Inventions are successful when they solve a problem or address an unmet need. In order to do this, inventors will need creative problem solving skills to come up with a solution that no one has thought of before. Many inventions are the outcome of creative problem-solving, which is why learning to think outside the box is essential.
Here’s how to identify a problem and brainstorm ideas to kick start creative problem solving skills!
The Frustration Diary! Brainstorm frustrations and problems..
What you need
- A diary and pen
- A few days
- A creative hat on
Start a frustrations diary by writing down everything that annoys you in everyday life. Don’t think about solutions yet, just brainstorm ideas.
Write down every problem that comes to mind – no judging! Don’t stop to think how you will solve the problem yet, just write the ideas down.
Take a few days to do that – at the end you are bound to come up with a few problems that can be solved through a new invention. Nothing is too small or too big.
Once the problem is identified, draw up the solution. Is it a bookmark that glows so you can read in the dark? What does it look like and how does it work? Be creative. Nothing is impossible!
Discuss bigger problems – how can you help others and improve their life with an invention solution?
The story of Cassidy Goldstien – Creative problem solving case study
Cassidy Goldstein was only 11 years old when she identified a problem with broken crayons. She realised her crayons were breaking easily and she often ended up with small pieces of a crayon that were hard to hold and draw with, which made them useless. She had to keep buying new boxes of crayons just to replace one missing color.
This realisation led her to look for a way to use her small pieces of broken crayons. Her invention – the crayon holder! It is a little tube, inspired by the tubes used to hold single roses fresh in water, that is used to hold small pieces of crayons.
She registered a patent for the invention, and it is now being sold across the US. It is also the basis for writing aid products aimed at helping people with disabilities.