When I first started in the invention business my thought process was a single solution to a single problem
. As I progressed I began to think more about total solutions
Almost everything done in most any line of business is a process
. That process is generally made up of sub-processes
that are accomplished in series and possibly some in parallel. Depending on the nature of the business, hard things
(e.g., materials, tools, food items, etc.) are required to accomplish them. If you can begin to examine the processes and the things required to accomplish them, then you can develop systems
(multiple ideas) rather than a single idea. Looking at the total process gives you the opportunity to come up with a totally new process
and the hard things
to accomplish it. Coming up with a new process greatly increases your chances of ideas that are new and unique
. That, in turn, increases chances of having a patent that will issue.Product life cycles
are diminishing (becoming shorter). Although a utility patent is good for twenty years, product marketability
is far less than that. It is very difficult to come up with a product today that has a marketability life of five years.
That is the reason you need to begin to think in terms of new processes
that require new things
. A totally new process that requires new things has a much longer marketability life span. It also puts the potential licensee
in a much more favorable position with their competition.Examples:
There was a time when windows were constructed onsite from all the parts (jambs, casings, upper & lower sash, stool, apron, etc.). Then someone came up with the pre-hung window that had all the parts assembled and ready to insert in an opening in the wall. This pre-hung window is what I refer to as a system. The same was true for doors before the pre-hung door.
I don't see how it could be done, but some of you may; Roofing is done by applying decking (usually 4' x 8' plywood sheets), then applying tar paper, and then applying the final roof covering. What if roofing could be supplied in 4' x 8' sheets with everything already applied to it?
Since switching my focus to processes and systems, I have come up with two such systems (one with five ideas/inventions and one with seven ideas/inventions) that are probably going to be more successful that all my other single ideas combined.
The method I used is contained in my topic:Let me hear your questions and thoughts!