Invent Anything Podcast

Invent Anything with John Cronin. In this series, John shares insights relating to invention, creativity, and intellectual property collected over 17 years at IBM (becoming its top inventor with over 100 patents and 150 patent publications) and 23 years as managing director of ipCapital Group (working with over 800 companies and approximately 15% of the Fortune 500, hundreds of mid-size companies and hundreds of startups and governmental laboratories).

Here are just a few of the topics covered in this show:

  • How to create inventions that are new, useful, and non-obvious
  • Using creativity tools to solve problems in business and innovation
  • Ways to build or strengthen an intellectual property portfolio strategically
  • Why you want to keep patents and trade secrets as an employee, manager, or executive
  • Generating value from your IP through licensing, sale, fundraising, asset-based lending, and acquisitions
  • How to create a culture of innovation at your company
  • Current Events related to invention and intellectual property
  • And much more

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Episode 1 – Invention, Creativity, and Intellectual Property

TUES., FEB 16, 2021 – In the introductory episode, John discusses his background, topics that will be covered in future episodes, and his motivations for starting the series. Also discussed are different points of view on IP issues, from the employees, managers, executives, and IP attorneys. You can also read the transcript here.

Episode 2 – The Fundamentals of Creativity for Invention

TUES., FEB 23, 2021 – In this episode, John explains the fundamental ideas that underpin any creative process. Topics discussed include:

  • Types of creative motivation (extrinsic and intrinsic),
  • The effect of limitations and freedom,
  • Self-assessment of creativity,
  • How to become more creative,
  • How to motivate others to be more creative,
  • And much more…

You can also read the transcript here.

Episode 3 – Types of Creativity: Divergent and Convergent


TUES., MAR 2, 2021 – In the third installment, John discusses two major types of creativity: divergent and convergent. Divergent creativity is the process of creating a variety of many new ideas. Convergent creativity is the process of narrowing down the list to a few valuable ideas. Additional topics discussed in this episode:

  • Alex Osborn and brainstorming
  • Tony Buzan and mind maps
  • Guidelines for Divergent and Convert creativity
  • Management styles that may kill creativity
  • Creativity tools for individuals, groups, and ‘secret facilitators’
  • Differences in creativity for introverts and extroverts
  • and much more…

You can also read the transcript here.

Some of this material, including the divergent/convergent guidelines, was inspired by the work of others, see links below:

Learnexia – Principals of Divergent Thinking

Creative Education Foundation – What is Creative Problem Solving

Patent Infringement – Strategy

TUES., MARCH 9, 2021 – John takes on the difficult topic of what you should do when you learn you are violating a competitors patent. Patent infringement is a major threat to a business. Delving into 5 Areas of concern with 20 actions you can take to be prepared for a patent infringement lawsuit. Learn what you can do to sleep better at night, avoid willful infringement, challenge the patent, protect the future of your business, and get ready for war in the courtroom. Read the transcript here.

Episode 4 – Types of Creativity: Associative Thinking

TUES., MARCH 16, 2021 – Associative thinking is one of the most power creative tools for inventors. By combining different objects, ideas, and methods, new inventions can be made by making novel connections with your mind. In this episode, John provides detailed examples and several tools you can use to unleash the power of associative thinking. Some of these tools can be used like games, fun for kids and adults. Other tools might help you determine what type of stimulus makes you more creative.

Episode 5 – Types of Creativity: Continuous Improvement

TUES., MARCH 23, 2021 – How can you take an invention from the early idea stage to something that will work and have value? In this episode, John discusses many tools that can be used for continuous improvement thinking. By using a methodological approach to identify areas where an invention needs improvement, teams and individuals can use several tools to continuously improve ideas.

  • Tool 1 – Action, Owner, Date
  • Tool 2 – Input / Output
  • Tool 3 – Brain Writing
  • Tool 4 – S.C.A.M.P.E.R.
  • Tool 5 – Opposites

By mastering these tools, you can take any idea to the next level with many improvements.

Episode 6 – Enablement for Patents and Intellectual Property

TUES., MARCH 30, 2021 – In this episode, John discusses the technical details behind the process of ‘enablement’ – taking the invention from the conceptual stage to describing how it will work in practice. Topics covered include the many perspectives – from manager buy-in, to patent attorneys and patent examiners. In the conclusion, John discusses enablement in terms of an actual patent for a practical example.

Link to Patent Discussed in the video:

For more information see:

Episode 7 – What is a Patent (and what can it do for you)

TUES., APRIL 6, 2021 – If you’ve ever wondered what a patent really is, the rights that it gives you, and what they mean for your business, you’re in the right place. John discusses why patents are a ‘negative right’, dispels some common patent myths, and explains the true value of patents to individuals and businesses.