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How to Generate Ideas for Inventions

Postby tony.fulford » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:14 am

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If you want to become a Professional Inventor, you must constantly be generating ideas for new inventions. This topic will explain how I generate ideas and how you can also.

It is very difficult to sit down at your computer and start generating ideas for inventions, not impossible, but difficult. You must find ways to place yourself in a position for ideas to flow into your mind. You must be willing to learn about things where you may not have knowledge or expertise. With the Internet, learning about almost anything is much easier. Now, an example.

I wanted to generate some ideas for the residential home construction industry. I packed up a laptop PC and a lawn chair and began going to construction sites where they were in various stages of constructing homes, such as:
  • Laying out and pouring footers
  • Foundation
  • Framing
  • Roofing
  • Hanging drywall
  • Installing windows and external doors
  • Interior finishing
  • Bath & kitchen finishing
  • Landscaping
  • etc.
I would stay out of the way and watch the various sub-contractors do their work. Watching them, I would come up with ideas of a better way, and more important, a better tool. I would often take one of the crews to lunch and discuss their particular trade with them. I asked them a lot of what if questions about their trade.

I would then go home and put some meat to my ideas and begin searching to determine where I might have something new. Over the period of about a month I had numerous ideas worthy of going forward to manufacturers, some are:
  • Seven (7) construction estimation handheld calculators
  • Hidden kitchen storage for small appliances
  • Two (2) hidden kithen workstations (1 general prep & 1 bakers prep)
  • A door hanging tool improvement
  • A completly new door hardware system containing 6 separate inventions
  • Two (2) new plumb bobs
I also came up with about 20 that turned out to be pre-dated upon searching. Were the nineteen (19) I am moving forward with worth the time, effort, and lunches. You bet they are!

I am not a one trick pony! I owned an Italian restaurant in the 1980's and one of my hobbies is cooking. No, I am not Italian, I have an English genealogy.

For more on my genealogy, visit:
From time-to-time I get in the kitchen and try to come up with a better cooking device. Thus far, this has resulted in two (2) new cooking devices.

Now, I have shown two (2) cases; The first where I had no real expertise and the second where I did. The real point is that you can generate ideas whether you have the skill or expertise or not. Just place yourself in a position to activate your mind for the subject matter where you wish to generate ideas.

My business is generating ideas and when a company comes to me wanting ideas, I must deliver. See my website at:
Also see Roger Brown's website at:

Roger & I do it! You can do it also!

Reply to this topic with a new subject with an area or industry where you would like to generate ideas and I will suggest ways to accomplish it.
Last edited by tony.fulford on Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Postby makeworldbetter » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:04 am

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This is a good post.
Thank you Tony

Postby mojo62 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:10 am

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A lot of good, merketable inventions happen by spur of the moment actions.

An Exercise in Idea Creation

Postby tony.fulford » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:30 am

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Let's start by someone suggesting an area for ideas for an invention, e.g., kitchen gadgets, garden tools, whatever!

We will use the first area suggested and then begin and brainstorm about ways to come up with ideas.

We will then try to use that to actually generate ideas. Depending of the ways we come up with, we may not be able to come up with ideas sitting at our computer, but then again, we may.

If at any point in this exercise you come up with an idea you think is worthwhile, just give us a vague idea as to what it is without disclosing the details. Then go and pursue your idea.

If you would like, we will do another exercise under the topic How to Finance Your Invention to see if we can take your idea all the way to the market.

I don't know what the outcome will be, but I think it will an interesting experiment.

Let's get started!

Postby tony.fulford » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:42 am

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With all the inventors out there, can someone suggest an area for ideas for this exercise?

Thanks,

Tony is sooo right

Postby mackgadget » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:07 am

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This might seem a little strange at first but bear with me. I was in the Martial arts for years and as such was exposed to meditation. I learned that we are not in control of our thoughts. We can choose what we want to keep in our minds but not everything that comes to us. Take for instance a writer. He sits at his computer and tries to think of a line. One comes to him and he rejects it and then another and then another. He did not think them up they just came to him. In trying to meditate one must clear the mind. That is almost impossible to do for more than a second or two. Thoughts come to you. Even the thought of "I am doing pretty good at this. That is a thought. You did not come up with it it just came to you. This is why you must put your self in the invironment to come up with the ideas. If you are not in the kitchen, you will not likely come up with kitchen ideas. If you are not around a construction site your mind will not want to go there. I am handicapped and so therefore my mind is constantly thinking along those channels. Decide what area you want to work in and put yourself there. Anyway ---Way to g :) o Tony. That is a great post. I love it !

Postby tony.fulford » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:17 am

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mackgadget

You are right on! Since you are handicapped and not able to get out as much as you would like; Let's see if we can find ways to place you there in your mind and generate ideas.

Can you suggest and area for ideas to get us started? I think with you and the other great people here, we can do it.

Thanks

Ideas Hmmm

Postby mackgadget » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:51 pm

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Ok how about pet ideas. I have two dogs and two cats. Pet care ideas for both cats and dogs. For instance I have two doggie doors which I can not use and have to keep closed because the cats will get out. There is a door available that comes with a collar that is magnetic. When the dog approaches the door it unlatches the door, and re latches it when the dog goes through. Problem is it is very expensive and if the dog stops outside the door after going thorugh, the cat can go through. Ingenious. and it gives room for thought but there must be another answer. A lot of people love their pets and have no reservation spending a lot of money on them. I am thinking of ideas for feeding, watering, bathing, grooming, litter boxes, pooper scoopers etc. Also ways to keep pets off furniture etc. as well as the doggie door. That is all I have for now. :arrow: Keep mooving forward :arrow:

Postby tony.fulford » Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:06 am

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Thank you mackgadget.

OK, now we have an area for ideas; Pet Products. We now need to find out
what kinds of things exist out there
in the area of our pursuit. We can do this by searching on pet products in 3 places:
  1. Google Patents
    For prior art.
  2. ThomasNet
    For existing wholesale and retail products.
  3. Google

    For existing wholesale and retail products on the Internet.

Hopefully while learning about what is out there, we will begin to get our minds conditioned in this particular area and begin to come up with ideas.

Don't hold back and inhibit yourself, as an idea comes into your mind, write it down. There are no bad ideas or thoughts at this point. Just a line or two for a memory jogger later. We wll priortize the thoughts and ideas later.

Aaalllrriigghtty then

Postby mackgadget » Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:18 am

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I'm on it !! :arrow:
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