On this page I'll listed a few ideas I'd like to share publicly in the hope other people might implement and benefit from them (see list at bottom). Over the years I've had numerous ideas (some better than others - some more ambitious than others!) and have been encouraged to think creativity. Some of these ideas I scribble down on paper, but most I will either lose and simply forget! Some of my best ideas I still keep secret, but more and more I'm beginning to realize I don't have time to act on all these ideas and I'd rather other people see, implement and hopefully benefit from my ideas rather than to see them fade away without ever seeing light of day.
In this category I have included several original ideas I'd like to share. In most cases they represent projects which I'd love to implement, but I don't have the time and/or resources to do it myself, so am seeking outside help! Examples of these include:
- Idea: Computer Game - Death March Project Management - an online game based on a software engineering/project management
- Idea: SCRAPi - Social CellPhone Robot Avatar - a remote-controlled robot which turns your smart phone into a mobile presence device
- Idea: Government Initiative - Night Eyes Nightclub Surveillance - a government initiative for standards in night club surveillance
Lists of Ideas
I also have several pages where I list many small ideas (not necessarily original ones!) which you might find very interesting. These represent practical ideas useful to anyone and everyone! Examples of these include:
- Gift ideas - a list of possible gifts you should consult every-time a birthday pops up!
- Household ideas - a list of tips and tricks to make life easier around the house and office.
Note that there are many other pages on this wiki which represent ideas of mine - for example Home_inspection_checklist, but I consider too specific to list here.
When I was young I was incredibly secretive about my ideas and who (if in fact anyone) I told - especially any ideas which I thought had the potential to make me money! Like most people I believed that if I told people my ideas one of two things might happen:
- they'd say my idea was rubbish and I'd feel forever stupid.
- they'd steal my idea, make millions and I'd be forever bitter about it.
I think many of us dream big (especially when we're young) and would like to fancy our ideas could one day make us millions! I'm a fan of big dreams, but in reality very few inventions are successful (let's say <1%) and even fewer make decent profit! Based on this, you have to accept that, odds are your invention won't make you millions; hell it might not won't work at all! The great Leonardo da Vinci himself sketched out many inventions that were "silly" and could never have worked - in fact I guarantee every great inventor had at least a dozen failed ideas for every one that worked - that's just part of the fun! What's difficult about ideas is that it's often very difficult to judge which will be successful until they're actually built and/or implemented. Even if you implement your invention and it works beautifully, its success will rely very heavily on hard work on the way it's marketed.
Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration -- Thomas Edison
You should also consider there are almost seven billion people on this planet - so chances are your idea is not as original as you think! That's not to say that it's not a good idea though! Most people keep their ideas secret in the hope they might one day act on them, but then simply let their ideas die with them.
Now I have a PhD and am slowly getting older and wiser however, I am beginning to realize:
- money isn't everything.
- there's no way I have enough time, let alone money and resources, to act on all of my ideas.
- I'd rather see someone else run with my idea and benefit than the idea fade in my head and die!
There are a growing number of people out there however, who realize good things can come when you share ideas with other people (especially people who are smarter or experts):
- these people can point of flaws... (yes this is a good thing! Constructive criticism can lead to modifying your invention until it works or realizing your invention already exists, won't work or isn't marketable - time to move to the next one!)
- these people will interact and help improve your idea.
- other people will come to recognize you as a creative and open person (which could even lead to better employment opportunities)!
- you greatly increase the chance of the idea coming to fruition.
I think it's unhealthy if you always behave like a paranoid scientist who scared of sharing your data in case you get "scooped". It's actually not that common for people to get "scooped", and you really have to believe in the big karma. By sharing ideas publicly you get major karma points, and chances are will be included, involved or at least acknowledged for an idea you (realistically) could never have implemented by yourself!
For those few unscrupulous people who do take your idea and pretend it was their own without so much as a "thank you": well karma will strike them down eventually. People who steal ideas are eventually labelled (permanently) as thieves, and no-one trusts someone or respects someone with this kind of reputation. Yes, there are people like this around, but if your idea is taken up (which is not that likely in the first place) the people who run with your idea will thank you in some way - even if it's just a touching e-mail! :-)
Protecting Your Idea
Despite what I've said in the last section, unscrupulous people are definitely out there and (more importantly) it often gets very blurry to people who an idea belongs to. If you've think long enough about someone else's idea and add some 'significant' modifications, you're likely to feel like and/or tell people it's your idea (or at least part your idea)..... ownership of ideas can be tricky so it makes sense to protect your idea however you can. If you're serious about your idea here are your options from cheapest/easiest to most expensive:
- Get people to sign a non-disclose agreement - Get into the habit of using a "non-disclose agreement" when you need to discuss your unpatented invention with another person - this simple document is a way to ensure people you discuss your idea with can't (legally) profit or blurt it out to others. People almost always understanding and more than happy to sign - if they refuse to sign don't trust them!
- Post your idea in a self-addressed envelope - Any mail posted gets a date and stamp from the Australian post office, and this is a timestamps recognized by Australian federal law when opened in an Australian court. Make sure you address it to yourself, clearly label it over the rear flap (eg: "Jim's X Invention - do not open") and seal it with thick clear sticky tape before putting it in your nearest post-office box.... and don't accidentally lose or open it! Unfortunately, while this proves you had an idea at a particular time, it doesn't "protect you" much from people copying your idea and saying they thought of it independently - which is why you should couple this with a non-disclose agreement.
- Get your idea signed by a justice of the peace - A Justice of the Peace (JP) is typically elected and represents someone of good stature in the community certify who is authorized to witness and sign copies of original documents (and also statutory declarations). this is slightly stronger than a self-addressed envelope - but finding a JP to sign and date the idea can be a little tricky.
- Submit a provisional patent - a provisional patent gives you 12 months to decide whether the invention has commercial potential or not - after 12 months you must lodge a full application if you decide to go ahead to keep the patent. I've done a provisional patent in Australia before - it costs ~$80 and it's quite easy! There is apparently an option to submit the patent using web forms, but it's better to just fill in the forms here and mail in a document - a fortnight later you should receive word that it's been lodged. You don't need any patent attorneys and the document doesn't have to be perfect, just so long as it expresses the idea clearly.
- Get it fully patented - A patent is a legal document which gives the owner the exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for the life of the patent (usually 20 years), preventing other inventors and manufacturers from using the same idea. The cost of patenting can be easily $100,000 (yes, HUGE money) although a friend did it for as "little" as $40,000 after he finally found a half-decent patent attorney - took him 3 hard years! What's scary about patent attorneys the job requires no formal qualification and yet they can charge a fortune.
In the case of the ideas I've listed here, I've got most signed by JPs to prove I've had the idea, and one of my ideas I put in a provisional patent, but let's face it - not many of us have the money (or even time) for a full patent!!
How You Can Help
If you like any of my ideas please send an e-mail! Better yet, spread the word to anyone you know who might have the knowledge, expertise and/or enthusiasm to do something with it! In most cases I'm prepare to kiss away these ideas, but certainly would appreciate the offer of being involved in some way and help them succeed anyway I can. These ideas may lay here dormant for years, but hopefully will be seen by the right person one day!
Interestingly, one of my ideas is to create a website where people can post, share and discuss ideas! I hope it happens one day, because an idea shared is better than one that disappears in your mind. :-)
Pages in category "Ideas"
The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total.
- Idea: Children's Pool Beach Seal Solution
- Idea: Computer Game - Death March Project Management
- Idea: Gold Standards for Microscopy Data
- Idea: Gold Standards for Microscopy Data - Guidelines
- Idea: Gold Standards for Microscopy Data - List
- Idea: Gold Standards for Microscopy Data - Terminology
- Idea: Government Initiative - Night Eyes Nightclub Surveillance
- Idea: Happiness Timeline
- Idea: IdeaFront - A Social Network Site for Inventors and Idea Sharing
- Idea: Meal Messages - Come Join Me Signs on Lunch Tables
- Idea: NoMoreRegrettedEmails - an email plugin to help prevent mistakes and improve diplomacy
- Idea: SCRAPi - Social CellPhone Robot Avatar
- Idea: TrashCam - A Car Mounted Camera to Catch Litterers and Road Accidents
- Idea: Video Dating Profile App
- Idea: YellowBall - A Dating Site for People with Intellectual Difficulties