Prototyping - Deepstash
Prototyping

Prototyping

Step 1: Research and model

Inventors start with representations before they make something.

  • Research to find available materials and possible technologies to use.
  • Draw the idea with a pencil on paper.
  • Make a model using cardboard, tape and hot glue.
  • Create a 2-D and 3 D digital model.

Step 2: Experiment

Test your prototype, improve it, then test again until there is no room for improvement. Use milling machines or 3-D printers.

Step 3: Finalize

The final prototype should be presentable to potential investors and customers. Hire expert help with your final creation if it's needed.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The inventor's handbook

Funding

Most inventions that die do so because they lack funding. Funding options include:

  • Crowdfunding.
  • Competitions. In 2007, NASA used a competition to design the next generation of astronaut gloves.
  • Self-funding.
  • Investors. The best way to pitch your idea is with a personal connection or introduction. However, many VCs and angels publicly post their emails or are active on Twitter.
  • Outsourcing. License or sell your intellectual property as it can help others to apply your idea to their own needs.

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Anyone can be an inventor

These days, practically anyone can be an inventor.

You don't have to be an expert in a field to contribute. You can become an inventor simply by having an idea and refining it.

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Ideas on ideation

Inventions start with a good idea. And a good idea comes from inspiration.

Advice from successful entrepreneurs and invention experts:

  • Limor Fried, Founder and Lead Engineer at Adafruit, states that he gets inspiration from a Show and Tell they do every Wednesday in a live Google+ hangout.
  • Eric Hintz from The Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation says history shows that inventors often find the world irritating and want to fix it.

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Product to market

Ideally, you will have a community of true believers who support your product. They should get your prototypes first as they will give valuable feedback and promote the product.

  • A broader reach is possible by spreading information at conferences, meetups, and hackathons and write about it in forums and blogs.
  • The media is also a valuable source to reach new audiences.
  • Grab every opportunity for an interview.
  • Use feedback and market research to determine demand and set the pace for scaling up.

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RELATED IDEA

Inventions Come in Stages

Invention often comes in stages and phases, when existing technology is looked at and mixed with new creative insights, a process that sometimes takes thousands of years.

This makes it hard to pinpoint the exact time and place a certain object is invented.

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LIGHT-BULB

Incandescent light bulbs existed before Thomas Edison, and when other inventors got wind of Edison's tinkerings, they roundly sued him for patent infringement. 

So what did Edison actually do?

He discovered that a special species of bamboo had a higher resistance to electricity than carbonized paper, which means it could more efficiently produce light. Edison got rich off the bamboo, and from superior manufacturing and marketing of his product. 

Like all great inventions, the light bulb can’t be credited to one inventor. It was a series of small improvements.

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Electricity

There is no single man who can be truly credited for the discovery of electricity, but some of the names which would pop up in the list include Benjamin Franklin and his kite experiment, and Nikola Tesla who is often dubbed as the father of electricity because of his understandings of this force behind most of the everyday items which we use today. From home entertainment to the lights outside the road, electricity is behind it.

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