Things I learned through being an inventor

by Cass McNamara

Lots of microbusinesses are based on a great idea or an idea for a great product, so in this post Cass McNamara reflects on some of the things she learned when inventing and creating her own products. Members can find Cass in our expert panel if you have more questions.

The prequel to business and my evolution as an inventor and product developer. So here are some of the things being an inventor has taught me.

  1. To be an inventor you must love a puzzle.
  2. Not every puzzle can be solved the way you would like it to be.
  3. Your invention takes over your life as you focus on it. It really is your ‘Frankenstein monster’ for quite some time.
  4. The ‘monster’ needs fed with lots of time and money. It’s a demanding, hungry beast.
  5. You love your invention like a child and become all ‘Mama Bear’ if anyone criticizes it while you nurture it through prototyping and development and finally onto the market when it can stand on its own. It takes a while to get over this. It’s a phase.
  6. You must completely, wholeheartedly believe in your idea because most other people won’t, until you prove them wrong. Even then you need to accept that not everyone will love, like or even appreciate or understand your product like you do. That’s just life.
  7. Your friends, family and some random others will all love your idea when you ask them what they think. For the most part, they are being encouraging and kind. This is good and will make you happy but it does not make a business. Recognize this support for what it is and don’t confuse it with real research on the actual market potential of your product or service.
  8. It is very unlikely that your idea will be an overnight global success and you probably won’t be a millionaire by Christmas. Like all good ideas it will take time to catch on. Novel or ‘joke’ ideas are usually quicker to catch on because they don’t require a lot of thought analysis or evaluation by the person buying it. Serious things take serious consideration.

About the author

Cass is the CEO of her company Birthsparks and the inventor of the patented, multi award winning product, the CUB support.
Before establishing Birthsparks in 2012, Cass had a long career as a professional, registered midwife working between the NHS, and in independent practice. Cass has worked on numerous projects for the Scottish Government and as a consultant on medical device product development with Edinburgh University.