How do you get invention ideas?

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28 November 2018

It can be hard to pin point exactly where invention ideas come from and a lot of the time it feels like they pop into your head out of nowhere. Generally this is due to the invention ideas coming from a new place each time. I love coming up with new invention ideas and exploring where that idea goes. Whether it is solving a big problem or just a cool invention idea that is fun to make. My invention ideas tend to come from various sources at various times and they seem to be forming for a while before I have that light bulb moment. We all want that next big invention so how do you get invention ideas?

One of the best places to get invention ideas is through new experiences. Every time you experience something new you think differently from the person before you. That new mindset is amazing for spotting new opportunities that may have been missed. Another way is actively searching for inspiration. From articles and blogs to speaking with people about invention ideas. I also love getting blanks pieces of paper and writing down all sorts of crazy ideas and sketching them straight away.

Coming up with new invention ideas is a personal journey that will be different for everyone. What works for me, may not work for you. I will go into more detail on each of the ways I like to get new invention ideas and hopefully, after some practice, one of these ways may also work for you.

How to get invention ideas

New Experiences

Getting out and experiencing something new is an amazing way to get invention ideas, as well as having fun in the meantime. Go to a new country where the everyday struggles are different from your own, try a new sport, explore a new technology or go to your local makerspace. With every new experience you will naturally ask why constantly and will be able to quickly find new or better ways to solve a problem. Having a fresh pair of eyes to approach a new problem that occurs during this experience will help you to spot new opportunities for invention ideas. These invention ideas don’t always come during the experience so I like to reflect and chat with people about it afterwards. We can’t do new experiences all the time so need other places to get inspiration for invention ideas.

Searching for Inspiration

Find different ways to get initial inspiration that lights a spark giving you an invention idea. Searching through articles, blogs, pictures and videos is a quick and easy way to get large amounts of inspiration quickly. I might do this to either find a new innovative industry or learn more about that industry. Searching through this content whilst thinking about future invention ideas is an amazing way to find opportunities. Make notes on any findings that interest you. Taking on board a lot of content can start to get overwhelming so remember to step away, this could be the point when the invention idea comes to you.

Thinking (or not)

I think all good invention ideas come when your brain is free and not thinking. Your brain never stops working and if you overload yourself with information from social media, the internet and the world around you the invention ideas will get lost in all the noise. The best ideas for me come when I’m exercising, in the shower or in bed at night. During this time when you are relaxed your subconscious can come up with invention ideas without any extrinsic information guiding it. Sit back and relax, but remember to have a pen and paper nearby to write your next big idea down.

Explore a Problem

Almost all ideas start with a some sort of problem no matter how big or small. Sometimes it is easier to spot the problem before the invention idea that provides the solution. Once you know the problem explore everything about it from the initial causes to the after effects. Nothing beats getting out in the real world and just taking notice. Explore and observe the problem taking place, talk to the people who deal with it every day and make notes of the different situations in which the problem occurs. This practical research is an amazingly effective way to get an invention idea whilst also connecting with your potential customers. I like to find ways to track the exploration of problems usually by taking notes but sometimes this isn’t practical. That is when I like to reflect on what has happened.


Light an incense candle, cross your legs and watch the invention ideas flow. I’m just kidding, but taking a small amount of time to reflect on your day or experience helps with thinking about an invention idea from a new perspective. This can be just thoughts or writing down the what, why, how and who. Use this insight to come up with amazing invention ideas that solve real problems.

Pen and Paper

I usually use this method when I want to get into more detail about an invention idea. Mind mapping or sketching is a great way to quickly test and review ideas with no risk and no cost. I like to come up with a wide range of solutions to the same problems. Bringing together the best aspects from each into one amazing invention idea.


Notice how invention ideas come from all different places and the key is in recognising when you have a good one. I truly believe everybody has incredible ideas, all the time, but recognising these ideas is what sets people apart.

Hopefully now you have an amazing invention idea and it’s time to bring that idea to life!! Find out how InventPad can help you get started.

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