3P Psychology of Innovation and Inventing
There are many pressures and rewards to being an Inventor. The pressures can take a great toll on the physical and emotional health of any person who devotes himself to the dream of creating and developing new concepts and products.
The rewards of being an Inventor are just as great. Inventing is one of the few occupations in the world that has the potential to elevate any person into the ranks of the rich, famous and powerful. Inventors and Innovators, for the most part, don't exclusively create for the previously mentioned rewards, but for the pure satisfaction of inventing and innovating.
Whatever the reasons for inventing, every Inventor, Innovator, Maker and creative person is subject to the stresses and elations that come with the territory.
These ups and downs come in what I have termed the
"3P psychology of the Inventor's Life." The 3Ps basically affect Inventors/Innovators in distinct areas of their lives. These include: Family, Finances, Jobs, Emotional Impact, their Friends and ultimately, their Future.
You may recognize many of these 3P's in your own life. This 3P overview is designed to help you to not just recognize them, but to deal with the bad side and embrace the good side.
There is definitely a bad side, I call it the dark side. And thankfully there is also a good side, I call the light side. These, like the “Force”, exist in each aspect of Innovation.
1st... The Dark Side. These 3 P's are Paranoia, Plateaus & Pitfalls.
I. Paranoia: These are the fears that Inventors and innovators have thrust upon them by circumstance and people around them.
The Paranoia of the Dark Side consists of:
- Other people' s fears projected onto you.
Many people can' t see themselves succeeding at a given task, thus they can't see how you can do it. They will try and convince you to turn back before it's too late. Don't believe them, it’s their fear not yours. If you have confidence in your idea, forge ahead until you either succeed or you come to your own conclusion, based upon knowledge, not fear that the project is no longer worth your time and effort.
- Your own fears of failure.
This can be the hardest stumblingblock for any Inventor to get over. Henry Ford once said "Failure is the opportunity to start over again...more intelligently”. These words of wisdom are a credo to live by forall innovators. Some of the greatest successes’ in many fields came only after many failures. Inventors must learn to take failure as a learning experience. Edison said when asked about his repeated failures to create a working light bulb after 6000attempts, "I now know 6000 ways not to make a light bulb". Failure is experience and no successful innovation was created without multiple failures that taught the wayto the "Overnight Success" seen by the public.
- Living up to the Potential of Your Own Ideas
Every new idea seems to have the potential for changing some part of the world we live in. Not every idea has to do this, nor does every idea have to succeed at the moment in time when it is conceived. If you can’t make an idea live up to its potential, it does not mean you have failed as an innovator. It only means that the time and circumstances may not have been right for that particular idea. I have been ahead of the power curve with many ideas that were shot down by investors and the marketplace, only to see these same ideas flourish years later – either by me or from other creative people, who saw the same innovation opportunity at a time when the idea would be generally accepted.
- Financial Failure
This is a very real fear for most Inventors and innovators. Inventing be a very money-consuming occupation with little in the way of financial return until a project's fruition. Inventors should try and minimize the financial risks by either maintaining a full-time job or spreading the capital investment in an idea in a concept over several partners or investors. By doing this, the Inventor can can ride-out the financial rollercoaster ride that some Inventors must endure with their creations.
- Your Future
The future is what you make of it' Some people think that destiny is something to be awaited…Wrong! Destiny is something to be created, just like an invention. Inventors should look at the future as an asset to be exploited. The future is the Inventor's ballpark and chances are just as good of hitting a grand slam as striking out. Only the future will tell and only an Inventor’s willingness to take a chance on that future will let him see if he's going to be a success'
- Your Current Job
Inventors shouldn't quit their job unless their absolutely sure of an additional financial resource to see them through the invention process. Many great Inventors with future money making products got to that position by inventing part-time. Inventing is often the world’s greatest hobby world until the opportunity to make it a full-time occupation comes along. Don't jeopardize your lifestyle for inventing' unless it warrants it. That is a decision every Inventor must make based upon Personal factors known only to them.
- The Fear of Being Ridiculed
I say… So What! Every inventive mind throughout history has been ridiculed by both the mindless hordes and many within the community of the highly educated. Both of these sectors of the populace cannot comprehend what it is to have an original idea. Inventors and innovators are always in a position to “Put Up or Shut Up” about their ideas. But remember this: once your invention is created and accepted you will have entered the long and proud tradition of Inventors have shaped this planet's history since the beginning of time. Inventions are a critical part of societys' ability advance in every field. So let anyone, friends, co-workers, family, etc. have their say… but always remember the importance of what you are trying to accomplish.
- The Fear of Not Being Perceived As You Want
OK, every Inventor wants to be seen as the next Edison or Bell, but that may not happen to you. Have confidence in two things - 1st, it may happen to you. If it does, all the work, ridicule and problems will have been worthwhile a hundred times over. 2nd, if your invention is not earthshaking or does not make you rich and famous, you still have the satisfaction of being an Inventor. If you have done it right you should have accomplished the process of creating an "Inventor's Image" for yourself that will allow you to be perceived as you want to be perceived.
These are the levels that every invention must achieve in order to accomplish the ultimate goals of market acceptance, sales and making money for the Inventor. These Plateaus also will offer various opportunities to the Inventor and the invention. These opportunities will allow the process to continue to the next Plateau.
- The Original Concept:
The decision to go on... This is the first and most important Plateau in the life cycle of any invention: the decision to go on with the idea, to commit resources, time and energy to try to take a mere thought and turn it into a physical or cyber reality. Without the commitment to this Plateau the idea is doomed. Many people see ideas they had in the recent past come out as other people's successful inventions in the near future. They kick themselves mentally for not having proceeded with the concept. Their biggest mistake was that they didn't believe in the idea enough and they couldn't reach this first Plateau.
- The First Converts:
These are the 1st true believers with first money or services. The moment you get another person to commit money or resources of any type to your idea, you have reached this Plateau. It will be a small Plateau but an important one because it is proof positive that this idea is not just a wild daydream exclusive to your little part of the twilight zone. As more people commit time, resources or help of any sort to your project, the momentum will grow. This will give you "energy to take a running start" to accomplish the goal of reaching the next Plateau.
- Proving Your Idea Works:
Some ideas don' t have this Plateau, they are self-evident. Other projects need prototypes, market research and hands-on testing to prove the validity of a product – be it physical or cyber-based concept. This can be the hardest, but most satisfying Plateau for an Inventor to reach. It gives the ultimate credence to the concept. Regardless of market acceptance, popular or peer approval, the proof that your brainchild lives is an awesome reality with incredible satisfaction for the Inventor. The downside is just as powerful, inasmuch as the entire project can come to a crashing halt if the product concept can't be proven as valid. At this point the series of other Plateaus will vanish and the Inventor may crash into a personal and financial oblivion depending upon individual factors. Think through the concept prior to attempting the entire project. Make sure that the product technology doesn't depend upon wishful speculation. Almost all of the best inventions base their concepts upon sound technology that has proven itself, but hasn't been used in this new and useful fashion.
- Proving You Have A Market:
Market is everything! Proving your market is a Plateau which is usually easily accomplished via data provided in the industry for which the innovation is intended. If similar products exist, then use this data to prove your idea is better and will capture a part of the existing market. If your product is radically new, then you must prove a need exists which is not being filled by any other product. Reaching this Plateau will generate the facts necessary to raise capital if needed, as well as give the concept market credibility.
- First Manufactured Product:
This Plateau can only be reached by accomplishing almost all of the items on the invention flow chart – which I will discuss in another Blog Post. Not reaching this Plateau means you are not in a position to make money. The manufactured product, whether it is a piece of software or a physical product means a level concept validity in the marketplace. Getting to this Plateau often means you have gotten extensive support in production from an established manufacturer. This will mean that the risk and problems associated with manufacturing of the item have been spread to a better comfort level for all concerned. If the invention is being produced by an Inventor in house, then the risks and problems may still be a major factor until substantial sales have been attained.
- First Media Attention:
The Plateau of first Media Attention is very important to any Inventor. Inventors and their products can be ruined by untimely media hype, or if it is an inappropriate story angle for the Inventor’s purposes. An Inventor should look to publicize himself first, then his inventions. The reason for this is that publicity primarily about the Inventor can be used many times to help create the Inventors public "Face." This can be used for raising capital and for getting other publicity about the Inventor's products. If a particular invention gains the wrong amount of publicity before it's ready to be marketed, then it can hamper the product's ability (to a certain extent) to get publicity later when it needs it. In today’s social media world, many products are often hyped and even sold before a working product exists. This is the basis of many crowd funding pitches with a great idea but lack of an item ready to go to market. This often works but the innovators must be careful to actually deliver on their promises or gain a bad reputation that may follow them to other ventures.
- Proving it’s Your Original Concept:
This can end up being an extremely important point for any Inventor. It is the reason why proper documentation is so important. If you can't prove the idea or "intellectual property" is yours – to use and potentially own, then you may have a wide range of difficulties even starting to develop the project. No investor, potential partner or even most reputable manufacturers want anything to do with a project that could end up in some sort of litigation over IP, (Intellectual Property) rights. Have you done a patent search? Have you filed a Provisional Patent so that you actually own the rights, even for a limited time, to the IP? The real question is, have you done your homework? Having this information and having filed the right paperwork will add credibility to any innovation proposal, business plan or initial discussion about a project.
- Is this an Old Idea that You Just Never Hear Of?
If you don't research your concept thoroughly, you may find that the idea is something that has already been tried and abandoned. Usually a simple Google search of the web will bring up a ton of information on similar products – or lack thereof. This is also a basic reason for talking to people in the field where you feel the invention or concept will be sold or used. An example of this is the "single Band Radio" give-away idea that a friend of mine came up with many years ago and started a business around. It is a great idea: Give away an AM or FM radio with only one station that can be heard on it. Sell the radio station on the concept of promoting their station this way and the profits come from them for ensuring a captive audience. It’s a great idea, but basically illegal due to violations of all of the other station's First Amendment (Freedom of Speech) rights. It had been tried in the early days of portable "pocket" radios by other entrepreneurs and was quickly frowned upon by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). My friend didn't do his homework on the concept and ended up investing a lot of time and money in getting the idea going. He was temporarily crushed, both financially and spiritually, when he was finally confronted with the truth. He recovered by rerouting his energies into another business idea with a better foundation in research. Today, with all the resources that are available on the Internet to research any current or past product or concept – innovators should not have this problem. The moral of the story is that a little basic research on any concept is the best foundation for a successful venture.
- Have you done a Preliminary Patent Search?
Today, with the facilities of the US Patent and Trademark Office – the USPTO – doing a Patent Search isn't as hard as it sounds. The USPTO has a built-in Patent Search capability that will, given you provide the right key words, bring up a multitude of patents, both issued and pending, that have anything to do with your concept. The information you will glean from the patent search is often enough to justify or alter your game plan for the development of the concept. After you have satisfied yourself of the patentability of the concept, you may want to hire a professional firm to conduct a more extensive cross-referenced and international search if you feel it is needed prior to a filing either a Provisional Patent Application – a PPA – or a regular Utility patent application. I will have another Blog coming soon dedicated to filing PPA’s, and discussing Patents in general.
- Have you done an Internet Search for Similar Products and Ideas?
An Internet Search – Google or another search engine – is the best resource that an Inventor has at his disposal. Use it to search through product websites, YouTube videos, product announcements, company promotional materials, trade journals and other literature pertaining to the field of the invention. This will give you insights into things like the general market, the level of sophistication of comparable products and problems in the field which your product might address. Articles in books and magazines can also be found that may provide many little know details about the technologies and markets utilizing similar products. One good article search can often give an Inventor many leads for additional information and reference sources.
- Are You Capable of Developing Your Idea?
Just because you have an idea doesn't mean that you can do anything with it. This may sound cruel, but it is the truth in many instances. Every Inventor must ask themselves the following questions in order to understand their position in terms of the inventions development:
a. Technically: Do You Know The Right Questions To Ask?
Is the invention concept in a field which is so alien to your education and abilities that you don't even know the right questions to ask to get on track with the invention’s development? This often happens when a creative, inventive person says " I wish that they had something that could do.....?" (Fill in your own “Blank”) Wishing for a new product and having a firm grasp on what the invention would be are two different things. Try not to bite off more than you can chew, especially at the initial concept stage. If you can’t describe in some detail how a product will work or should work, then your chances of getting the project off the ground are slim without the use of consultants or engineers with specialty knowledge in the field you are seeking to penetrate. This may cost funds that you do not have or do not wish to spend to launch the idea and create a feasibility study that provides the critical data to move forward.
b. Are You Capable of Taking On a Project That May Significantly Alter Your Lifestyle in Terms of Free Time and Available Extra Money?
Basically, do you have the time and money to chase your dream? Are you willing to devote the effort necessary to track down the elements needed to complete the innovation task? If not, then you may be fooling yourself by even starting the invention process. Even if you have already invented a basic widget, you still have to face the marketing and production hurdles. They are there, but not insurmountable. The only question you need to have answers to is, "Are your personal abilities up to snuff to manage your resources to make the dream come true?" If not, can you afford the professional development costs that will remove the basic inventing burden from your shoulders and place the project into the hands of new product development specialists?
c. Can You Withstand the Emotional Tidal Wave that Every Invention Project Creates?
The emotional end of the invention picture is often the hardest to deal with for the small Inventor. All of the pressures of life are compounded by the ordeals of inventing. The financial rollercoaster combined with the ever-present peer and family pressures about what you are doing is often too much for even the strongest of individuals to bear. If you have supportive family and friends, then you may have the winning edge that you will need to sustain yourself throughout the inventing process. If you don't, then be prepared for a rough time, because there is no way around it – even if you are well funded.
d. Are you Financially Capable to Take the Project to a Level Where It Can Be Marketed or Funded?
Can you develop even a minimal prototype if you can't get financial help? OK, you have the great idea, but it needs a prototype to prove it's a worthwhile product. You're a great inventive mind but you're "Mr. All Thumbs" when it comes to building anything. What happens if it’s a software idea and you have no background in software development? You have a problem unless you have the capital to spend on a model Maker, a prototype machine shop, a software coding guru or software development shop. Prior to even going that far, do you have the right drawings and specifications to give to someone so that they are capable of producing the model or digital prototype? All of the different phases involved in inventing require the Inventor to either use his own skills to bypass expenses or he must spend money on making the idea come to fruition. If your finances are not up to it, rethink the entire process and plan it out to become part of your scheduled expenses so the invention doesn't ruin you financially. Luckily there are now web-based help sites like Fiverr, Freelancer and others where you can find relatively inexpensive help for the prototype, business design and marketing help to take an invention from concept to market. The problem is in quality of work for dollars paid, the time line of execution and possibility that a good idea will become someone else’s product as you are trying to get yours off the ground. I have used these resources for small jobs that helped complete sections of a project but would never rely of these low bidders to take on the main fabric of an invention – at least without fear of loss of the project as a whole.
6. How Complicated is Your Idea? Does it require expensive molds, advanced manufacturing engineering or chip development to get it off the ground in even its simplest form?
Even the simplest of inventions may require complicated manufacturing techniques for production. This isn't true l00%o of the time, but it is a major factor to take into account when thinking through the entire invention process. When planning the invention pathway from idea to production, consider letting others take on many of the more complicated aspects of its development in return for a piece of the action. This can often offset the financial burden for many small Inventors. Another avenue to take can be to alter your idea parameters to accomplish the same invention goal through a process or design which may require less financial preparation and commitment to the project.
7. Can You Sustain Your Lifestyle During a Business Startup?
Startup businesses are the most demanding of all business ventures. Invention startups are probably the hardest of all. It will affect every phase of the Inventors lifestyle and emotional state. There is no easy answer or advice that can prepare an innovator for it, except to say take every problem as it comes and try to keep your perspective on the situation. Remember, you wanted to do this thing, so don't let it become a burden, look at it as an adventure. This will help you to keep a better metal outlook on the entire project.
8. Can You Protect Your Idea?
Protecting your ideas is one of the most important preliminary aspects of inventing. YET… let me say one thing upfront – Sometimes a Patent is just expensive wall paper! That being said – and I will explain more shortly - If you can't keep the idea a relative secret during its core startup phase then you have very little chance of achieving success in this world of stolen secrets and pirated ideas. An Inventor's ideas are like a carpenter's tools. Without them you can't build your career. Loose lips sink more than ships, they sink Inventors.
a. Do You Know How to Protect Your Ideas and When To Do It?
Not everyone is aware of the procedures for insuring secrecy while still circulating information to those who need to know. It involves Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). These are forms and the procedures that must be used to implement security measures. These are not complicated, onerous and are generally accepted documents that are tools of the trade that every Inventor must know about and learn to use effectively. More importantly, it involves knowing who to trust, because paperwork does not always mean people will abide by the terms they sign. Taking action to stop the use of confidential information can be costly and time consuming, all while the person or company violating the NDA may be profiting from your innovation.
b. Can You Trust the People Around You?
My advice… Don't trust anyone Who may have even the slightest motive for harming you or your business aspirations. That may sound like an easy selection to make, but it may be the hardest judgement call you'll ever make. I make it policy that everyone has to sign an NDA to see my ideas. I mean everyone! I explain it to people by saying that if I don't have everyone sign, - if it comes to a court case – I will lose - if the other side can show where someone knew of my idea without violating the secrecy agreement. This gets around hurt feelings on the part of friends and relatives. It also makes people who you know feel like they are part of the secret and part of your little world of inventing. When it comes to people you don' t know, it's serious business to have all meetings documented and have all parties sign appropriate paperwork. Anyone who wants to do business on a legitimate level will have no trouble signing an NDA. I recommend using an MNDA – a sample of which I will make available in another Blog (free of charge) – An MNDA is a “Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement” which holds both sides to the same standards of conduct and secrecy. Beware of people who balk at MNDAs, they almost always have ulterior motives.
c. Are You Documenting Your Idea In Realistic Ways?
Jotting down an idea and showing it around as your concept is a fast way to give away an idea and also look like an amateur innovator. Ideas need to be documented for presentation in a fashion that reflects a level of professionalism. The original idea may have been written on a cocktail napkin and should be kept in a safe place for evidence of original conception (maybe even notarized), but the ideas an Inventor shows the world are a reflection of his business ability and should be of a quality that shows that level. The document of the conception of an idea is not real proof of anything in today’s world. A PPA is the best way to “Own” an idea and be able to use it in a professional business sense. Always remember that an Inventor's ideas are challengeable by others, so keep all data on the actual functionality of a concept close to the vest and on a need-to-know basis. Presentations should be with an MNDA, be done in a PPT with a professional format and only reveal what is required at each level of business. I have a long-time friend and mentor who says: “do the dance of the 7 veils… reveal a little and let them want more”.
9. Can You Stand Up To Potential Legal Challenges?
An idea may be so good it threatens other people's products or livelihoods. This can lead to legal challenges, injunctions, patent jumping and lawsuits. Every Inventor needs good legal counsel. Even people who are trying to help you or get on your bandwagon can pose serious legal hassles with contacts, often jockeying for control of your concept's future and the profits that come from it.
10. If You Invent a New Type of Weapon or Tool. Can You Live With Its Use or Misuse?
Are you ready for the social implications if your invention changes something that is good into something that is bad? An Inventor never knows what connections to the future his invention may have. Even an innocent invention which seemingly has no social significance can alter the fragile balance of a society in one way or another. History is full of instances where inventions that were developed for one purpose were used for another very different end purpose.
Now that we have looked at the many down sides and Dark possibilities of the pursuit of innovation and inventing it is important to understand that there is a powerful good and Light side to inventing.
The Light Side:
There is an overwhelming sense of Pride, Power and Potential that comes from being an Inventor. The light (or good side) of inventing has helped Inventors to hold on to their dreams throughout the ages. The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction can be almost overwhelming at times. Having personally experienced many aspects of the Dark side of inventing, I relish the value and importance of the 3P’s of the Light Side of Pride, Power & Potential.
- The Feeling of Accomplishment:
Inventors do something that most people never do (Except Other “Creative Types”), they work on creating their own little individual piece of immortality. Some of these are little more than a small Sign post on the eternal highway of history, but others are exits into new fields of existence for humanity as a whole. Every Inventor has felt, and will feel in the future, a vast sense of accomplishment at taking an idea and turning it into reality. Most people never know that feeling because it does not easily exist in the lives of ordinary working people. Granted, everyone feels a sense of accomplishment at doing something – whether its personal, social or business oriented, but Inventors know a very special type of accomplishment that is both real and mystical. Inventing is a primal creative process that links back to the first glimmer of thought known to ancient man, and stretches to the limits of man's achievements on distant worlds in some far flung future. Knowing you’re an Inventor and knowing that your idea may somehow change history is a powerful ego booster and can be a source of extreme pride for an Inventor.
- Inventing Generates an Aura of Excitement and Positive Energy Within Inventors and the People They Touch With Their Projects:
If an invention doesn’t stir this type of response, then an Inventor must rethink the invention and how they are presenting it. This is because a good idea is full of positive energy. People can feel the excitement of its potential for either making money, or changing a small part of the world, or both.
- Inventing will Make You Feel More Positive About Yourself and Your Abilities:
Most people grow up with many different insecurities about who they are and what they can contribute to the world. Inventing is one of the few endeavors a person can undertake that allows him to utilize every creative fiber of their being. This generates a tremendous positive mental-attitude about who they are and where their life can lead. If you have the ability to come up with one good idea, you probably have dozens more inside your head just waiting to be unleashed. That's a good feeling!
- You're in the Driver's Seat. it's Your Project!
Very few other occupations or projects that a person can take on in their life give them the unbridled authority and decision-making power of inventing something! It's your baby, your concept, your decision on what to do, how to do it and what direction to run with it. That feeling alone can be an overwhelming good feeling for most people. It's a little scary, but Inventors can turn that uneasy feeling into positive energy by realizing its their decision on how fast to take it and how far. If you want to start from scratch and go through every phase of development through marketing the idea, you can! But if you only want to create the concept and then try to sell it - after the proper steps have been taken to protect the idea- you can do that too! The only limits are the ones an Inventor imposes upon themself. Inventing opens incredible doors of opportunity because it has no real limits on how far or fast a project can go. Inventors can wheel and deal because it's their project and the sky's the limit. Very few occupations have this type of creative and business freedom.
- Your "Intellectual Property" has Real-World Value If The Idea Is Sound:
Inventing is the only business where a person can start with absolutely nothing except an image in the mind's eye and do things that can change the world. That little piece of "intellectual property" (as the patent office calls it) is as real and valuable as real estate or cash in the bank - if the idea is viable and the Inventor has the ambition to pursue it to its logical conclusion. This is one of the greatest aspects of inventing, it is the great equalizer. A person doesn't have to be born with money or position in society to attain great wealth or status. That person need only invent the next great jump in technology advancement in any particular field… Ask Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and others who have done it!
- A Sense of Actually Creating One’s Own Destiny.:
Any person who has ever taken the leap into inventing can tell you that it is the quickest way to grab hold of your future and start directing your destiny, instead of just letting it happen to you. The people one meets and the events created by inventing inevitably alter the life of an Inventor. It happens as soon as the Inventor tries to do anything about his invention. W. H. Murray of the Scottish Himalayan Expedition said it best:
"Until one is committed, there is the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way."
- Being an Inventor Places You In Powerful Company:
Edison, Bell, Marconi, Watt.... the list of great Inventors is almost endless. Many people ridicule others who try to use their creative gift to invent. Know that the profession of inventing, either full-time or part-time, places you in powerful company in the eyes of history! Use it as a cloak to deflect some of the Dark-side. Only history will tell if you leave your mark, but rest assured that you're traveling a path that has led others to power, fame and fortune. Most Inventors don't invent because of those reasons, but never lose sight of the fact that they are real and could come your way because of inventing.
- Inventing is Among the Few Occupations That Has Vast Potential:
Most other professions have strict limits on what can be attained or earned during the course of a career. Inventing has no such limitations, ask Elon Musk, Dean Karmen and Bill Gates. An Inventor can invent one or thousands of products during his career. Any one or all could bring fame and fortune to the Inventor. The potential of inventing is so great that the governments of all civilized countries around the world have to run entire bureaucratic agencies (their Patent Offices) just to keep the ownership of intellectual property in an orderly fashion. Special attorneys are required to operate under special laws set up to administer the rights set down by federal mandates. The US government singles out patented inventions as the only monopoly sanctioned and protected under federal law. The US constitution mentions the rights of Inventors. No other profession is singled out for this special recognition in the US government’s most important document. No other single occupation is given this time, energy and effort by governments around the globe.
- Talents and Connections Acquired Along the Path of Inventing Can Help You “Step-Stone” to Bigger and Better Things In Life:
As mentioned earlier, inventing opens opportunities undreamed of when an Inventor starts an invention project. These opportunities can lead to job offers, writing careers, consulting, speaking engagements and a host of other unforeseen paths that the Inventor may choose to travel. See opportunities as they pop-up is part of the Inventor’s life. Using them as “Stepping Stones” can create amazing career pathways – and has for may Inventors.
- Serendipity is an Inventor's best friend and can sometimes Increase the Potential of a Project Far Beyond Original Expectations:
The unexpected happens on a regular basis when an Inventor is creating new technology. Inventors learn to take advantage of the effects of serendipity to multiply the opportunities of the moment. This often leads to increases in the potential of a project, interlinking it with other opportunities and opening additional paths for diversification.
The dark and the light side of inventing are intermixed on a daily basis. Inventors must be prepared for a real rollercoaster ride through life. If you want an existence that is calm and mundane, then don't be an Inventor. Inventors are subjected to stresses far beyond most ordinary professions. Most people are afraid of new ideas and where they may lead. Many people will never explore where an idea may lead them because of the challenges it immediately imposes on them. To break new ground in any field takes a vision of that product, process or business. Inventors are driven, but not by a desire for money or fame, but by a vision of their creation. One of the most famous Inventors, Alexander Graham Bell, said it best: "The hope of wealth or the desire for fame will never make an Inventor....you may give him wealth or take from him everything he has; and he will still go on inventing. He can no more help inventing than he can help thinking or breathing. Inventors are born, not made." This last line is very true about the person, but not about the skills that are needed to make a successful Inventor in the 21st century and beyond. Those skills can be learned and must be acquired if an Inventor hopes to succeed in his chosen field.