A life-long inventor details the steps for creating a successful invention, from brainstorming ideas to successful marketing.
Having worked as an independent inventor and entrepreneur for more than 40 years, Cairns shares his accumulated wisdom by attempting to walk would-be inventors through every stage of the inventing process. Early chapters are devoted to methods for cultivating ideas, teaching inventors to focus on problems that require solutions and visualizing the creations that can be used to solve them. The author claims that similar texts are deficient in this area and purports to present more detailed information. While he does offer valuable advice, these chapters are, in truth, both brief and general. The remainder of the book covers a range of pertinent topics, including methods for obtaining funding, filing for patents, licensing ideas vs. forming partnerships, ways to cash in on an invention and how to launch a business. The author also covers important post-invention activities, such as safety testing and the process of creating warranties. The sequential organization of the chapters gives the narrative a logical flow, providing a solid, if basic, overview of the inventing process. In many ways, the book reads like a blog, with hypothetical examples and stories from the author’s own career (highlighted by his great success in patenting and selling underwater electrical connectors) interspersed with technical information and links to valuable websites (U.S. Patent Office, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and more) that provide more specific information. In addition to its lucid prose, this structure is the book’s greatest strength. The sections that point readers to resources that can guide them through the ins and outs of their particular inventions are far more valuable than the chapters that recommend finding a good patent attorney and applying common sense when assessing financial expectations.
Doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but does make the process of creating one easier.