I really get my kicks when someone ask me to invent something for them.
Are you the same way? Would you rather be getting a root canal then
having to invent something? For me it’s the challenge.
Going back to when I was a kid, many years ago, I always had fun inventing
things. I wish I could tape record my mind. I have so many ideas
run through my head that go as fast as they come, unless I catch
I keep a pad of paper and a pencil next to my bed. Many nights I will
have a problem that needs a solution. I try to think about the
problem just before going to sleep. Many times during the night I
will wake up with the answer to my problem.
I have gone back to sleep thinking I will remember the solution to my
problem in the morning. WRONG! If I don’t write it down when it
comes to me, it’s gone.
I use this technique fairly often. I may have to do some serious
squinting to figure out what I wrote in the morning. I don’t turn on
the light when the thought hits me. I just grab the pencil and pad
and write the best I can.
All of this goes back to me inventing. My mind is always looking for
ways to improve things. I live in a house with a small kitchen. I
am going to move a wall to make it a little bigger. The corner base
cabinets are a lot of wasted space. There are lazy susans etc. but I
want to use the space even more. There has to be a way, and I will
come up with it.
Many times during the day my mind will come up with an idea, If the idea
has any merit, I will jot it down. I assemble all the ideas and then
see if any of them will solve the problem.
I get a phenomenal charge out of solving invention type problems. I
never get tired of the process. Find something you want to invent.
Whether it’s improving something that already exists or making
something new, let yourself get into it.
If your the inventive type, you will always walk 2 feet off of the
ground. I don’t hardly ever wear my shoes out!
skistrail on November 8th 2011 in Inventors Mindset
How do you approach a project? By that I mean, do you look at a project
and say to yourself, Looks pretty tough, I don’t think that will
work. Could it be that you look at a project and say It’s going to
be tough but I think I can make it work.
Let’s look at a couple of different ways to see the same project. I just
got 6 inches of wet sloppy snow last night ( and I did ). I need to
shovel the walk and driveway. My snow shovel is broken.
My snow shovel is broken. There is 6 inches of snow out there. I
would need to go to the store and get another one. With all that
snow, I will probably get into and accident or get stuck. I think
I will just let the city fine me for not shoveling the walk.
My snow shovel is broken. There is 6 inches of snow out there. I
need to go to the store and get another one. I have good tires,
and as long as I take it easy, everything will be just fine. I
don’t need to give the city my money for not shoveling the side
walk, besides it’s good exorcize.
Same scenarios but different outcomes. Which one are you? If you are
number 1, unless you change your mindset, you are probably not the
inventor type. The number 2 looks at a problem in a different way.
There are obstacle in the way whether you are inventing or in everyday
life. Your approach to obstacles determines your determination on
how to solve them.
It all boils down to this.
When you encounter a problem, do you look at all the obstacle in the
way and say it won’t work. OR
When you encounter a problem, do you look at all the obstacle and say:
How can I make it work?
Just because you see problems, they could be more than you are willing to
do to solve them. For example let’s say I want to run the mile in 4
minutes. I am 65 and in OK health but not the greatest. If I
determined that I really wanted to run the mile in 4 minutes, I would
have to train. I would have to run a lot of miles to get in shape
let alone get be able to run that mile in four minutes. I think I
could say that the I would change my goal. I don’t think I would
want to commit to so much work. On the other hand, if I wanted that
goal really bad, I may well commit to the training.
At some point in time you have to realize that you are not willing to do
what it takes. Whether that be time, money or other factors that
don’t make sense to continue. It was not that you quit before trying
to clear the obstacles.
skistrail on November 2nd 2011 in Inventors Mindset
~Darn flyswatter just won’t hit that fly! What would you do to the
flyswatter to make it to where it would hit the fly? If you can come
up with an answer to that question, you qualify as an inventor. You
don’t have to know how to build the new and improved flyswatter. You
just need to be able to explain what you think it needs.
~This shirt feels very uncomfortable. If you can figure out what needs to
be done to alter the shirt, you have graduated into the inventor
class. You have found a problem and figured out a way to solve it.
There are many inventions put out to the public that are in need of
~That sprinkler just won’t do the job I want. You have a pretty good idea
as to what a sprinkler needs to do to fill your need. You can design
the item and give it to someone to build it. You have just taken the
next step in the invention ladder.
~That guy came up with a good idea. The way he showed it to you, you
didn’t think it will work. So you built a model of what you were
given and you also built one the way you think it should be. You
presented the two models to the guy that gave it to you. He agrees
the model you built would work, his wouldn’t. You are an inventor.
~There has to be a better way to shield your eyes from the sun while
driving. A visor and sunglasses are not enough for some people. You
set out to find a solution. You can visualize in your mind the sun
in your eyes. You run all kinds of possible remedies through your
brain. You finally come up with something you think will work. You
build it and test it. It works. You have built an invention.
It doesn’t matter whether you just came up with the idea, or completely
built it. You have the creative mind of an inventor. What if you
went to the store and found a similar product to your invention on
the shelf. Does it make you less of an inventor? To my mind, you
found a need, and made a solution. The only difference is that you
can’t make more and sell them if it is patented.
INVENTION IDEA: I was given this idea by a salesman in Florida. He suggested
an edging for flower beds with sprinkling holes in it. You would
hook up a hose to the edging, and the bed would get watered. If it’s
something you think worth investigating. Go for it!
skistrail on October 7th 2011 in Inventors Mindset
What part do you want to play in an invention? All thumbs, but you can
still come up with worthwhile ideas. Idea person, a good planner but
not to handy. And then there is the person that can see and build
We all have invention ideas. Probably about 90% get forgotten. Half of
what’s left fall flat and what’s left has some degree of success.
How many of the forgotten 90% would have been good inventions?
My Minister back in Minnesota did not know which end of a hammer was
which. He was a great orator. Besides the gift of gab, he had a
great knack of coming up with ideas that could be inventions.
So you have come up with what you think is a great idea. A terrific
invention but don’t have the funds to bring it to the market. You
also don’t know how to build it. Depending how much money it’s going
to take, you can pair up with someone that has the time to make it or
the money to have it made.
There is an important part of the invention between the idea and the
product. Someone has to have the vision of how it’s made and used.
It’s hard to make something abstract. One has to visualize it in
there mind before they can build it.
Another role in the invention game is someone that has a great idea. That
person can visualize it but doesn’t have the skills to build it.
Here again finding someone that can build your project is determined
by the difficulty.
Then there is me. I have been truly blessed. This is not to sound like
bragging because I fall short in many other areas. I can see a need,
visualize it and in most cases build it. There happen to be many
people that have been blessed with similar skills.
It doesn’t matter which catagory one falls into, everyone can come up with great invention ideas.
I will talk about my style of inventing in the next post.
skistrail on October 5th 2011 in Inventors Mindset