The process of invention is often defined by a simple rule: trial and error. In fact, developing a successful invention can be a product of many failures. This determination, even in the face of numerous setbacks, is part of what makes inventors so inspiring. On this Behind the Breakthrough, the first-half of a two-part series, we’re reflecting on what our participants described as the biggest challenges of invention, and how to effectively overcome them:  

Behind the Breakthrough Answers: “What are the biggest challenges of invention?” (Part One)

From L to R: Manan Shukla, Dr. Michael Manion, Dr. David Paranchych

“Creating a new idea is always a challenge. Numerous smart people have already invented incredible things, so it’s easy for new inventors to be intimidated by the unknown unknowns of their field. So a new invention or idea often happens only once the inventor understands his or her area deeply. It’s not easy, but it’s not insurmountable either.”

Dr. David Paranchych, IV Engineering Director and cellular wireless communication expert

“Contrary to what you might believe, the actual inventing isn’t the hardest part. Of course that can take months and even years, but if you make something new and useful then you have to commercialize it – a challenging feat. For many of my inventions, I don’t know if I would have commercialized products without the help from IV. I probably would have had to mortgage my house and ask friends and family for help. Plus, even if all of that worked out, there is a 98 percent chance of failure in taking a nascent idea to market all alone. That’s why IV is so helpful – they allow me to come up with new ideas, even if they don’t all work out, and I can purely focus on my job of inventing. IV does the rest.”

Dr. Michael Manion, Inventor and Director of Keon Research

“Creating a useful new technology is already challenging enough, but then we have to figure out sales and distribution and ultimately get it into the right hands. To accomplish all of this, we have to survey the landscape diligently to ensure that the product will even be used. This involves studying the entire value chain, learning the gaps, and coming up with ideas that are well-suited for accomplishing specific challenges in countries. But all of this pays off! When you do the hard work and break down every angle, that’s when you make the biggest impact.”

 – Manan Shukla, Global Good’s Associate Commercialization Lead

Want to hear more from these impressive inventors? Check out our original profiles of David, Michael, and Manan. And don’t forget to follow the rest of our Behind the Breakthrough series by subscribing to our IV Insights blog and following our Facebook and LinkedIn pages. 


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