Do you look at common inventions and think to yourself, I could’ve invented that? Chances are you could have! Here are some common, everyday inventions that were inspired by common, everyday experiences. May they inspire you to pursue your inventor’s dreams!
Inventor: Kimberly-Clark Company
Eureka!: The company was experimenting with crepe wading for its inaugural product offering: Kotex feminine napkins. After trying various pulps and blends, they created a softer crepe which became the inspiration for Kleenex facial tissue.
Inventor: George de Mestral
The Aha Moment: Believe it or not, it was all due to the annoying cocklebur. Fed up with removing them from his dog and jacket, de Mestral became curious about what made them so sticky and examined one under a microscope. This examination revealed loops and hooks (known as velours and crochets, in French), which provided the model and inspiration for a synthetic copy of this natural technology.
Inventor: Earle Dickson (cotton buyer for Johnson and Johnson)
The Bright Idea: The marriage bond prompted the spark for this invention. Dickson’s wife had a nasty habit of cutting her hands while preparing food and it was his concern for her that led to inventing a better way to protect her cuts and the Band-Aid was born!
Inventor: Walter Frederick Morrison
The Light Bulb: For fun the inventor and his girlfriend tossed the lid of a popcorn tin in their backyard, while waiting for Thanksgiving Dinner. Maybe this explains why it’s so popular to do on this occasion.
Inventor: Sara Blakely
The Genesis: About to go out on the town, the inventor cut the legs off of her pantyhose and wore them under her snug pants, to avoid “grid bottom” or the unsightly appearance of underwear lines. Thus Spanx was born!
Feeling inspired? Here are some tips for launching your Next Big Thing:
1) Validate the concept
2) Study the competition
3) Identify and target your prime audience/customer
4) Create a unique proposition
5) Define your marketing strategy and tactics (maybe read the classic The Art of War)
6) Test it out: do concept/market studies
7) Initiate the campaign, and,
8) Be clear about the lifecycle of your product – know when to upgrade!