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Try these for size: Irish inventor selling 200 ideas for new products

Fancy your own startup? Bill O’Riordan says he doesn’t have the skills to make money from his gadget ideas – but hopes they can spur others on to success.

The shed: where all the best inventions begin
The shed: where all the best inventions begin
Image: harriet lucy yeomans via Flickr

FROM A CLIP-ON endoscope, to an automatic paint for scuff-marks on walls – there are countless little ways our lives could be improved.

At least that’s the philosophy of Cork amateur inventor Bill O’Riordan, who has published a book of 200 ideas, concepts and possible gadgets he believes could be the foundation for new businesses and spur job creation.

“It’s when I see stuff and I think, surely that can be done better,” O’Riordan told TheJournal.ie. O’Riordan says he has come up with scores of ideas for new products but doesn’t have the business savvy to market them.

Each idea consists of a description of the problem, and a plan for a solution. The ideas include a new, more efficient way of cleaning escalators; a device for slipping sleeves around the arm of a newborn baby with an intravenous cannula attached; and a self-mixing spray can for covering scuff marks which works in the same way as an inkjet printer.

Are the ideas viable for startups? “Absolutely,” he says. “As far as I’m aware, 90 per cent of them haven’t been done before. Somebody who has the wherewithal could do it.”

So why hasn’t he turned these ideas into money-spinners himself? “I know if I invested any money in it, I’d lose it,” O’Riordan says.

It is more than certain that if I tried to invest our savings in a new idea, the way I’d go about it would absolutely lead to failure. I don’t have that kind of business edge.

He hopes that even if the ideas – which are contained in his book Fly Flaps And Other Inventions, which went on sale this week – don’t make someone a millionaire, they might spur others in Ireland on to think about their own ideas more seriously.

The whole key to success would be that we start inventing our own stuff in Ireland. Like the Germans seem to be very good at. We’ve got the talent for it. My whole reason for putting it out there is just to start people thinking. If you have good ideas, that’s the key.

Read: How to…make an iPhone cover out of wood>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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