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Inventions: 7 ways to come up with money-making ideas
Learn how to enter into the mindset of a successful inventor.
- Inventors come up with brilliant ideas through bucking trends and fostering creative mental spaces.
- Applied observation and deep thought is a necessity if you're going to invent something.
- Having an open mind to many ideas is a key starting point towards coming up with new ideas.
Our world and modern civilization has been shaped by breakthrough inventions and innovators who pushed the bounds of technology and commerce to the brink. Some did it for grand and noble causes either in the name of science, war or religion. Others just wanted to make an extra buck. Whatever the underlying motive is, there is no denying that invention is the root of all progress. And as you've probably heard – necessity is the mother of all invention. Inventions are the holy grail of creation. In our society, we idolatrize those great inventors and their novel ideas and many of us wish to emulate them.
If you've ever had any innovative inclinations, you've probably once pondered the prospects of how to come up with an invention. It's a tricky thing to try and learn how to create something that has never existed before. There isn't exactly a printed manual that's going to tell you how to do it. But there is a rich history of invention and we've learned along the way that there are certain ways to catalyze ourselves into this creative state.
Here are 7 ways to come up with inventions and other money-making ideas.
Learn to relax and meditate
Eureka! This is the famous word that Archimedes uttered after stepping out of the bath and realizing that the volume of water displaced was equal to the volume of his body submerged in the water. Out of nowhere this idea seemed to erupt. But what he was doing at the time, might have been responsible for this sudden inventive impulse.
Some scientists believe that the bath or shower setting helps to spurn creative thinking. In a speech about work performance, Scott Barry Kaufman stated that:
"The relaxing, solitary, and non-judgmental shower environment may afford creative thinking by allowing the mind to wander freely, and causing people to be more open to their inner stream of consciousness and daydreams."
This same line of logic can be applied to active meditation. Once you're able to silence your mind, that constant stream of consciousness coming through is given a chance to express itself in new ways. This is a theme you'll see frequently when it comes to invention.
Think about what you don’t like in this world
Social entrepreneur, Miki Agrawal, asks one simple question before setting off to create or invent something: "What sucks in my world?"
She runs a multitude of socially conscious businesses. It was this question that led her to create a global sanitation empire. On the subject of motivation she states:
"What keeps us motivated, that when you close your eyes you can say, for every product sold I'm helping support someone who really desperately need something like this, or desperately needs to have a solve for what their issue is, like the global sanitation crisis."
Motivation like this helps to get those hidden ideas locked away inside of us off of the ground and into reality. It's also this motivation that turns an idea into a money making business.
Expand on a pre-existing system and make it your own
Many people don't seem to understand the maxim and often misattributed quote which states:
"Good artists copy, Great artists steal."
One way of looking at it is to think about how many creative people build off of those that came before them and develop that work of art, system or whatever it is into an even greater creation. That is the gist of the quote and the idea. Those who expand it and make it their own are in a very limited sense, stealing these ideas.
One such inventor to do this was the Renaissance Man, Luca Pacioli, today celebrated as one of the most famous accountants who ever lived. He popularized the double-entry system which was known as alla veneziana in the old Venetian days some few hundreds before he was born. Although Pacioli didn't invent the system, he did take it to the greater heights and ubiquitous use in which we rely on it today.
Pacioli wrote a treatise on the subject of mathematics in 1494. Twenty seven pages of that book are dedicated to the idea of double-entry bookkeeping. Pacioli was meticulous when it came to expanding on this idea and making it his own. He also felt very strongly about the importance of this invention when it came to business. At one point he stated:
"If you cannot be a good accountant… you will grope your way forward like a blind man and may meet great losses."
Engage in mindful observation
Having a creative mindset gives you a new perspective on regular things around you. The ability to be still and just look at things is a simple, but often ignored action. Gaining observational skills helps you to learn, recall and expand upon your immediate surroundings.
This skill is crucial when trying to come up with new inventions.
Typically, you're racking your brain over trying to come up with a new idea, improve upon something or identify a trend if you're trying to create a new business. The trick is to simply observe whatever it is you're after.
These observational skills come in handy, whether you're trying to make sense of some dataset or you're just engaged in some mindless meandering while you're out walking through the city. The ability to truly see what is going on without a million other filters in your head is the path towards creation.
Fight against established views and trends
Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman
In the early days of the internet, a few Stanford researchers had received a letter from United States agency threatening them if they presented their findings on the subject of public-key cryptography. The very technology that would one day go on to secure our email transmissions, shop online and pretty much allow for the functioning internet we know today.
The breakthrough paper by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman, which would come to be known as the Diffie-Hellman theory and eventually turned into the RSA encryption technique was once the target of governmental suppression.
Admiral Bobby Ray Inman was in charge of the agency in question. He viewed cryptography as only having a basis in espionage. His reasoning for coming down on the two researchers was because he believed that this type of information might help enemies in future wars encode their messages in a way the United States couldn't crack it. This lack of understanding put him in a regressive mindset. The researchers on the other hand were looking towards the future.
Sometimes you have to be the evolutionary rogue who goes against the grain of established ideas. It is the only way towards progression.
Don’t discount supposed bad or unfeasible ideas
"Any idea can be a great idea if you think differently, dream big, and commit to seeing it realized." - Richard Branson, CEO and Founder, Virgin Group.
When you're in the chaotic boiling pot of creativity, there's no time to waste by being hard on yourself or downing your ideas. Develop each idea as far it'll take you. You could be sitting on a potential gold mine of a new invention. At this point anything goes. Don't reject an idea before you've fully fleshed it out or thought about it. What you call bad ideas might be the starting point for feasible ones that have some true merit to them.
The goal is to create as many ideas as possible, no matter how strange they may sound. You'll have a lot of material to work with here.
Participate in non judgemental brainstorm sessions
Author Alex Osborn presented an interesting angle of the steps of brainstorming in his 1953 book titled Applied Imagination: Principles and Practices of Creative Thinking. He broke down the proper steps in a brainstorming session that led to invention or other creative processes.
First you figure out what the problem is and then begin to gather data. Following that you start breaking down the relevant data you've gathered and analyze it. Next you come to some kind of hypothesize and then invite others to think about and expand on that idea. Finally you'll begin to put everything together before judging if the idea holds merit.
Any sort of criticism is reserved until the idea has been fully fleshed out. This is a free and open space for you to think about anything without harsh judgement.
Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.
- U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
- Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
- While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
The U.S. Navy controls patents for some futuristic and outlandish technologies, some of which, dubbed "the UFO patents," came to light recently. Of particular note are inventions by the somewhat mysterious Dr. Salvatore Cezar Pais, whose tech claims to be able to "engineer reality." His slate of highly-ambitious, borderline sci-fi designs meant for use by the U.S. government range from gravitational wave generators and compact fusion reactors to next-gen hybrid aerospace-underwater crafts with revolutionary propulsion systems, and beyond.
Of course, the existence of patents does not mean these technologies have actually been created, but there is evidence that some demonstrations of operability have been successfully carried out. As investigated and reported by The War Zone, a possible reason why some of the patents may have been taken on by the Navy is that the Chinese military may also be developing similar advanced gadgets.
Among Dr. Pais's patents are designs, approved in 2018, for an aerospace-underwater craft of incredible speed and maneuverability. This cone-shaped vehicle can potentially fly just as well anywhere it may be, whether air, water or space, without leaving any heat signatures. It can achieve this by creating a quantum vacuum around itself with a very dense polarized energy field. This vacuum would allow it to repel any molecule the craft comes in contact with, no matter the medium. Manipulating "quantum field fluctuations in the local vacuum energy state," would help reduce the craft's inertia. The polarized vacuum would dramatically decrease any elemental resistance and lead to "extreme speeds," claims the paper.
Not only that, if the vacuum-creating technology can be engineered, we'd also be able to "engineer the fabric of our reality at the most fundamental level," states the patent. This would lead to major advancements in aerospace propulsion and generating power. Not to mention other reality-changing outcomes that come to mind.
Among Pais's other patents are inventions that stem from similar thinking, outlining pieces of technology necessary to make his creations come to fruition. His paper presented in 2019, titled "Room Temperature Superconducting System for Use on a Hybrid Aerospace Undersea Craft," proposes a system that can achieve superconductivity at room temperatures. This would become "a highly disruptive technology, capable of a total paradigm change in Science and Technology," conveys Pais.
High frequency gravitational wave generator.
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
Another invention devised by Pais is an electromagnetic field generator that could generate "an impenetrable defensive shield to sea and land as well as space-based military and civilian assets." This shield could protect from threats like anti-ship ballistic missiles, cruise missiles that evade radar, coronal mass ejections, military satellites, and even asteroids.
Dr. Pais's ideas center around the phenomenon he dubbed "The Pais Effect". He referred to it in his writings as the "controlled motion of electrically charged matter (from solid to plasma) via accelerated spin and/or accelerated vibration under rapid (yet smooth) acceleration-deceleration-acceleration transients." In less jargon-heavy terms, Pais claims to have figured out how to spin electromagnetic fields in order to contain a fusion reaction – an accomplishment that would lead to a tremendous change in power consumption and an abundance of energy.
According to his bio in a recently published paper on a new Plasma Compression Fusion Device, which could transform energy production, Dr. Pais is a mechanical and aerospace engineer working at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), which is headquartered in Patuxent River, Maryland. Holding a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, Pais was a NASA Research Fellow and worked with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. His current Department of Defense work involves his "advanced knowledge of theory, analysis, and modern experimental and computational methods in aerodynamics, along with an understanding of air-vehicle and missile design, especially in the domain of hypersonic power plant and vehicle design." He also has expert knowledge of electrooptics, emerging quantum technologies (laser power generation in particular), high-energy electromagnetic field generation, and the "breakthrough field of room temperature superconductivity, as related to advanced field propulsion."
Suffice it to say, with such a list of research credentials that would make Nikola Tesla proud, Dr. Pais seems well-positioned to carry out groundbreaking work.
A craft using an inertial mass reduction device.
Credit: Salvatore Pais
The patents won't necessarily lead to these technologies ever seeing the light of day. The research has its share of detractors and nonbelievers among other scientists, who think the amount of energy required for the fields described by Pais and his ideas on electromagnetic propulsions are well beyond the scope of current tech and are nearly impossible. Yet investigators at The War Zone found comments from Navy officials that indicate the inventions are being looked at seriously enough, and some tests are taking place.
If you'd like to read through Pais's patents yourself, check them out here.
Laser Augmented Turbojet Propulsion System
Credit: Dr. Salvatore Pais
China has reached a new record for nuclear fusion at 120 million degrees Celsius.
This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.
China wants to build a mini-star on Earth and house it in a reactor. Many teams across the globe have this same bold goal --- which would create unlimited clean energy via nuclear fusion.
But according to Chinese state media, New Atlas reports, the team at the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) has set a new world record: temperatures of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds.
Yeah, that's hot. So what? Nuclear fusion reactions require an insane amount of heat and pressure --- a temperature environment similar to the sun, which is approximately 150 million degrees C.
If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it.
If scientists can essentially build a sun on Earth, they can create endless energy by mimicking how the sun does it. In nuclear fusion, the extreme heat and pressure create a plasma. Then, within that plasma, two or more hydrogen nuclei crash together, merge into a heavier atom, and release a ton of energy in the process.
Nuclear fusion milestones: The team at EAST built a giant metal torus (similar in shape to a giant donut) with a series of magnetic coils. The coils hold hot plasma where the reactions occur. They've reached many milestones along the way.
According to New Atlas, in 2016, the scientists at EAST could heat hydrogen plasma to roughly 50 million degrees C for 102 seconds. Two years later, they reached 100 million degrees for 10 seconds.
The temperatures are impressive, but the short reaction times, and lack of pressure are another obstacle. Fusion is simple for the sun, because stars are massive and gravity provides even pressure all over the surface. The pressure squeezes hydrogen gas in the sun's core so immensely that several nuclei combine to form one atom, releasing energy.
But on Earth, we have to supply all of the pressure to keep the reaction going, and it has to be perfectly even. It's hard to do this for any length of time, and it uses a ton of energy. So the reactions usually fizzle out in minutes or seconds.
Still, the latest record of 120 million degrees and 101 seconds is one more step toward sustaining longer and hotter reactions.
Why does this matter? No one denies that humankind needs a clean, unlimited source of energy.
We all recognize that oil and gas are limited resources. But even wind and solar power --- renewable energies --- are fundamentally limited. They are dependent upon a breezy day or a cloudless sky, which we can't always count on.
Nuclear fusion is clean, safe, and environmentally sustainable --- its fuel is a nearly limitless resource since it is simply hydrogen (which can be easily made from water).
With each new milestone, we are creeping closer and closer to a breakthrough for unlimited, clean energy.
The symbol for love is the heart, but the brain may be more accurate.
- How love makes us feel can only be defined on an individual basis, but what it does to the body, specifically the brain, is now less abstract thanks to science.
- One of the problems with early-stage attraction, according to anthropologist Helen Fisher, is that it activates parts of the brain that are linked to drive, craving, obsession, and motivation, while other regions that deal with decision-making shut down.
- Dr. Fisher, professor Ted Fischer, and psychiatrist Gail Saltz explain the different types of love, explore the neuroscience of love and attraction, and share tips for sustaining relationships that are healthy and mutually beneficial.