Don’t even think of becoming an inventor if you don’t have the patience and the persistence to fail many times before you may see success. Inventing for you should be just like how you should live life, the journey should give you as much pleasure as the destination. The process of inventing should be for you just as big a pleasure as the final success of holding your invented product in your hands.
First you must be very clear as to what kind of need your invention is going to fill. Unless your invention is needed it may not make it beyond your garage. Your product must be needed on a mass scale for a chance of selling it. Before you write it on paper you must do a patent search for your invention to make sure it is not already there. You can do this by searching it on the USPTO.gov website or find the local patent office library and do your search there. Once you find out there is no one else who has the same idea you can proceed to tinker in your garage to make your invention’s prototype. Make sure you make it as simple as possible and with as less parts as possible because this will bring your cost of manufacturing down and it will also be easy to clean so people will like it more.
Instead of applying for a full patent application you can apply for a provisional patent application. This will be cheaper and as soon as you get a provisional # you can approach companies to sell it. So before you spend too much time and money test out your invention in the actual market place.
You can think of inventing from your day to day needs. For instance I sometimes go into a bath tub full with hot water. It takes a long time to fill the bath tub so I wish some one would invent a bath tub that fills up quickly. All you need is a booster pump attachment. Sometimes soap goes into my mouth so I want to spit but for this I have to get out of the bath tub. I wish the bath tubs came with a spittoon. This again is a simple attachment. Also my mouth smells sometimes. I went to the dentist he examined me and he said it is not my teeth or mouth. So I figured it must be my tongue. I thought of inventing a tongue vacuum cleaner. I did a patent search and found many patents on TVCs. (You can become an inventor by improving an existing product. Do you ever feel if something you use was built in a different way. This is a chance for you to invent and get yourself a design patent. A design patent is an improvement on an existing invention). So I bought a TVC and started cleaning my tongue. My problem persisted. I finally discovered that the culprit was my tonsils! So I now wish if someone only would invent a tonsil vacuum cleaner. There is none.(Try working on this one yourself). Similarly you can think up original inventions out of your own needs.
Once I use to have a dog but I gave him up because I didn’t like scooping up his potty. If only there was a scoop stick that would take care of this problem. Maybe you can think of something that could be an effective potty scooper.
Another good and easy way is to look up the abandoned patent applications on the USPTO.gov website. Sometimes people abandon their patent applications due to frustration with the patent office or some personal reasons. I know at least one friend who applied for a patent by coping an abandoned invention of some one else. Today he has a trophy wife and two houses. He lives here and in India.
The patent office has an independent inventors assistance hot line. Also if you go to their main office in Arlington, Virginia or the bigger regional library like the science library in NYC you can hire an officer to teach you how to apply for a patent.
Just like writers you have to have an agent who can market your invention(there are a lot of scam artists who will tell you that they can make you millions but all they will do is take your money). Before you commit to an agent check him out with your local ‘Better Business Bureo’.
You can also apply for intellectual ideas. The following is one of my pending patents that has been approved. Please excuse me I cannot find the copy on the net. I might have to scan it later.