Posted on Jul 28, 2021
Our presenter on July 28th was Dr. Lerrylyn Nelson, PhD, CEO of The Think Tank 3D, Inc, and she spoke to us about "Inventing out of Necessity."
In addition to the dictionary definition of an inventor – a person who invented a particular process/device or who invents as their occupation – Dr. Nelson believes that this person needs to have a passion for change, have vision and insight, and the ability to identify a void.  The invention must also be viable or valuable.
There are 10 steps to inventing. (1) The ability to assess the community to determine a void; (2) Filter out whether the patent is a necessity or luxury; (3) The idea must address the identified void; (4) There must be a market for the idea; (5a) You need to be able to explain that the void is being addressed and why; (5b) You need to be able to explain what makes the idea different and why; (6)  Can the idea be feasibly accomplished; (7) You have successfully identified the processes to bring the idea to fruition so you move from the invention stage; (8) It’s time to consider applying for a
patent and asking if you have the skill set needed to apply for one. (9)
If the answer to 8 is “no”, considering seeking the advice of an attorney and/or accountant. (10) You need to ask why you are inventing.  If for the money, will anyone purchase the product, who much will you need to invest, and how long will it take to recoup the investment?  If for the sake of inventing, what will you do with the invention and how much will you need to invest?  If for the betterment of the community, besides the financial questions, how will it benefit the community?
Dr. Nelson and her partner have three very different approved patents: one that improves the safety of school buses; a collapsible, portable shower chair; and a pen size umbrella.    Only 36% of all patents are approved and the normal time frame for approval is 3 years. 
To learn more about Dr. Nelson, visit