to make a sale.

What can make you millions? ›

Jobs that better your chances of becoming a millionaire
  • Professional athlete.
  • Investment banker.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Lawyer.
  • Certified public accountant.
  • Insurance agent.
  • Engineer.
  • Real estate agent.

Which things make me billionaire? ›

To be a billionaire, start saving as much money as you can early on since it's easier to make a lot of money if you have money saved up. Also, study hard in school and take classes in subjects like science, technology, engineering, and math, which are all fields that can lead to high-paying jobs.

What Will technology be in 20 years? ›

In 20 years, technology will be used in more creative ways than ever before. We might have robots that help us with everyday cooking, cleaning, and even driving cars. There is also a prediction that there will be less work for people who are not skilled enough to do jobs that robots can do.

What technology will we have in 50 years? ›

According to Forbes, by 2050, IoT technology will be in 95% of electronics for new product designs. And by 2050 it is expected to have everything connected to the cloud and to the internet. According to Business Insider, Space tourism could be feasible in 2050, but likely only for the very wealthy.

What invention I can't live without is the? ›

The wheel was probably the most important mechanical invention of all time. Just about all modern mechanical devices use the wheel in some way — cars, buses, bicycles, factory machines, toys, wristwatches, movie reels and more.

How much does it cost to license invention idea? ›

The cost of patenting an invention will range between about $1,500 and upwards of $10,000 depending on the complexity of the invention and on how much of the process you handle yourself. Filing fees are $65 for a provisional patent and between $130-400 for a non-provisional patent.

How much does it cost to patent an idea? ›

A patent attorney will usually charge between $8,000 and $10,000 for a patent application, but the cost can be higher. In most cases, you should budget between $15,000 and $20,000 to complete the patenting process for your invention. Previous: Why should you file a patent application?

Do companies pay for ideas? ›

Many inventors choose to sell their ideas to companies for royalties rather than a one-off payment, especially if the concept is especially promising, as royalties can often end up allowing them to earn much more over a longer period (passive income). As a result, many companies offer this as an option to inventors.

Who do I pitch an invention to? ›

As a rule, it's someone on the marketing side who is in charge of commercializing similar new products, the person who would, for example, present your invention to Walmart or negotiate with Amazon, once it's developed. Next best are people with titles like VP of Design.

What is a poor man's patent? ›

A poor man's patent is essentially writing out a description of your invention and then mailing that written description to yourself. This postmarked envelope supposedly acts to create the date of your invention as the date this written description was postmarked.

How do I license and sell an idea? ›

The steps to licensing an invention are as follows:
  1. Identify & research target companies.
  2. Approach prime targets.
  3. Confidentiality agreement.
  4. Prepare for negotiation.
  5. Initial presentation.
  6. Negotiate.
  7. Marriage.

Can you sell an idea without a prototype? ›

No, you don't need a prototype to sell your idea. However, that would be a good idea to show that the idea works, aka proof of concept. The prototype is a part of your pitch to sell your idea. Otherwise, the buyer has to build the prototype and prove that your idea works.

Can you patent an idea yourself? ›

The simple answer is no—you cannot patent an idea for an invention. The invention itself has to be produced or a patent application containing the invention must be filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

How long does a patent last? ›

For utility patents, which are the most common patent type, patent protection lasts for 20 years after the filing date of the patent application.

Where do I go to sell my ideas? ›

So you've had a brilliant thought that you're sure people will pay good money for…but now it's a question of just how to sell ideas to actually make money from this stroke of genius.
Companies that pay for invention ideas
  • Sharper Image. ...
  • 3M. ...
  • Henkel. ...
  • Dorman Products, Inc. ...
  • BD. ...
  • Jokari Home Solutions. ...
  • Wilson. ...
  • Rico.
11 Jan 2022

Does Amazon accept invention ideas? ›

We are required to inform you of the following Statement of Company Policy to you: does not accept creative ideas, proposals, concepts, suggestions or materials (whether of a technical, business, financial or other nature) other than those that we specifically request.

How do I get paid for invention? ›

A license is written authorization to exploit an invention. An inventor usually authorizes a manufacturer (the licensee) to make and sell the invention in exchange for paying the inventor royalties. The royalties may be a percentage of the net revenues or may be a payment for each invention sold.

How do I sell an idea without a patent? ›

The Best Ways To Sell An Idea Without A Patent
  1. Sell Your Idea To Companies. It's true—many companies are willing to pay you real cash for a great idea. ...
  2. Find An Angel Investor. You can also sell your idea to an angel investor. ...
  3. Find A Business Partner. ...
  4. Sell Through Social Media.
4 Apr 2021


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