My first stage of invention looks very different, depending on lots of various things: why I’m doing and what or who I’m working with. For example, if I’m experimenting with a new tool that I’m not familiar with (i.e. an app or an actual device) sometimes I literally just start messing with its features to see how it operates. When I first got my MacBook Pro, I was very curious about all of its features, so I dove right in and began playing with my laptop. I played with various apps to see how they functioned, I surfed the Internet to see how it differed on a Mac, and so on.
For me, sometimes I just have to work with the object on my own and experience its functions firsthand. That may not seem like a great idea. Shouldn’t I read the directions or do research? Both of these actions are great–and I actually start there with my inventions–but there are occasions when I really need to just start with a fresh mind, a new slate. Learning from others or reading suggestions/steps is where I do start sometimes, depending on the object, tool, or idea I’m working with. When it comes to inventing a paper or doing a project, I usually go to others’ works to generate my own ideas. Getting tips or learning more about the subject can help me understand how I can invent something uniquely my own.