Feb 19, 2010 7:10 PM by Matt Stafford
Some will tell you; you don't have to be a genius to be a great inventor. Some of the best inventions simply solve problems that people encounter everyday. That's the belief of Dr. Michael Larson with Mind Studios at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
In today's economy, has there ever been a better time to try for some extra income from an idea you've been holding hostage?
In a News First 5 series, "Inventing a new you," Dr. Larson will give some pointers to help you take your great idea, and turn it into a great product.
During a hike in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, George de Mistral came home with pants covered in cockleburs. He was able to copy the way they stuck to his clothing, and thus we have the product commonly known as Velcro.
"So how many of the millions of people before George just pulled the burs off, considered it a nuisance?" asks Dr. Larson. "The difference here is George saw it as an opportunity."
Larson says we all have things in our own lives that could be asking for you to create the next great invention.
Pat Going found one of those opportunities in his life.
"I was with the Arthritis Foundation and saw how people would struggle with round door knobs," explains Going, co-inventor of the Great Grip. "Round door knobs are actually a fairly complicated motion."
Whether you have your hands full or a disability of some type, the Great Grip is designed to help you get the door open.
"What we wanted to do is have somebody be able to just use a closed fist or their arm to go ahead and open the door," explains Going.
Going was able to solve a problem several people were having, and he also found a product that would sell.
"We actually sold 5,000 to the Arthritis Foundation," Going says.
Dr. Larson reminds us that finding the idea is only a small part of the process; there are many steps after that.
Over the next few weeks, Mind Studios and News First 5 will be looking over the process of inventing products.
If you have something that you've been tinkering with, the Mind Studios at U.C.C.S. May be able to help. You can contact them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll also have updates here, on NewsFirst5.com.