1) Older -" there is a higher incidence of inventors aged in their 40s to 50s who file patents; and
2) Self determining — an inventor is less likely to be associated with a large firm or a university.
Inventors do not have disproportionally more genius genes, but are highly motivated and therefore are driven to make a difference. Studies of identical twins separated at birth indicates that creative thinking is:
a) less genetically based (estimated to be a one third contribution);
b) more learning based (estimated to be a two-thirds contribution) leading to creating confidence in the capacity to create.
What does the above profile represent? Why are inventors generally older? Is there a biological clock for inventing?
There are many exceptions to the above profile; however, perhaps we should consider the incidence of patent filing with the incidence of self-actualisation? That, to be a fully formed self, an individual has to move from the potential of "oewhat you can be" to realise what "oeyou must be". That is, you must fulfil your full potential.
Inventors need networks
To achieve self-actualisation as inventors, people need networks to form the basis of learning.
You and your hypothetical identical twin have the same ability and background. However, the outcome is different when you have an invention if:
a) you stay in the shed tinkering, whilst
b) your identical twin communicates with many people from diverse backgrounds.
In the above scenario, your identical twin will have a better output. The difference within these results are realised within a week. Thus, communication is critical to develop inventions.
What role can a patent have?
A patent helps an individual publish an identity as an inventor which provides the means to engage with a like community. The inventor then may learn from members of a like-focused community. This provides a basis for reflection for the inventor and growth for the inventive concept.
Patent filing, like self-actualisation, occurs at a later stage of one'(TM)s working life and has coincidences:
Self-actualisation takes place in less than 1% of the adult population. Likewise, inventors are also a rare species. Could this be because the tools to aid invention remain hidden from a large part of the population?
Inventors are nurtured and the tools for nurturing should be developed to capture invention.
Patent libraries are around the world could nurture inventors by incorporating communication tools and open their protocols to allow a web 2.0 site to flourish. Inventors and the community as a whole would benefit if patents databases become more accessible."