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To Become An Inventor Think Off-The-Wall

Updated on November 19, 2014

We live an MCQ lifestyle which is non inventor-friendly

You are definitely familiar with MCQs or Multiple Choice Questions which have a number of options for the correct answer. You have to choose the right answer out of a number of options.

That being said, I am forwarding my theory stating that we generally live an MCQ lifestyle. For instance when you get down at the bus stop while returning home from your office you have the following options to reach home:

a. Board a taxi.

b. Walk home on foot.

c. Hire an auto-rickshaw

and so on.

You may have more or less options than that. You choose one of them.

You will observe that you have a number of choices at every step in your daily life, the readily available choices. You have ready-to-eat food. You just have to choose your plate. In the above example, when you reach home you change from formals to casuals from a number of different dresses. What do you do a little later? You want to relax.


a. Have a cup of coffee and watch TV.

b. Go for a walk in the park.

c. Cook a dish.

d. Surf the internet.

Make a choice. Everything is tailor made for you. You need not think. You need not consume your grey matter. your mind is a slave of what is being served to you.

Do you now agree that we are, in general, living an MCQ life?

An inventor thinks in an unconventional way.
An inventor thinks in an unconventional way. | Source
Thomas Alva Edison, the greatest inventor of all times
Thomas Alva Edison, the greatest inventor of all times | Source

How to think like an inventor?

Thinking like an inventor requires you to think everything upside down. The formula is to think wildly, think differently, think unconventionally. Do not depend on the readily available choices. Create new options.Be bold enough to think off-the-wall.

When you get down at the bus stop, why can't the house come running to you, rather than you reaching home? Do not laugh it away saying, "What an impossible proposition!" This can be an option if you believe it can be. It can be an option because you do not depend on the existing options. You have chlorophyll and so you believe you have the ability to prepare original food and not depend on the existing food like herbivores and carnivores. You can make it happen because Edison made the light bulb glow in his some thousandth effort.

A friend of mine once connected two fan regulators in cascade wherein he could have five variations of speed with the second regulator under one variety of the first regulator. He named these speeds as 1A, !B, 1C,.....3E, 4A, 4B....5D, 5E. He would say things like, "I prefer 2B or 2C in the evenings of October but go for 1C or 1D as November arrives." Though the arrangement was not very useful it opened ways for newer thoughts. The idea could be useful for perfecting things and providing more and finer choices to the end users.

The crux of the matter is that nothing debars you from thinking far and wide. Unless you do so there are little chances you will invent anything. Think about what you are not getting, what you can improvise, which you are not able to analyse easily, what you can provide to the society to make the life of people comfortable and you find yourself on the verge of an invention or discovery.

Generating new ideas is good but what you think must be turned into reality

Very often an invention cannot take place because the thought does not become a reality. You have a new home appliance idea, you have a new business idea, a new gadget idea but nothing fructifies. why? This is due to lacking in self-belief. You don't believe that what you think can become a game changer invention. The thoughts will not take shape unless you take action. If you fully believe that your thoughts could give rise to an invention you must not shy away from action. There are many demotivators always present around us in the form of friends, colleagues, even family members. They more often than not, discourage intentionally or unintentionally when they know that you are on the verge of doing something miraculous.

But if you have an idea that you think, can bring a change however small or big that may be, forget what others have to say and go after it with single minded dedication. You will soon observe that even the remotest possibilities can be turned into inventions. A dogged attempt provides the way and as the threshold of the invention is in sight your zeal and vigor take control. Everything else is taken care of automatically.

This is the best video I have watched on the subject.

Does your invention serve a real purpose?

It is very important that your invention or would-be-invention serves a real purpose. In other words it must be useful for something and somebody. It must be a cutting edge solution to a problem. For instance some one would have invented the fast ice-maker functionality unit of the fridge. This feature was missing in the early refrigerators. But the invention definitely helped solve a genuine problem. It solved a purpose which was hither-to unsolved. Then it was so much in demand that it started getting incorporated in every fridge. In a nutshell, an invention takes place due to a necessity and so it must do away with the existing problem.

If the words 'real purpose' still do not make sense to you, read below:

Bridging the gap between the dreams and the realities

You must be a dreamer to be an inventor. Not a shade of doubt about that. But mere dreaming is not inventing. You will have to get down to real working with your tools and equipment. Your dreams provide you the idea. But how you implement it to create a new thing is a different story. You will have to bridge up the gap between your dream and the way you achieve it practically . In the first example that I mentioned above, I asked you why the house could not come running to you? That might be possible but it seems a bit too far from reality. Perhaps the idea of a portable house might be more practical. Perhaps one can carry some pieces in a suitcase and they can be connected to form a portable house that will at the least provide you some privacy to change your clothes.

See how an idea develops:

'A' thinks the ultimate juicer has not arrived as yet. It will even peel any fruit put into the squeeze cavity and so you need not do anything else but drink your glass full of juice. 'B' does not believe it can be achieved.

A: I say it can be done.

B: Fruits are of different sizes and shapes. How is it possible?

A: What about a cavity that adjusts itself to the fruit shape and size?

B: Well that sounds nice. But how will it be possible?

A: By the choice of cavity material and computerized control.

B: OK, agreed. Say that is done. How will the fruit be peeled then?

A: I think we have to use a tool other than a peeler or cutter because peeling an orange is different from peeling a pomegranate. Hmm...may be I shall find a way and tell you later.

In the above discussion we find that 'A' has the ability to think in steps and find solutions to the difficulties existing at every step. So 'A' seems to be a perspective inventor. Well, let 'A' keep thinking to find a solution to the automatic peeling problem while we move ahead.

An inventor must get down to real work
An inventor must get down to real work | Source

Fine tuning your invention

This is a step after you have passed through all the phases and nearing completion. It may also be called the concluding part. Once your invention passes the testing phase successfully and starts performing, both kudos and criticisms follow. Though an inventor cannot stagnate at one point yet she/ he is also a perfectionist. So a phase of improvisation starts. Even professional researchers create higher versions of the same product and keep on upgrading in the process. With each improvisation your product gets better, goes upgraded, the service it provides nears perfection. Besides, you stand to gain knowledge and sharpen your skills.

Whether you have designed a home appliance, created a new toy or an app, everything needs to get better. If you do not know how and why read or try to know the users' reviews and reactions. From there you will definitely get to know what you have designed excellently and what does your creation lack or in what terms it has to be upgraded. You may have to trade-off with some earlier features and incorporate some entirely new features.

Who are the potential inventors?

The following kinds of people are potential inventors:

1. One who analyses a lot

2. One who possesses a scientific way of thinking

3. An optimist

4. One who is ultra-sensitive

5. A perfectionist

6. One who day dreams

7. One who accumulates and combines concepts.

8. A curious person.


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