Photograph of this Season's Inventors

Everyday Edisons premieres June 19, 2008.

Check your local listings.

Everybody has a great idea that could change the way we work, the way we live or the way we play. Everyday Edisons documents the development process of 12 inventions and the parallel stories of the people who invented them. Selected from thousands, the 15 “Everyday Edisons” learn how their extraordinary ideas are taken from a sketch on a napkin to a store shelf.

So who are the “Everyday Edisons” this season?

Take Sheldon Levinson and Michael Diep: both like to tinker with concepts for new and improved products, or simply the next crazy fad. Levinson, a true kid-at-heart, is always looking for the next best toy or gadget to make people smile. Taking the traditional favorite – bubbles – and combining them with the lava lamp, another iconic American gadget, he developed the latest twist on bubble toys.

Diep, a refugee from Vietnam, has thousands of inventions in his back pocket, one of which is a new design for a dual cat toy and claw scratcher. As a hectic business consultant, Diep encountered a challenge many of us face – lack of time. With limited personal free time, much less time to take his cat to the veterinarian for nail trimmings, Diep incorporated sand paper into his cat’s jungle gym to naturally file the nails as it played.

Inventing isn’t just for adults, the retired or the self-proclaimed inventor. Mark and Cody Fox, brothers and juniors in high school, were tired of paying year-end fines for bent corners and broken spines on their school text books. After combining a few fabric swatches, some hot glue and pieces of plastic, the young men developed a way to prevent the dreaded fines come June.

There’s also Aaron Tang, a twenty-something industrial designer by trade with an eye for innovation, but little time or resources to develop an idea of his own. Tired of setting numerous alarms each night for fear of sleeping through them all, Tang decided to put his design skills to the test and create a new alarm clock for heavy sleepers.

These are all examples of “Everyday Edisons” — ordinary people with simple solutions for the everyday problems we all face. Their ingenious inventions ease life’s complexities, make everyday processes more efficient and make our lives more enjoyable. Read more about our “Everyday Edisons” and their inventions.

Cracking the Code to the Product Development Process

But how, exactly, does the average person transform a mere sketch on a napkin into a useful product available to the masses?

This question, coupled with a general unawareness of the complex product development process, will inhibit most people from ever pursuing their inventive dreams and ideas. It’s these tough obstacles that Everyday Edisons will examine throughout the new 13-part series.

Season Two brings new features like interviews with product development experts, where they offer insight to the everyman-turned-inventor. Interviewed experts include: Niels Diffrient, industrial designer for Humanscale, James Dyson, founder of Dyson products, Carlton Calvin, President of Razor and Janet Napolitano, Arizona Governor.

Everyday Edisons is produced by Bouncing Brain Productions.