Inventors develop products with the hope it will make them rich and famous. Almost everybody has had an idea for an invention they think would make them money. Some people develop these ideas and put them on the market. Some decide the idea wasn’t as good as they first imagined and don’t follow up. Inventing is a slow and deliberate process.

Types of Inventors

Most inventors don’t invent something from completely new research, but most work like Edison. They use applied research. They see an improvement in something. If the change is Thomas Edison(113724)Credit: Public Domainsubstantial, they can receive a patent on the changes. Others have an idea to invent a new product and develop it from scratch. This allows them to apply for a patent on their product. Both methods require training and education for the best results to invent something.

Education and Training to Become an Inventor

Science courses are a must. These can be taken in high school, community colleges or universities. Taking courses relating to interested areas such as electricity or mechanical systems are a priority. Reading current magazines in the field will keep the inventor up to date with the current knowledge, and even produce ideas.

The electrical genius, Nikola Tesla, was an employee of Thomas Edison’s invention factory in the 1880s. They were both geniuses, and a debate still rages which was better. They had their differences, but Tesla pointed out the most practical. Edison was self-educated, while Tesla

Nikola Tesla(113723)Credit: Public Domain Time Magazine

studied physics, mathematics and other sciences in European Universities. Tesla felt that Edison made up for his lack of book knowledge, by work. Edison experimented until he found something that worked. If Edison had had more education, he would have been able to cut down the number of experiments to achieve the result he wanted. While the method worked for Edison, a good science and engineering education will shorten the path to a product. The well-educated inventor should be able to recognize a perpetual motion machine and know why these machines don’t work.

Notebooks for the Inventor

Notebooks are a necessary tool for the inventor. They should be bound and each page numbered. In these, the inventor will document is work with notes, sketches and experimental results. A sketch is sometimes all that is needed to prove conception and proof of invention. Notebooks can be used as evidence in legal cases. Having a person sign and date pages of interest provides further proof of time of the idea.

It is important to keep good records in notebooks. This allows another person to make parts or devices from the information. Tesla kept extensive notebooks of his thoughts, ideas and designs. His failing was that sometimes, the results of his experiments were vague and cursory. All notebook entries should be as complete and accurate as possible. An inventor may want to refer to them at a later time for ideas, or try something different.

Marketing for Inventors

After the invention, marketing is the next step. The skills to market and sell the object are different from those required to invent it. It may require the entrepreneur inventor to set up a company to manufacture, market and sell the product. Another possibility would be to allow a company to make it that makes a similar product. They would market it along with their other products and pay the inventor royalties for the sales of his item.

Organizations for Inventors

Like any other group inventors have associations they can join. These organizations allow networking and exchanging information between members. They also are likely to publish a magazine that contains useful information. These associations and publications can be a significant amount of help and information.