Credit Ben Becker under Creative Commons Licence
We all love a new invention. Everything from the Internet to a widgety widget thing is life-changing for someone, somewhere. We’re celebrating Inventors Day by spotlighting some of our best products, invented by parents like you.
Latest figures show that 15,100 patent applications were filed in the UK but only 2,300 patents were granted. Put it another way, just 15% of all the 15,000 people who thought their brilliant idea was should be patented, were actually right.
But how can you tell if your idea is a winner? If, after a pithy explanation from you, friends say, “That’s SUCH a great idea!” with genuine enthusiasm, you know you’re onto something. If, using your finely-tuned British radar, you sense a polite ego-boost, go back to the drawing board.
If there’s one thing that inventors agree on, it’s the need for perseverance and self-belief. Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb famously said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. He also said: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”.
Ok we get it.
When it comes to judging nursery products, Mums and Dads are tough. They road test a product and instantly discover whether it’s rubbish, overpriced or ecologically questionable. And then they’ll tell all their friends and family. And share it on social media.
We’re lucky to see lots of great products invented by parents. You can always tell because their product has really benefited from the rigorousness of mum, dad and baby, road tested to the enth degree and annoying glitches blitzed.
A good nursery product is one that parents instantly understand, how it works, why it makes life easier and whether it’s good value for money.
Take the new Litecup. It’s a night light in a drinking cup. Genius. The inventor is a designer and father of four boys, aged from 0 to 8 years, so he knows what he’s talking about. The Litecup cup is spill-proof and spout-less, so it’s easy to drink out of, from anywhere around the rim. It has a patented valve – yes, a patent! The gentle, free-flow sip encourages independent drinking and the LED light is soft and soothing. So, it helps a child find their drink in the night WITHOUT waking up mum or dad. Hooray.
Another of our best-sellers, the My Buggy Buddy Buggy Lock was invented by two police officers. They noticed a growing number of expensive buggies and prams being stolen from playgrounds and attractions. The secret to this invention is again, seeing the problem first hand. The inventors saw how easy it was for a thief to walk off with a pricey pushchair without arousing suspicion. They also saw how much distress it caused families, often on a fun day out. The resulting My Buggy Buddy Lock is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” products. This small, strong combination lock, priced at just £8.95 gives parents total peace of mind. That is a good invention.
So, the moral of the story is, if you have a great idea, we’d love to hear about it – whatever stage it’s at. Like many of our Hippychick products, it could become a reality and a new business venture for you.
Edison inspired with his inventions and also with his attitude. He probably spent loads of time hanging around waiting for people to green light his light bulb. Did he waste it watching the telly or messing about on his phone? No – he hustled. He banged on and on about how a glass cover over a live electric filament was truly brilliant and absolutely the future of lighting.
“Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits”, Thomas Edison.
Happy Inventors Day!