Recently I hosted an intimate Working Inventor workshop in Pasadena, California. The class was a group of 10 people with ideas in various stages of development.
Their ideas ranged from a concrete industry product to a young man who wants to start a boxing promotion company. While I certainly can’t evaluate any product as to its viability in the marketplace or how worthwhile it will ultimately be, it’s always interesting to see what people think up, and to hear why they believe it will succeed.
There was one doctor, two lawyers and an organ (musical instrument) salesman in the room. There was even a guy that wanted to sell websites as a business, and he had no website himself.
Each person felt that he had identified a problem—and more importantly had figured out the solution, and that is why they were in the room.
I find the process of inventing exciting. We all solve problems daily, so wouldn’t it be cool to ‘bottle up’ the solution and sell it? Basically that is what the attendees were here to learn — the process of ‘bottling up’ their solution and getting it ready for the marketplace.
After we went around the large conference table and everyone explained the ‘problem’ and shared their ‘solution,’ I began a presentation to sort of remove the ‘complications’ some people feel are a necessary part of the inventing business.
I showed them everything from a pair of massage gloves, an award winning magazine and two websites I created. My goal was to explain that whatever it is that you are wanting to develop, the process is largely the same whether it’s a durable good, a printed (and online) magazine or a website.
For whatever reason there is a misconception that inventing or developing an idea has to be complicated or difficult.
While each product may have its own complexity as to number of working parts, amount of calculations necessary for development or simply a learning curve, the process is largely the same for any idea:
Idea – Embodiment – Implement.
The process is not unlike the instructions on the back of a shampoo bottle: Lather – Rinse – Repeat…
In inventing, it’s Build – Test – Tweak… and of course repeat until you have the working model that accomplishes the desired task, and most importantly, makes it a marketable item.
Looking forward to seeing you at one of my next workshops.