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What makes a great invention?

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Did you know that February 11th is National Inventors Day?

We live in an age where technology is being produced and improved upon at an unprecedented rate. There are new ideas coming to fruition every day in attempts to change the world. But I ask, what makes one invention revolutionary and another redundant? Before you launch your next big idea, consider some of the key factors that make an invention a success or a flop.


Ideas are not in short supply. With so many people on this planet & a plethora of documented history dating back over 6 millennia, originally is a valued and rare principle. But simply coming up with something new doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to be great, or even good for that matter. Standing out from the crowd and creating something different is important; however, it doesn’t matter how creative your ideas are if it doesn’t serve a need.

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Problems solver

A good invention solves a problem; a great invention solves multiple problems. Think of it this way- the snuggie solves the predicament of not being able to freely use your hands while covered in a blanket, that’s a good invention (silly as it may be). Was it highly original? No, but it did solve a problem. The inventor of the snuggie took something already on the market and used regularly by consumers, a blanket, and improved upon it by allowing you to stay warm hands-free.

On the other end of the spectrum, the wheel is widely known of as one of the greatest inventions to ever be created. It not only helped us transport large objects & ourselves easier, but it’s how gears and cogs and pullies came to be, making the industrial revolution even possible. Inventions come in all kinds of packages, from the simple and almost ridiculous to products that revolutionized society.

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Many inventions today do not require a high degree of creativity or innovation. It simply provides a level of convenience. One of the greatest examples of an age-old invention that is purely based upon convenience is the remote control. Does it really solve a problem? Not really. Getting up to turn the channel was not really a problem before the remote control was invented, but it’s certainly convenient to be able to change the channel from the couch without having to get up. Some would argue that the invention of the remote control and other convenience tools simply have made us lazy, and they may be right, but it has become a fabric of our culture. Other modern examples of convenience oriented inventions are the contacts in our cell phones (we don’t have to memorize numbers anymore) and Apple Pay and Google Pay on our smart phones. You no longer need to bring your wallet with you to the grocery store; simply use your smart phone to pay for purchases. Now, that’s convenient!



You could create one of the coolest or useful things every conceived, and it wouldn’t really matter to anyone if it’s not known about or accessible. That’s why marketing can be just as important as the invention itself. It’s hard change the world if the people in it aren’t paying any attention. A great invention must be positioned properly to reach the audience it was intended to serve.

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Timeless or Adaptable

The lifespan of a creation can really make or break its legacy, if the creation become obsolete rather fast it won’t take long for it to be forgotten. This can be a X factor for many inventions since it’s hard to predict when or if someone else’s brainchild will render yours useless or outdated. If your invention is the basis for future inventions your creation will be a success. A great example is the computer. When the computer was made, soon after the internet was created, and once it was accessible to the public countless ideas have been and will be created, all started with the computer. Another great electronic invention that has adapted over time is the cell phone. Years ago, the first cell phone started in a bag and restricted mostly to use in the car. Since then, we have evolved to smart phones which are essentially mini computers in the palm of our hands. Talk about timeless!


Do you have an invention and think it’s great? Use these the characteristics to see how it measures up. Let us help you spread the word to the masses! XLDesign4U specializes in developing customized design and marketing plans to meet your unique needs. Consider a consultation with one of our team members to develop the most effective subliminal marketing campaign for your business.

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