In 1748, in an essay titled Advice to a Young Tradesman, Benjamin Franklin offered this advice to young tradesmen “Remember that Time is Money”.
This statement is especially relevant in the world of inventing physical products and in market commercialization, both for yourself and the product development firm you work with.
There are many things you need to consider when trying to bring your idea to market. I am going to talk about 5 key steps.
1. Your idea needs to fill an existing gap in the market
Your idea should identify a need, solve a problem, correct a gap or make something more appealing or easy. You need to think through who will be using and buying your product, where will they use it and how they will use it.
If you have more than one user, you will need to understand the characteristics of the total universe of users and how each is unique. How your product will look and feel is a critical consideration in product development of physical hardware and the environment in which your product exists is another factor.
2. You need to do your research
What are the legal requirements such as regulatory approvals and patents, trademarks, copyrights etc.? There are a number of sites that you can access or work with a design firm that has expertise in patent protection.
3. You need to know exactly what you are marketing
Work on your elevator pitch, 50 words that describe the value, uniqueness, relevant data and a call to action. Start pitching it and modify it to perfection.
4. Work with someone who knows how to do this
Reputable product development specialists like Design 1st have done hundreds of projects; they have the expertise with a refined process, they know what success looks like and have worked through enough budget exercises to tell you within +/- % of what the actual cost will be.
Don’t be surprised that your understanding of the cost and effort to confirm the business objectives, design, develop and prototype, manufacture or license, get it to market and distribute is more than you thought.
5. Pick the right partner to bring your idea to market
The great firms work collaboratively, are part of your team and include you in every aspect of critical decision making and milestone approvals. Do your homework and check your options out.
Listening on both sides is a big consideration and an indication that you made the right design partner choice will be based on your initial call with the front-line sales or business development individual. If they tell you not to waste your time, generally they are right.
There are a lot of considerations and decisions to make but it is very important to remember: The reason we work with product development design firms to support our ideas is because they are the experts and have perfected the process through hundreds of successful products.
If you have thought through some of these considerations ahead of time, that first conversation with your design partner will move your idea to market a lot faster.
Why? Because, TIME IS MONEY!