Let me describe a situation I happened to be in by now several times. I work in the field of detector/electronics/imaging systems development. I often get some new technical ideas and solutions, some of them seem to be valuable and often I manage to demonstrate them to some degree experimentally without involving extra resources. When communicated to the employer, it may even get patented. At the moment, I would be happy to develop my idea just for my own professional growth while staying employed, I would rather prefer that then going creating my own company - I see too many problems on this way and not so much interested in remote perspective of getting rich.But typically my employer while staying positive about the idea (in terms of talking) does not provide much of any real support which is quite frustrating.
So the questions I cannot get answer to are:
So at the end what should I do about that? - I know I cannot stop to approach my work creatively. Is creating my own company is only way?
Edit taken from original posters reply to thread:
Thanks for all the answers and bringing more optimistic view to me. To clarify: my ideas are very technical, mostly related to reapplying already in-house developed technology to a different field like applying some developments from multichannel readout electronics developed for medical field into mm-wave imaging for security. Also, I probably got such a pessimistic attitude because mostly being employed by rather small companies (20-30 employees). Another thing contributing to it is that I typically employed as electronic engineer (well sometimes the position might be called Research Scientist or Engineer) while I am graduated in physics and dealing mostly with physics-PhD-kind of things while actually having no PhD. I think employer can doubt my technical competence based on that and to some degree I missing presentation skill training of a typical PhD.Thanks for your attention
Also, I guess most replies here represent American attitude while my job experience is in Russia and Europe.
I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all answer to this.
Any rational employer should love that employees come up with marketable ideas. That said, there are many barriers for change. Many people are invested in the status quo, or fail to see the market potential. Many ideas which later on become successful fail at first due to lack of supporting technologies / bad timing / bad luck etc. The history of the now world famous Post-It note is a good example.
generally employer will not invest in idea of hired engineer/scientist. Is it true?No, lots of companies use ideas generated by their employees commercially. And most companies go to some lengths to claim exclusivity on the good ideas generated by their research and engineering teams.
It depends a lot on the company. Some like 3M and Google virtually force their employees into doing this, while many resist it strongly. I take you haven't had a lot of sales training or experience, and what you really need is to sell your manager or someone else higher up on the idea. You also need to be open to their experience - maybe they've already tried something similar and found out that it doesn't work in the market.
Think of what your manager feels when you suggest a new idea. To get a better perspective, what would you think if your friend came to you with a great idea for a new business based on your expertise and wanted you to work on it 20 hours/week for the possibility of a profit in a year or two?
You might like that if it worked but you aren't sure if it will. Managers are in a similar position. If they went after every new idea they could well lose the current business that is proven and often more profitable.
If the company isn't liable to punish you for spending time on side projects (I'm guessing the company is large enough that you aren't being watched constantly to make sure you're working on your priorities), there are two things that are very powerful in getting support:
Good luck - there is a lot that goes into building a successful product or business after the idea comes, but if you do this right you might be able to negotiate something extra for your contributions.
Thanks for the additional information. It helps me better understand your situation.
I feel that the challenges you seem to be facing are not necessarily solvable by just starting your own company. You may want to teach yourself some new skills as you've taught yourself physics:
Hope that helps!
By "invest in your idea" what makes the most sense to a company is to keep it in-house, and just give you extra time to work on your idea.
That might not be a good option because it will probably be owned by the company.
If the company is big enough to really invest, it probably has many layers of permission you need to get through. At one of them it will get stuck and you will just have to wait.
What might be best to do is just do the idea until it gets noticed. Don't ask for permission or investment. Either of these options can slow you down. Just do it :)