Every device we use, app we have on our cellphones or book that we’ve read started as an idea at some point. The only difference between an idea and an actual product is action.
So many ideas end up in the ether, never to see the light of day, simply because someone didn’t have the faith in themselves to make it happen. But if you think you have a great idea for a product, and already got some positive feedback from reliable sources, then there’s nothing holding you back from making it happen, especially when funding is now more accessible than ever. Here are the steps that you should take if you want to create a new product and get it to market.
Make Sure that You Are Solving a Problem
A large portion of products are there to solve a problem. That’s how insanely popular but simple inventions like lint rollers were invented. Successful products often manage to solve big issues or seemingly minor ones that virtually everyone must deal with.
Finding problems is easier than you may think. You can simply start by making an inventory of your own frustrations during the day. If you’ve been in a particular field for a long time, you might have an in-depth understanding of the market that only a few may have and be able to identify recurring issues within this industry – and possible ways to solve them that haven’t been created yet.
Prototype the Product
This is one of the most fun parts of creating a product. The prototype will not only be used to see if your product actually works but can be used to start getting funding from investors. So, it’s important that you get that part right.
Prototyping can get expensive, and this could be difficult if you’re starting on a limited budget. However, there are tools that you can use to cut costs. Services like Gumstix.com, for instance, have easy to use tools that can allow you to create something like design a custom motherboard or circuit board in minutes, even with little experience. Your specs or custom design will then be verified by their team of engineers and tweaked if need be. You could have a fully working, ready for production-ready unit done in a couple of days.
Protect Your Product
You now have to make sure that you protect your intellectual property and designs. Some people may be tempted to get a patent at the early stage, but this costs money and you have no idea if your product is actually viable. Instead, what you could do is file a PPA, or provisional patent application, which will give you some protection for a year until you file for a real patent. You should also make sure that you make developers sign non-disclosure agreements and trademark your name.
Once everything is done and your product is ready to hit the shelves, it’s time to sell it. You have two major ways that you can go about this. You can either license it or manufacture it. Manufacturing gives you more control but costs a lot more. With licensing, you allow someone else to market, manufacture, and deliver products, and you get a royalty. Both options have their pros and cons, so make sure that you look at them in detail before you make a decision.
Creating and selling products is easier than ever, but you still have to do your homework and make sure that you have everything down before you start. Make sure that there is a market for your product first and foremost, and that you can actually deliver before you embark on any project.