Tag Archives: inventing

Status Update

Hi there blog,

There’s a lot going on at the moment, so I thought I’d get it all out of my head and put in the compost bin to stew.

Projects-wise, we have the following:

  • The DVD project – I’m in the middle of making a DVD for GCSE Design & Technology. This is probably the most fun and interesting thing that I’m doing now, and has some real long-term potential. The script is at the second draft stage, and just needs to be gone over with a fine comb to ensure it is free of nits, with a glossy coat.
  • Tying up the ends of a website I’m doing for North Farm Cottages, I’m just waiting for better pictures of the cottages, then I can hand it over. Please – no-one make a booking, as it all comes to me at the moment!
  • The Barbican’s Ron Arad exhibition opens on Wednesday, so the wife and I will be going to the private view. The first workshop that I’m doing isn’t for a month yet, so I have a few days to finish off the deliverables for that.
  • The back support that I’m working on with a client has stalled a bot, so we need to get that ‘back’ on the go. [That was horrible, sorry]. Next step, I reckon, is to go speak to a lawyer about securing some IP. That’s a long road, but we need to get started.
  • Tutoring is ticking along nicely, no problems there.
  • Supply teaching has stalled completely – obviously, as its half term! Still waiting for a couple of CRB checks before I can start working for more than one agency, but they should come through soon, and then this’ll pick up a great deal.
  • I really fancy making a set of bookends and putting them on Etsy. I don’t put a lot of time into this area, but perhaps I should… One of those things, I guess.
  • I also want to continue updating the website, especially thinking about the ‘about me’ page. I just did this quickly when I first put this site up, and, also, I think that I was a bot ‘ooh, it’s a bit egoistic to write about yourself’, but my mind has changed on that one. It’s okay to just tell people who you are.
  • A mate of mine spectacularly crashed his scooter last week, breaking three bones in his right hand, so I’m going to go and pick that up for him at some point. Probably not today, though. It’s pissing it down.
  • And we need some shopping.
  • And I just got a new computer (very nice) and it came with a load of software that i don’t know how to use. I should probably leave them alone, as it will just waste time, but I can’t help feeling that if I just spent time learning to use them, they could be really useful and save me time in the future… I don’t know!
  • Oh, and I need to do the filing.

So what to do first? Well, I think this morning could productively be spent making some phone calls – lawyers, clients, collaborators. I’ll then have a coffee and proceed to stare at the script for the DVDs [should that be DVD’s or DVDs?] to see what falls out. A spot of lunch (we’ll be having pancakes later!), and I might have a look at that page on my website. Or maybe I’ll go to the shed and make some bookends. Or maybe i’ll go to lynda.com to learn how to use all that software. We’ll see!

Hope everyone has a good day, despite the rain!




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This is it

This is it.

i’ve had enough.

I’ve tried. I’ve tried freaking everything.

Now i’m just going to have to DO.

Let me explain…

I was dissatisfied with my life. Something wasn’t right, but i didn;t know what.

I thought about it a lot. I read self-help books. I attended workshops and seminars. I did all the exercises they suggested. I contacted my ‘spirit partners’. I labelled everything in my house. I wrote down my core values.


But I still did not know what it was that i wanted. I was still dissatisfied.

I made changes.

I quit my job and became self employed. I thought I wanted to be an inventor – i could always go back to teaching if it didn;t work out.

I do want to be n inventor, but that’s not all i want to be.

I am still dissatisfied.

I wanted to find out what my values are. What motivates me? No point in doing anything unless you know why you’re doing it, right?

Fair enough. But i don’t know. I just don’t know.

Something tells me that i may never know.

this is cary and not a little unnerving. but what other honest answer is there?

So I don’t know what my values are, why i do the things i do. But there, right there, is the key!

What i Do want, what i DO want to do, is to find out what it is that i want to do.

this kind of thinking hurts my head, but lets work with it.

under this question (what do i want to do?), i am suddenly released from constrictive labelling and marketting-speak pitches about who i am or whatever.

Suddenly, in a way, i am free.

I am free to do what I want to do, without worrying about why i am doing it. I can do things that i am drawn to, that interst me ( i have a short little span of attention, or so it feels).

Payment will come later, i’m sure, (do not tell my bank manager this – it does not make for a good business plan).

So, okay Philip, you can do what you want to do. Congratu-fucking-lations.

What are you going to do?

I’m so glad you asked!

(you didn’t; that was a literary device that probably has some name, of which i am unaware, but bear with me)

That, my friend, is for the next post!

I tend to waffle when confronted with an endless piece of digital paper, so i’m forcing myself into breaking this up into a two-parter.

See you on the next post (that’s the one above, if you’re reading this on a big long page)




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Spiritual matters

It really does.

I thought about developing products that help lead people towards the spiritual, but not in a new-agey kind of way. in an effective way.

First up i did some research – google etc. What I got was predictable enough – beads, prayer mats, buddhas, handbags (handbags?).

Not much to go on there – if people were inclined towards the ‘spiritual’ they will already have these.

So it seems what i’m talking about here is things that make people better people. So first, I thought, you have to identify what makes people worse poeple.

What do i mean by ‘worse’? I don’t mean violent or bitchy or anything too obvious like that, as i view these traits as symptoms rather than causes.

What i’m getting at is ‘what makes people not people’? When they are absorbed, mindless and passive. this made my search for what makes people worse people very easy!

Television, video games, computers.

All these things remove your necessity to act, to engage and to think independent, creative thoughts. they make you not a person.

Or so i thought.

What about nature programs, where you watch them, you are engaged and you see the world differently afterwards? Even more subtly programs like Strictly or X-factor allow you greater ability to socialse with your peer group, an important human trait.

Compter games do involve a degree of problem solving, of thinking in a certain way, and OMMRPG’s allow you to interact, creating a non-linear (as opposed to; do this, then this, then this…) environment.

however, they don;t leave you with anything; they allow only limited avenues for expression (all predetermined by program), and nothing physical, no physical experience (other than back ache) at the end of them.

TV involves no interaction on the part of the viewer. how can children use their imagination when it’s all there for them in brightly coloured 3D?

In addition to this, they are hypnotic. the tendency is for us to become passive and to just watch more, and more. and more. clearly this is less human than the hunter-gatherer type behaviour of our forefathers.

So, where am I now?

I don’t know. Asides from a sharp stick, i can’t think of anything right now that will inspire people to engage more with the world around them.

I am reading a lot of books about quantum physics, that are showing me a differnt way of looking at the world. Who knows.

What is important is that this i really important to me, and that i am trying. I am trying to help people be themselves, not what they are told they can be.

That can’t be a bad thing, right?

Anyone got any comments that will push me forward on this, would be most appreciated.




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Shit! Lets talk about money…

Okay, its come to the point where i want to work with someone on helping them develop their idea. We both want to work together, and agree that the venture should be profitable to both of us, in equal measure to what he has brought to the project.

Problem is- how the hell do we decide what this actually means!!

It’s easy, if i just help him develop a prototype and hand it over – then i should just charge an hourly rate; the more complex the prototype the longer it takes, the more it costs. Simple.

however, what if i want to offer more than that, if i want to offer my design and development expertise, or my opinions on directions in marketing the product, or introduce him to specific people i have in mind who can lend a hand? This doesn;t fit with the hourly rate…

It all comes down to risk, and how much i am prepared to gamble on this guys idea…

I need some professional advice, and quick!

PS: Do not contact me offering services of a business nature – i am well served in that department, and this post should in no way be construed as a request for a barrage of emails from ‘invention’ companies, venture capitalists from Peru or anything else.



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Begining to Start to Think

Okay, so i don’t feel ‘like’ other inventors. There are websites. there are clubs. but they don’t feel right.

The world, IMHO, does not need more electric carving knives or rotary toothbrushes. How about products that help people learn or, better yet, help people want to learn? I came up with an idea a while back for a bookmark that will help people doing research – books, dissertations etc. That felt right, or at least along the right lines.

Somehow i want to help people open up their lives a little bit, engage with the scary, uncomfortable but real world. Where i am at the moment it seems like that means less products, not more.

I feel like a politician proposing the dissolution of all governments. And thats not going to be an extremely popular idea. In fact, its scary and uncomfortable.

Play is another thing. Not idle play that is just a distraction, but real play that is inspiring and full of wonder. That, i guess, is why i came up with the marble game.

Learning is the same – not consuming factoids at an ever-increasing rate, but real, inspiring, wonderful learning that helps you look at the world in new and unexpected ways.

I’m not sure what this all adds up to yet, but the direction feels right. As long as i can stay away from this being simply an artistic or aesthetic concept. If i can put this into practice, then that will feel right, to me.



PS: If, for some reason, you do not have full motor control of your arm or wrist, as many people do not, then electric carving knives are a good, helpful product. Thing is; for what proportion of electric carving knife owners is this the case?


Filed under Ideas, Rant, thought

Hopes of a bright new future

Okay, so this is a hard one.

What i’m doing is thinking big thoughts about the nature of invention, the word today, state of umanity, the planet and how, in the name of all that is good, do Squishy Toes save anyone or anything?

As a new inventor, i could probably think up some new, niche market, amalagamated product such as toasters that do your eggs, but hopefully i won’t.

It’s difficult perhaps to think of products that immediately solve third world debt, shrinking ice caps or humanty’s seemingly inbuilt desire to destroy itself and all around it. But at least one should try, don;t you think?

As i’m finding my feet in this inventor lark, i pledge to gravitate towards high ideals and a better world. This will probably not translate into me be sainted, or perhaps even solvent, but, really, what else is there to do?

It’s good to get this down (on paper?), as i really do feel that an individual can make a difference by making a statement o intent, and trying his damndest to stick to it. So wish me luck




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Jenga, or:When do i get around to inventing something?

So i’m looking around the internet, playing games with myself and coming to terms with thte fact that my time is ‘my own’ (with all the good & bad that implies) when i start to realise that i’m not actualy inventing anything at the moment.

I’ve tried to justify this to people i know – everyone alway asks ‘what have you invented?’ – and all i can say is that i have several things in development. this is true – i have a number of ideas about specific products or concepts, that have not YET turned into inventions. so where does the invention start?

I guess i really need to meet other inventors to find this out, as at the moment i am not having any Eureka moments. Previously they have happened in the course of my days, but after chucking in my ‘normal days’ and winging it as a full time inventor, those Eureka moments are not forthcoming, although i am trying to create as fertile a soil as i can.

Don;t get me wrong, what i do have is a lot of flexibility to explore ANY angle that i chose: evolution; quantum physics; magnets; lead flashing on roofs; pyramid power; backk supports; design exhibitions; etc. However, what mostly happens is that i do a lot of filing and tidying up.

Sad thing is my desk isn;t even that tidy!

Maybe that’s an indication that things aren’t as bad as i think. Its early days yet, and i have plenty of things to keep me occupied whilst i sneak up on a Eureka 🙂

Have listened to CreativeMaverick’s interview of Leslie Scott. She invented Jenga (awesome) and i’m very pleased to have heard her talk about her experiences with Intellectual Property and her advice for would-be inventors. So let’s keep going!

I think the main worry is that i’m going to distract myself from doing serious work. I guess all home-workers experience this, so i take heart from that. I guess i can ask myself if everything i do is suporting where i want to be.

For example: i have completed a prototype product for money – good; I am replacing a fridge in my in-laws home – not so good. Lets limit the things that don’t support inventing, and encourage the things that do.

BUT WAIT! What if i fix the fridge for my in-laws, and come across some awful thing that prevents me doing something essential, and have a Eureka moment?! I don’t know!

Guess i’ll just keep on keeping on for now.



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