What do Band-Aids, white out, earmuffs, Frisbees, zippers, the Scrabble board game, steam irons, Lifesavers candies, online bookstores, and bagless vacuum cleaners all have in common? These are all examples of humble ideas that started on something as simple as a napkin drawing and turned into massively successful patented products.
Do you have the urge to invent? Do you have the next great invention but you just don't know what to do with it? Does the idea of obtaining a patent sound overwhelming? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I would recommend reading "The Independent Inventor's Handbook" by Louis J. Foreman and Jill Gilbert Welytok. There are chapters dedicated to prototyping, manufacturing and distributing your invention. Advice is given on branding, pitching, and selling your new invention as well as performing a basic patent search. The importance of a Confidential Nondisclosure Agreement is stressed and a sample agreement included. Of course, money matters and finding funds to bring your new product to the market can be difficult. The authors give advice on bootstrapping your invention to success.
So if you think you have a great new invention, remember this quote from the book: "Google started out as a dorm-room experiment; Ben and Jerry learned the ice-cream trade from a correspondence class. A young business with a successful invention doesn't require a factory and hundreds of employees at first - sometimes ambition alone is enough to get you started."
Recommended by Laura Metzler