Are you looking for a career that allows you to be creative, solve complex problems, and positively impact the world? Consider becoming an inventor! As a practicing inventor and having trained thousands of other inventors, helping many get their first patents, I am a unique witness to why inventing can be a tough path.
If you’re an inventor, you know that the journey to patenting your invention is not easy. Those who don’t know but are willing to start should know there are countless challenges and hurdles to overcome, and it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. To help you stay motivated on your path to success, we’ve compiled ten areas you may struggle with as you work through the invention process.
Inventor Challenge 1: Frustrated, You Feel Like No One Understands
When an inventor begins the patent process, it is common for him or her to feel confident that his or her ideas are novel and that no one else has done what has been accomplished. However, when explaining the work done, the company and patent attorney often fail to grasp the significance of the novelty. Typically, the inventor makes no specific claims about their invention compared to existing works. Instead, the inventor dwells extensively upon said benefits. Patents focus on the “How,” not the “What,” of an invention. The “how” is not specified sufficiently by inventors, which weakens their claim over existing works. It’s difficult for the inventor to communicate with others because they often feel like no one gets it. At the very least, this makes it more bearable for the procedure to succeed. Rare is the expert who can immediately articulate a claim over the prior art upon hearing only the functional benefits of the inventor’s idea. If this is the case, we encourage the inventor to find a co-inventor who can quickly articulate the claim or hand in the invention and go through the proper channels.
Inventor Challenge 2:You experience Jealousy
Dealing with jealous coworkers can be difficult and demoralizing for a company’s inventors. Resentment from coworkers or superiors is common when an inventor sees their ideas and innovations rewarded. This can create a hostile work environment in which the inventor feels isolated, devalued, or harassed for their ideas. If the inventor works with envious coworkers, it could slow down the development of their inventions. Furthermore, jealousy can lower an inventor’s self-confidence and enthusiasm for their work, which can negatively impact output and creativity. A company must identify and address any envy within its ranks to foster an environment where all workers feel appreciated. Many inventors have told me confidently that jealousy is a major obstacle for them to overcome.
Inventor Challenge 3: You feel like it’s hard and almost insurmountable
It can be challenging for inventors to work on their creations in addition to their regular day jobs. Trying to manage both at once can drain your energy and motivation. If the inventor doesn’t have enough time or money, they might not be able to give their all to developing their invention. The stresses of a full-time job can make it hard to stay motivated and on task. Furthermore, many inventors do not receive the support or recognition they need from their company during the early stages of invention development, which can further demotivate them. An employee of a tech firm who, say, created a groundbreaking piece of software in their spare time may feel demoralized if they aren’t given credit for their efforts and rewarded for them. Negative people often contribute to an already difficult situation.
The difficulties of working on an invention while holding down a full-time job at a company can be mitigated by the inventor making a schedule and setting goals for themselves. The inventor can better manage their time and make progress on their invention if they establish concrete, attainable goals. Setting aside time each day or week to work on the invention is one option, as is dividing the overall project into smaller, more manageable chunks.
The inventor can also seek help from people already working at the company, such as mentors or coworkers. As a result, the inventor may gain the encouragement and resources they need to see the project through to completion. The inventor can also update their superiors and coworkers on their progress and accomplishments, showcasing the significance of their work and vying for recognition.
Inventor Challenge 4: You fight against skepticism
While working on an invention for a company, an inventor may encounter skepticism from coworkers, superiors, or investors. The reasons for skepticism range from unfamiliarity with the technology to aversion to change to the experience of failure in similar endeavors in the past. If the inventor is confident in their idea and its potential benefits, they may ignore the criticism and press on with development. They may strongly desire to see their invention succeed because they believe in its ability to address a pressing issue or open a new market. The inventor may feel disheartened by the lack of praise and credit for their efforts if their idea is met with skepticism. It’s frustrating to put effort into something that seems to be getting no traction. Ultimately, an inventor’s vision will be realized because of their dogged persistence and unwavering faith in their invention.
Addressing concerns and educating doubters on the technology’s potential benefits is one-way inventors can deal with criticism from coworkers, superiors, or investors while developing their invention. The inventor can aid in clearing up any confusion about their invention by providing precise and compelling descriptions of the technology and its benefits. They can also offer proof of their invention’s practicality and efficacy.
The inventor can also find other people who share their enthusiasm for the invention and are willing to offer constructive criticism and suggestions. Mentors, coworkers, or even potential customers who recognize the value of the invention are all possible sources of encouragement. An inventor can more easily overcome initial skepticism by rallying a group of believers around their creation.
At last, the inventor can keep their mind on what matters: the invention and the lives it could change. The inventor’s motivation and dedication to seeing their invention through to fruition will be sustained if they always keep their vision and purpose in mind. Ultimately, the inventor’s resolve and confidence in their creation will propel them forward in the face of doubters.
Inventor Challenge 5: You experience fear of failure
Inventors in a company often struggle with the paralyzing fear of failure. This worry can lead the inventor to doubt their abilities and lose interest, both detrimental to the invention process. Take the case of a pharmaceutical company’s in-house inventor who has developed a potentially groundbreaking new drug. Anxiety and stress can result from worrying that the drug won’t be approved because it doesn’t meet regulators’ standards for safety and efficacy.
For the inventor, the pressure to succeed can be just as paralyzing. The inventor may feel like they have nothing to lose if they spend a lot of time, effort, and money developing their invention. The inventor may feel helpless and unable to take any action if they fear for their reputation and credibility. This stress can feel overwhelming when the innovator operates in a crowded market or sector.
The inventor needs to learn to reframe their thinking and concentrate on the benefits their invention could bring to overcome their fear of failure. The inventor’s self-assurance and motivation will increase if they face their fears early on. Another strategy for overcoming the fear of failure and maintaining motivation is to seek support from colleagues, mentors, or coaches.
Inventor Challenge 6: You recognize others’ strong resistance to change
There may be pushback from coworkers if an inventor tries to implement radical new procedures at their company. This opposition can come from anyone, including coworkers, superiors, or customers who are reluctant to try something new. For instance, a worker inventor at a power firm might be working on a greener, more reliable form of energy. Some customers, however, may be reluctant to switch from their current energy provider out of comfort. When an inventor encounters opposition, they may feel like no one cares about or respects their ideas. They might feel like they’re spinning their wheels despite all their efforts.
It can be even more challenging to gain support for the invention if the inventor is met with resistance from those invested in the status quo. This opposition may come from colleagues who are unwilling to adapt to new circumstances or from managers who are fearful of making mistakes. The inventor may find this mainly because their creation may struggle to gain traction in the market without backing. However, the inventor can take action to counteract this resistance by spreading the word about the invention’s potential benefits and lobbying for support from influential members of the company. The inventor can push through initial pushback against their invention by clearly articulating their vision and connecting with supporters who can help move the project forward.
Inventor Challenge 7: You have many resource constraints
An inventor may run up against a lack of resources when developing an invention at a company. If developing one’s invention will take a long time or a lot of money, a lack of access to resources like money, materials, or expertise can be a significant roadblock. This can be discouraging for the inventor, who may conclude that they will never be able to see the project through to fruition without additional funding. It’s also possible that the inventor won’t receive the encouragement they need from their company, which can be discouraging. However, the inventor may be fully cognizant of the advantages their creation could bring to the world and be eager to realize it. The ingenious spirit of the inventor may lead them to look elsewhere for help, whether in the form of securing additional funding or coming up with novel approaches to working with constrained means. Constraints on available resources can slow the invention process but could also inspire new ideas or methods for cutting costs.
Inventor Challenge 8: You develop an emotional attachment that may cause coping difficulties
An inventor’s emotional investment in their company’s invention could undermine their motivation. After spending much time, effort, and resources perfecting, the inventor may have developed an emotional connection to their invention. The inventor may feel like their identity or skills are wrapped up in their invention, making it hard for them to take criticism or adjust. In addition, the inventor may miss the forest for the trees as they work on the specifics of the invention. The inventor may lose motivation if they have reached a dead end. The inventor, however, may realize the importance of emotional distance to make unbiased decisions and advance the invention’s development process. The invention’s success depends on the inventor’s ability to maintain emotional investment while maintaining an objective perspective.
Inventor Challenge 9: You lack the autonomy to succeed
Lack of independence while working on an invention at a company can discourage an individual from continuing to make progress. When an inventor doesn’t feel they have enough say in developing their invention, they may become disenchanted and give up. An employee of a tech firm who has created a new invention may feel they lack control over its further development. Inventors may also feel their input is being ignored or ignored altogether during the development of their invention.
There are many causes for this lack of independence, including corporate red tape and general distrust from superiors and peers. The inventor might sense their work is under excessive scrutiny or being micromanaged. This lack of autonomy can make it hard for the inventor to take pride in their creation and keep going when it gets tough.
The inventor can deal with the company’s lack of trust in developing their invention by actively looking for ways to prove their worth by taking on more responsibility. The inventor may volunteer to take charge of certain phases of the invention’s development, such as testing or research if they so choose. As a result, the inventor can exert more significant influence over the final product and feel more invested in its success. The inventor can also work on gaining the confidence of their superiors and coworkers by being open and communicative about the project’s development and by actively soliciting their thoughts and opinions. This lack of autonomy can help to restore faith in the inventor’s abilities and calm fears about their ability to oversee the creation of the invention. The inventor can avoid burnout due to dissatisfaction with their lack of control over their work environment by taking the initiative to prove their worth. their motivation throughout the development process.
Inventor Challenge 10: You deal with company bureaucracy
The bureaucratic nature of many corporate environments makes it difficult for inventors to progress on their inventions while working within them. Inventors face delays and additional hurdles due to bureaucracy that should be avoided whenever possible. For an employee invention to be approved, for instance, a manufacturing company may require several levels of approval and strict adherence to policies and regulations. Bureaucracy can make it hard for the inventor to pursue further development of their invention, which can dampen their enthusiasm.
Because of the company’s bureaucratic procedures, the inventor may feel their ideas and proposals are being ignored. If the inventor believes their ideas and efforts are being wasted, it can be extremely disheartening. Also contributing to bureaucratic roadblocks are the company’s cultural norms. When an innovator encounters pushback from subordinates or superiors, they may feel trapped by convention.
An innovator who encounters bureaucracy might try to zero in on the underlying cause of the problem and work to solve it there. For example, you could network with influential people inside your company or look for ways to streamline the invention development process. The innovator may also seek advice from colleagues or mentors who have worked successfully within the firm’s hierarchical framework. The inventor can bring their invention to fruition despite bureaucratic hurdles if they keep their eye on the prize and don’t give up.
Remember that the path to patenting success is undoubtedly filled with obstacles and challenges. However, these difficulties can also serve as catalysts for growth, resilience, and innovation. By recognizing and addressing the hurdles they face, inventors can develop strategies to overcome them, foster a supportive environment, and stay focused on their goals. Ultimately, it is the unwavering dedication and determination of inventors that drive them to push boundaries, defy skeptics, and bring their groundbreaking inventions to life, transforming industries and improving lives around the world. So, embrace the journey, learn from the struggles, and let your inventive spirit soar to new heights.