So you’ve got a great new invention that’s going to change the world and/or make you incredibly rich? The question now is what do you do with that great idea and how do you take it from an abstract concept floating around inside your skull into something that you can sell to others on a large scale and that will change the world for the better?
Well this will partly depend on your invention, and if you’ve come up with a new piece of software for instance then you will not really need any manufacturing and can rather just roll the idea out yourself and see if it takes off. It worked for Mark Zuckerberg, and it can work for you.
However for most of us our great ideas are not software inventions, but rather practical things that can really help us around the house. Things like chair designs or new tools that fulfill a need that’s there. These Eureka moments come at times when we find ourselves trying to do something and struggling more than necessary. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier ‘if’ we think – and that’s when we have the great idea. It might be a new type of packaging that keeps food fresher while being easy to use for the consumer, or it might be a new type of game that families can play together.
Throughout history there have been countless instances of these Eureka moments and they have very much shaped the way society is today. Every time you use a screwdriver, drink out of a cup, lean at a desk, play with a power ball gyroscope, walk on stilts, or sweep with an extra long broom… you are using someone else’s invention. Did you know that the Hoover vacuum cleaner was invented by none other than President Hoover? Likewise perhaps even more surprisingly the cat flap was invented by Isaac Newton!
So how do you get on board with this inventing malarkey? Well once you have your invention you need to get it produced on a larger scale and you need to have it refined. Industrial design for new inventions helps you to do this, taking your idea and making it more workable. For instance the ‘Very Light Car’ recently won the automotive X prize which meant it would get funding to be developed for commercial sale. However a stipulation of the prize was that the car had to have an industrial design so that this would be possible – this is an example of how an ‘idea’ is not enough without being workable in the real world.
There are other precautions and steps to take when you have your genius idea, and you do for instance need to be protected legally against theft of your intellectual property – there are few things more depressing than going to launch a business only to find that someone else has beaten you to the punch using your idea. To avoid this, make sure that you look into getting your idea patented before you take it further. Be careful who you tell about your new concept and only release it once you have the power to launch it commercially. This way even if others do steal your concept, they will be arriving late to the party and you’ll have captured the majority of the market share.