Inventor’s Skill Set

Avoiding the Major Pitfalls of Tinkering

Many people are attracted to tinkering and possibly inventing the next million-dollar idea, but besides a strong desire to tinker, one needs the proper skill set, yet many people don’t have all the aptitudes.

Watch product testing segments on America’s Test Kitchen, and from time to time you’ll see some laugh out loud poorly designed products. For instance, a commuter coffee mug with an unmovable lid that covered most of the user’s face while drinking, not so good while driving. Some people don’t have all the skills necessary to think through, tinker, design, invent, and market products, and that may well explain some of the useless products in the marketplace.

Know what business skills you may be lacking or have little interest in performing. Be aware of what it is about tinkering or inventing that appeal to you. Necessary skills and tasks will vary depending on the kind of product and industry involved.

How will you compensate for those areas in which you lack? Find a good partner with the missing skills, hire a competent freelancer or small businessperson to perform the tasks, or rethink the original idea?

Tip:  A lot of time can be saved in advance by having answers, such as checklists, for the questions in the last two paragraphs.



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