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How to Come Up With Invention Ideas

Updated on November 14, 2016

Sitting down and coming up with a great idea for an invention is the most difficult part of innovation. Creativity and innovativeness aren’t tools at our command, they’re tied up in flashes of inspiration and sudden revelations. There are many different types of inventions, but at the end of the day, all great invention ideas fit into three categories.

Save Time

A common kind of invention is one that saves us time. As we increasingly spend our lives chained to the clock, it’s becoming more and more important to us to become efficient and to squeeze as many important tasks into the time we have as possible.

This kind of innovation often materializes in the form of more specialized tools. You can cut up vegetables with a knife, but a food processor does it much faster. Look at the things you spend time on every day, and think about how they could be accelerated.

Make Something Cheaper

Businesses and people alike love a great deal. Because of that, it’s always great when you can find a less expensive way to make high quality products. Often this means production process improvements, or tool and machine upgrades.

It could also take the form of developing or discovering better and less expensive materials for manufacturers. A great example of this kind of innovation are perovskite solar panels, which use cheaper materials and a less involved production process to make solar panels that are much more cost effective.

Solve a Problem

These are what most of us think of when we think about the great inventors of our time. These types of invention ideas redefine the way we do things and change the world. The easiest way to come up with this type of invention is to simply look at everyday life.

What frustrates you about your daily life? Is there a weird smell coming out of your garbage disposal? Do you think cat boxes are unsanitary? Does artificial light give you a headache? These small frustrations are the key to discovering demand. If something is irritating you, it’s probably also a concern for other people.

Why do these things happen? Why don’t we have cleaner plumbing? Who’s idea was it to put a box full of scented sand in the washroom anyway? Why doesn’t every apartment have way bigger windows? Asking why is the key to finding opportunities for solutions.

Could there be a better way? If I had the answer here, I’d be selling it to you. The next step after identifying why a problem exists is to find a new way around it: To innovate a solution. This often requires the most creative thinking on the part of the inventor, and it’s why we often admire inventors so much.

What problems will your inventions be able to solve? Every new inventor helps us move forward and become better as a society and as a species. Put on your thinking caps, and join us in innovating the future!


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