Inventing 101: Deconstructing Edison Nation’s Submission Form – Defining the Problem

Inventing 101: Deconstructing Edison Nation’s Submission Form – Defining the Problem

What Problem Does Your Idea Solve?

When you submit an invention idea to Edison Nation’s secure platform, you have to be ready to share and explain exactly what problem your invention idea solves.

?Given one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and 5 minutes finding the solution.?

-Albert Einstein


As innovators, you may feel that your purpose is to find solutions, which, in part is true. But, before you can come up with a solution, you have to identify the problem you are trying to solve.

You may have a fantastic idea for a flying car, but in order to create the best flying car you can, you need to identify the problem, or the need for the product in the first place.

When we ask you ?What problem does your idea solve?? in the submission form, we do not want you to gloss over the question. We want you to take a step back and devote as much attention and dedication to defining the problem as possible. While it may seem like an added step, by defining the problem properly, you make it easier to solve, which means saving time, money and resources, and who knows, your solution may be even stronger than when you began!

Once you’ve had your “light bulb” moment, even before you outline your solution, describe your problem by writing a problem statement. This statement must answer the following three questions:

  • What is the problem or need?
  • Who has the problem or need?
  • Why is it important to solve?

The format for writing an effective problem statement uses your answers to these questions and follows the following guidelines: Who need(s) what because why.

The problem statement should NOT:

  • Address more than one problem
  • Assign a cause
  • Assign blame
  • Offer a solution

Why is all this important and how will identifying the problem your invention idea solves help the Edison Nation Review team evaluate your idea?

When Edison Nation has a thorough understanding of the problem your idea is trying to solve, we automatically have a better understanding of the idea itself. It also helps us craft our pitch to potential licensing partners to convince them to add YOUR product to their line versus other solutions.

If you have time, go back to one (or all) of your submissions and see if you clearly identified the problem within the form. If the answer is no, write a clear problem statement and see if there are improvements you can make to that idea that may help it either in its current search or for future searches!

Happy Inventing!

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2 Comments Inventing 101: Deconstructing Edison Nation’s Submission Form – Defining the Problem

  1. Derrick James

    Excellent post. If you spend enough time understanding and defining the problem, many times the solution just fall right into place.

  2. Mary Dickson

    Thanks for the feedback Derrick! Glad this post is useful for you (and hopefully all inventors! 🙂

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