Happy New Year from Edison Nation! It’s a new year and a new decade, and there’s no limit to what you may achieve!
Although we aren’t yet traveling in flying cars or sharing our homes with robot butlers, which some predicted would have happened by now, the world is undoubtedly a different place than it was 50 or even 10 years ago. Rapid advancements in production, logistics, and information technology have created a fertile ground for invention in the 21st century. It’s a great time to be an innovator!
To help you get the most out of this exciting moment—flying cars or no—we’ve come up with a top 10 list of inventor resolutions that will help your ideas soar in 2020.
10. Get organized.
While it’s a popular stereotype that successful inventors are absent-minded professor types, having your act together is actually key to success. Particularly if you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll be responsible for making sure all your paperwork is complete and up to date as you complete each step toward getting to market. You’ll also want to keep notes on your workshop successes and failures as you develop your project—don’t depend on your memory to retain all the details. For many, an inventor’s notebook is an indispensable tool.
Sadly, we all have limited time and attention—we simply can’t do it all, as much as we try. Multitasking, once considered a great way to get a lot done, is more and more being viewed as inhibiting productivity. When developing your invention, stay focused on the research and experimentation that actually serve you, and tune out the rest. This may occasionally require shifting gears, which brings us to number 8.
8. Consider new avenues for inspiration.
If you find yourself in a rut, change things up. While it’s important to maintain steady work habits, doing things exactly the same way each time can lead to a feeling of stagnation. You know how when you stop looking for that item you lost, it suddenly turns up? It’s like that. Shift your focus or try out a new routine, and you’re likely to find that your ideas begin flowing again.
7. Perfect your WOW statement.
As we noted in a previous post, the classic elevator pitch is losing ground to the more succinct and engaging WOW statement. This brief pitch piques your conversation partner’s interest without overwhelming them with information, and the process of crafting it will help you clarify what makes your product unique.
6. Remember that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Many successful inventions are actually tweaks on products that already exist, so don’t be too concerned with making something completely novel. Inventions from the cotton gin to the television employed the accumulated work of several inventors to reach their optimal state.
5. Don’t fear failure.
As Thomas Edison himself acknowledged many times, failures are just steps on the path to eventual success. Learn from them. Edison said it best: “I can never find the things that work best until I know the things that don’t work.”
4. Find your market.
The importance of knowing your target market can’t be overstated. No matter how novel your idea, the likelihood is that only a small percentage of the overall population is likely to buy it. Conduct target research to find your audience, then see what products similar to yours already exist for that audience. With some exceptions, the sweet spot for an invention is having a small number of competitors.
3. Engage with your community.
As Edison knew well, success doesn’t occur in a vacuum, but as the result of many minds coming together as they did in his Menlo Park research laboratory. Reach out to your mentors and other inventors for advice and information, as well as to celebrate joys and recover from disappointments. Attend conferences and trade shows, and participate in online communities such as the Edison Nation forums. By linking up with other innovators, you’ll meet benchmarks faster and have a richer journey as you do so.
2. Persist, persist, persist.
As you’ve likely already discovered, the road to market is rarely obstacle free. As mentioned in resolution 5, failure is an inevitable component of success. When you hit a roadblock, take a minute to recover and then get right back to it. And if you’re feeling discouraged, check in with some Edison Nation members for motivation!
1. Watch the new season of Everyday Edisons!
Premiering on National Inventor’s Day, February 11, 2020, the inspirational series about inventing is back and better than ever. You’ll see talented inventors compete to have their product supported by Edison Nation, receiving mentorship from successful entrepreneurs along the way. The rebooted series will have a special focus on education, so you’ll learn about everything from prototypes to patents alongside the contestants. Perhaps you’ll even be inspired to try out to be one of next season’s Everyday Edisons!
How do you plan to make your 2020 a success? Let us know in the comments.