A Two-Path Process Model of Invention: Conclusions from six years of research with independent inventors
Harald A. Mieg
Affiliation: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Keywords: Inventor; Invention; Patents; Creativity; Innovation
Categories: Humanities, Social Sciences and Law, Life Sciences
This paper introduces a two-path model of the invention that comprises two processes: a long-term, idea-driven path, and a short-term, problem-solving path. The model focuses on individual inventors and includes the success factors for the invention that are known from the literature. The model resumes the line of research in independent inventors and responses to five open issues that are central to current research on inventors: the role of creativity; the high level of persistence amongst inventors; the role of knowledge; the permanent transgression of domains by inventors; success criteria. The paper contains an extended review of the state of research on inventors and presents current approaches to explaining inventiveness. A core assumption of the paper is to understand the invention in the context of long-term technological development.