There was once a time where many of the tech innovations that we are familiar with today were developed or “invented” by leading international brands. After all; they had the resources (i.e. manpower and money) to research and develop new technologies! The thing is, much of the new technology getting developed in the 21st century is no longer the domain of established corporations.
Believe it or not, enterprising inventors with little more than a garden shed and some tools are inventing new products or streamlining existing ones. While backyard inventions aren’t anything new, what might surprise you is how they turn their creations into internationally-acclaimed products!
So, what are the secrets of success to these inventors? And how do they manage to catch the attention of the big brands that sometimes struggle to come up with new concepts in-house? It turns out that the “secrets” are actually pretty well-known! Let me share with you how they do it:
They embrace low-cost and open-source technology
You might think that it would cost thousands to come up with a professionally-designed blueprint for a new product. And you may even assume that inventors would have to invest their life savings in expensive equipment to prototype and test their creations.
Things have changed in the world of inventions in the 21st century. For a start, many of the powerful CAD software packages that engineers and inventors use are also available as low-cost or open-source versions. In fact, there are free software programs that rival applications such as AutoCAD.
And when it comes to building prototypes, 3D printers make it possible to create small-scale versions of inventions without needing to spend a lot of money.
They work with creative manufacturing firms
When you have a new idea for a product, you are likely to meet some criticism from certain groups of people. While constructive criticism is one thing, there are those that are not receptive to new ideas or radical changes to improve existing ones.
To combat such roadblocks, inventors tend to partner up with companies that are known for developing creative solutions. For instance, let’s say that you are developing a product that has a control panel with buttons on it.
Existing solutions might involve the use of PCs attached to and controlling such equipment. But, your idea is to use a keypad that the end user can easily access, keeping costs down and lowering the footprint needed to set up your device. You could work with a manufacturer of membrane keyboards that don’t require you to order large volumes of items – perfect for keeping your prototype costs down!
They crowdfund their capital
Once upon a time, inventors would have to turn to wealthy backers with deep pockets to realize the potential of a particular idea. Nowadays, people can simple ask the general public for funding. In return, they get one of the first production products sent out to them before they go on general sale.
Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are in abundance these days, making it easy to inventors to invest in the tools and materials needed to create marketable versions of their prototypes.