How to Invent Something

How to Invent Something and Get New Ideas

Have you ever had ideas for innovative products but were unsure of the product development process or how to invent something? Perhaps your idea could become a new technology or among the new inventions for kids, or a new license plate idea. Maybe you have an interesting idea but you don’t know what to do next to turn it into reality. It is important to learn the product development process and about product licensing to help insure that your innovative ideas will appear as products on the market. This article offers some invent help.

Where Can You Get an Idea?
You can look all around you to get invention ideas for new products. You can get so into this process that you start looking at all the objects you see as the beginnings for ideas. I know that this happens to me when I start to really get into wanting to discover a new idea. You can look for inspiration in stores, at work, at home, at the movies, going to an interesting store, by listening to music, or changing your routine – there are lots of possibilities. Pay attention to the things you are drawn to, because these can help guide you in the right direction. Below are some things to look for in already existing products to help you create new ones.

1. Can you Create a Useful Product that Solves a Problem?
Look for problems that need to be solved and see if you can develop a product that can solve it. For example, you can search for articles that talk about problems needing to be solved with innovative products or everyday living. You can also post questions or surveys related to this online, asking people for their input, or ask people you know in your life. Watch how people use products at home, at work, and on their free time to see how you can make them better. Ask people what brands, styles, sizes, quality, materials etc. they use for a product and what features they like and dislike. What would they change, add, or remove from the product? This feedback will help you with your product design. You can also gather a lot of information from comments on products on sites like

2. What Products are Currently Popular and What New Product Would You Add?
What is currently popular and what other products might you be able to apply these concepts to? Make a list. Can you create a better product than the most popular existing products? You can do a patent search on the USPTO site to find patents to see if something similar to your idea already exists. Which products in stores have the most space, best display, and where would your new product fit in among the other items? Can you think of products that should be in stores but are not? What products would you put on the shelves that seem to be missing in certain categories? You can get ideas for categories by looking at stores like Some categories you might be interested in could be: Toy, Novelty, Gift, Environment, Child, Garden, Fish, Pet, Tool, Kitchen, Electrical etc.

3. What Are the Good and Bad Features of Products and Their Prices?
What are the best and worst features of current products? List them. Do they work as well as they should? How could you improve what is not working so well. Do the current products have missing details or flaws in appearance, product design or function that could be improved? Which products have the highest and lowest prices and can you make a product more cost-effective? Perhaps you could make the product with better and less materials or more light-weight materials.

4. How is the Product Used and Can You Think of New Uses and Combinations with Other Products?
In what ways do people use the product? Are there other products people use in the same or similar ways? Are there unusual uses for the product? Can you think of new uses? How can you combine a product to create a new product? Find a feature that works for one product, and see if you can apply it to another product. For example, look at all the products that use zippers. Can you think of another product that could use a zipper that is not currently using it?

5. Can You think of Useful Variations for a Product?
After listing the popular concepts, strengths and weaknesses of products and their uses and prices, can you come up with variations in Design, Uniqueness, Form, Technology, Size, Features, Efficiency, Convenience, New and Improved Materials/Uses, Packaging, Quality, Price?

Perhaps the product can be: made into a kit, made transparent or using water, made to save space or portable, made into a personalized product, have an electrical element added, be projected on a wall, use light or interesting colors? There are many possibilities for you to mix and match. List all possibilities you can think of and then focus on the best ones.

6 . Draw all Possibilities for Your Invention Ideas, Research Materials to Use, and Make Prototype if Needed
As you are listing all possibilities for your ideas, it is also good to make drawings of your ideas, this will generate even more concepts and help you to work out the details and see where you might need to make changes. Also, as you do this, think about the different materials that your idea could be made out of. For example, if you are making a toy for kids, would it be better for it to be made out of wood or plastic? Consider things such as safety and weight. Do you want your product to be lightweight and easy to ship? Look at what materials people are already using for the type of product you want to create. When you have ideas for what materials you might need to use, you can start searching for them online. You can request samples to be sent to you from wholesalers. Sometimes this is free and other times there is a charge.

7. Assess Your Idea to Make Sure it is Worth Pursuing
It is important to answer some significant questions about your idea before you move forward with it. You can find answers to some of the questions below in stores, the internet, trade associations and magazines etc. Also, look for industry experts in the area you want to persue.

1) How will your product be used? Can it be used in more than one market?

2) How can the product be manufactured and what packaging options does it have?

3) Who are the major and minor competitors in the market and what other products compete with yours? How is your idea valuable? How does your idea compare to other ideas in the market? What makes it stand out from other products? Does it offer something beneficial that customers would want that your competition is not offering?

4) Who will purchase your product? Who will be the typical customer? Ex. Women, Pet Owners, Artists, etc. Are you confident that your idea would sell well?

5) Is there a large enough market for your item? Are products that are similar to yours selling well?
Look for areas that have good potential for growth in various industries and categories of products. What trends are expected? What are the channels that your product could be sold through? Perhaps it would be a great “As Seen on TV” product. Maybe it could be sold through magazines, etc.

6) Where will your product be purchased? Ex: art stores, gift shops, travel stores etc.

7) How much will people be willing to pay for your item? What are the high and low prices of other products in your product category and who is buying them? Are they selling well; are the sales up or down? What are the price points for manufacturing, retail and wholesale?

8) When people look at or use your item, do they say “wow” because your product is unique?