Taking Your Idea from Concept to Product
Since the beginning of the human race, we have been striving to solve every day struggles and issues with innovative solutions. From transportation powered by steam technology to everyday tools like the microwave, society has been moving forward to make things that are better, faster, stronger, and more beautiful.
Now everyone at one point in their lives has had a “great idea”, whether it’s a design for a more practical shopping cart or a more attractive tea mug that holds in heat for longer. From knick-knacks to abstract technology, you sense value in this idea and think that others might as well.
However, you yourself know that few of these ideas ever make it to fruition. It might be a lack of time, skills, knowledge or money that keeps us from exploring these options. But more often than not, it’s a simple lack of will and motivation. If you have plenty of those, the rest are only speed bumps on your road towards success.
Before you start getting too excited about your big idea, do some proper research. Often you’ll find that there is something very similar already on the market or that you have a local competitor that is attempting to do the same thing. The discovery of this doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t go ahead with your plans. But it does mean that you need to do your homework and see what people like and dislike about the existing products, who is the main target market, what your competitors are doing wrong, as well as what you could do better.
- Crystalize your Initial idea
Now that you know a little more about the market, it’s time for you to put on your thinking cap and get to work. What exactly do you want your product to do? What will it look like? What will be its selling point? Who will be buying it? How much would it cost to produce? How much could you sell it for?
- Ask Questions
Don’t be shy in approaching people and asking questions related to the product that you are thinking of developing. Send a survey to your friends, ask related industry professionals, or pitch your draft idea to a mentor. Ask for feedback about the design, the name, the cost, and anything else that you can think of. Once you have collected enough information, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and revisit your initial design. Is there anything that you would change now? Are you missing a crucial component? As you come up with newer and more improved ideas, don’t stop asking for more feedback- it’s what will make your product great.
Once you have decided on the final look of your product, it’s time to make some prototypes. Get a designer to help draw out your idea and then get quotes from some manufacturing companies. Depending on your idea, you’ll have to approach a company specializing in the materials that you are working with and the technology that you want to use. This might mean finding a garment factory, while in other cases it could be a workshop offering high-precision continuous 5 axis cnc machining.
- Gain Investment
Once you have a prototype, you can approach different retailers, investors, or even the public through sites like Kickstarter and ask for pledges or commitments to purchasing this product once produced. This will make your investment more secure before you go and make a thousand 3-D puzzles that no one wants. When you feel comfortable and well-received, it’s time to move to the next step.
- Full-Scale Production & Sales
You’ve done it! Your concept has become reality and now you can physically hold the idea that you had in your head for weeks, months, or even years! Find a trusted manufacturer who can help you with your production and get going on the marketing and sales. Remember to network and connect with your target audience, whether that means attending trade shows, doing in-store demos or being very active on Instagram. It’s time to share your idea with the world!
Going from idea to product can take some people months while others labor over it for years. In the end, it’s worth the time and effort because the satisfaction is out of this world!