In art, a common thing to do is flip your work upside down. This allows the artist to get a fresh perspective and see things they didn’t notice before. When inventing, it is also helpful to get a fresh perspective.
Inventing is basically solving problems, and as many of you know, a common problem-solving method is to look at problems from different angles. Gaining a new perspective is about breaking down the mental barriers your brain has installed naturally. These barriers are caused by fear and past experiences. Society has taught you how to think, and until you change your perspective, you will continue to think the way you have been taught.
Unlike art, where it is obvious how to gain a new perspective, it is harder to do so when coming up with an invention idea. I have looked into different methods of changing perspective from an inventing standpoint, and have come up with seven main ways to develop a new perspective on problems.
1. Apply the same problem to a different situation – I mentioned this in Getting Started Inventing. This is when you take the basis of a problem and apply it to a different situation. This allows your brain to break down some of the barriers it has created by thinking about the problem in one context for so long.
2. Over simplify the problem by locating the cause – We tend to look at problems in a very broad way; however, there is most likely one main cause for your problem. Break your problem down into different steps and find the exact spot at which the problem occurs. Looking at this specific cause will allow you to have a more narrow view of the problem; therefore, you will be able to solve it with an invention idea that is simple instead of complex.
3. Look at past inventions that solve a similar problem – There have been tons of invention ideas and innovations in the world; someone is bound to have solved a similar problem at some point. Looking at how they solved the problem can help to spark an idea for you. Example: Someone once solved forgetfulness by developing a calendar system with reminders for electronic devices. This leads me to think an invention idea that works as a reminder system could work.
To move further with your idea/product and make it successful, you can get help from experts. There many patent firms that help individuals and companies to bring their ideas into reality. We recommend you to get in touch with InventHelp. They have been helping innovators for a long time. You can check this article: https://www.jpost.com/Special-Content/Get-Your-Invention-Off-the-Ground-with-the-Support-of-InventHelp-624132 to learn how they can help you with you innovation or you can subscribe to their Twitter handle here: https://twitter.com/inventhelp for new updates.
4. Ignore your physical boundaries – This might sound kind of crazy, but just try it, you will be surprised. Most problems wouldn’t even be a problem if humans weren’t limited by physical limits such as gravity. When solving a problem look past these limitations and it will open your mind to new solutions to the problem.
Thinking that I am able to get the shampoo out of my cabinet without getting out of the shower because I have super long arms. This makes me think I could solve the problem by simply having a way for the shampoo to be reachable when I am in the shower, maybe a drawer under the shower.
5. Look at your current solution – What is being done right now to fix the problem? Chances are that something is being done to fix the problem currently; looking at this can give you ideas about how to advance this further in order to come up with an invention idea.
6. Change the values of the situation – This method comes from programming. In programming, you can change the values in order to test how they change the situation; this helps you solve the problem. Changing values can be used in solving a problem for an invention idea as well, by changing the things that make the situation the way it is.
7. Look at the problem as a solution – This is pretty tough to do with some problems, especially the one I am using as an example, but I will explain anyway. This is switching the problem and the solution. You now have the solution and are finding the problem. For example, the solution to my problem is now me forgetting shampoo.
A problem that would lead to me being forgetful would be me being tired. This allows me to take another step away from the problem in order to develop a new invention idea.