During a recent interview about inventors, I watched the brilliant Joon Faii Ong, inventor of a glove which is helping many injured people, he discussed the importance of thick skin. Now I have never been much of an inventor but I have always tried to create small items in the home. These comments really got me thinking about what exactly he was talking about when he said ‘thick skin’. I have a few friends who are actually inventors in their own right, and they spoke with me about what Joon meant by this.
If there any of you out there who would like the idea of being an inventor, here is why thick skin is absolutely necessary.
Failure of Your Own Ideas
Sometimes things just don’t work, you can get the science right, you can plan right, research the materials well and understand all angles of the product, yet it just doesn’t work. As my friends informed me, this usually happens at the end of the design, just when you think that everything was going well. It takes a lot of thick skin for you to invest so much of your time in something, going through all of those steps which you thought would make the product work, only for it to fail at the end. It is critical therefore that you have what it takes to move on, take it back to the drawing board and start again.
Rejection of The Market
If you have ever watched a series such as Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank, then you will know only too well just how difficult a place this is to go for inventors. Ultimately no matter how great you think that your product is, or how many people you believe it may be able to help, your success is underpinned by what the market needs. It is difficult to tell the market what it needs, because everyone thinks that we should be providing what they want. Inventors do not think in this way and ultimately it comes down to the decision of a single business man or business woman to decide on your fate. It is important however that any inventors is able to keep on pushing and to stay positive in their ideas and their product, until someone says yes.
Inventors are often referred to as mad scientists and whilst it is true that there are some zany ideas out there, most inventors actually go through many poor ideas before they hit on the idea which will really makes the most sense. It is not ice to hear someone talk about you in this way of course but it is necessary to understand who you are and why. If you have thick skin then you will make it through those poor ideas, and on to the great ones.
Above all as inventors, you must be able to roll with the punches and keep on going at all costs.