Being an inventor is a challenging yet rewarding vocation. In fact, to be a successful inventor, you must remain creative, motivated, mentally supple and prepared for change at all times. One of the best ways to stay abreast to your world is by cultivating inventor resources.
"There are no rules here—we're trying to accomplish something." ~ Thomas Edison
It doesn't matter whether you're looking to create a new form of artificial intelligence, build the world's most revolutionary vacuum cleaner or bring a road-legal hoverboard to life, the journey you take from the ideation process to the end product requires a great deal of patience, persistence, resilience and effort.
Inventor resources for each major stage of the journey
Being an inventor is tough, but fortunately, we live in a world where technology can give our ideas some oomph. Here are four essential inventor resources to help you on your journey to that next big creation.
Once you've developed your initial idea and started to iron out the details, the next logical step is funding. Because without capital on your side, the chances of making your potential invention a tangible reality will be slim to none.
For inventors, crowdfunding is a tried-and-tested means of raising the funds you need to get your project off the ground.
And by running a crowdfunding campaign, you'll be able to gain insight into the validity of your idea from the feedback and the level of financial backing you get from campaign’s patrons. And this kind of information can prove invaluable when it comes to refining your invention.
Last year alone, an impressive $34 billion was raised in crowdfunding, along with $25 billion from peer-to-peer lending. And if you launch an effective campaign, a slice of the the pie could be yours.
To help you get started, here are a few of the best inventor resources for crowdfunding:
- Kickstarter: One of the most varied and popular of all crowdfunding sites, the platform is easy to navigate and provides a great deal of exposure.
- Quirky: For tech and gadget creators, Quirky is a platform that is incredibly community-based. To qualify for funding, the Quirky community has to approve your idea, but if it does get approved, the potential for healthy funding is excellent.
- The invention grants guide: Although this isn't a crowdfunding platform, if you're looking to earn a rewarding grant for your invention, this website offers priceless information on how to gain the funding you need to develop and commercialize your creation.
- Patreon: For ongoing creative projects, Patreon is an effective crowdfunding platform where backers commit to a monthly donation amount, which means you'll receive a regular income dedicated to the creation of your invention.
For more information on crowdfunding, check out our top 20 crowdfunding platforms for 2018.
On the whole, being an inventor is about creation and innovation, but achieving real success in the invention process requires collaboration. To strike up rewarding partnerships with other parties, the kind that can push your idea into new and exciting dimensions, you will need to network, network, network.
Arguably, of all the inventor resources for networking, the best has to be Edison Nation. It’s free to join and once you’re a member, you gain access to a thriving inventors forum where you can spark up meaningful threads — almost in real-time.
In addition, the intuitive platform will help match your invention with the most suitable companies and partners based on your product, ideas and end goals. It’s a must-use inventor resource for anyone looking to turn their invention idea into a reality.
If you're not able to adapt, grow and evolve, it's unlikely you'll ever become a successful inventor, and the best way to grow is through continual learning. One of the best places to start is a book called The Inventor’s Bible by Ronald Louis Docie, Sr. This paperback is one of the best educational inventor resources around, and it will provide an excellent go-to learning tool throughout your creative journey.
Distance learning platforms like FutureLearn offer a host of free (and rewarding) online courses that provide the flexibility and freedom to gain new qualifications in your potential field of expertise at a your own pace.
Intellectual property or ownership can be a tricky business, and while patenting might not necessarily come at the end or your invention journey, it is of vital importance if you wish to safeguard your potentially award-winning idea.
To understand the patenting process in greater detail and find out more about patenting your new and groundbreaking invention, here are some inventor resources that will help:
- Georgia Tech Library’s Quick Guide: Inventor Resources for Patents. A go-to guide for anything patent-related.
- The Official United States Patent and Trademark Office. This is recognized body for granting patents in the United States.
- Inventors Digest. In print for 32 years, this is the number one publication for inventors looking to refine their ideas and patent their inventions.
- Google Patents. This is Google’s free patent resource site. Much like its traditional search engine, it's possible to Google the patent-based information you're looking for and receive a wealth of information in an instant.
"Imagination and invention go hand in hand. Remember how lack of resources was never a problem in childhood games? Shift a few pieces of furniture around the living room, and you have yourself a fort. " ~ Alexandra Adornetto
We hope these essential inventor resources help you at every stage of your creative journey, and if you need a bespoke domain name for your invention's website or digital HQ, GoDaddy offers a host of options here.
For more invention-based inspiration, read our comprehensive guide on how to manufacture a product or invention.