Figuring out If Your Invention Is the next Big Thing
Not every idea is worth money.
Innovation is what makes the modern world great, but without inventors stepping up to the plate, great ideas become lost in history. While it’s not easy to realize if your invention idea is amazing, this article will give you a few hints to look for.
Can you make an affordable product?
Keeping in mind who may want to buy the product, you have to think about how it can be practically manufactured for a decent price so that an affordable product will be made. A desirable product that isn’t necessarily critical should be about saving people time, money, and doing something more efficiently.
The cost of manufacturing can be estimated as early in the planning stages of your invention, long before a patent is even drafted. Compare to similar products on the market, get in touch with manufacturing companies (if outsourcing), and calculate potential profit margins.
Is it Commercially Viable
An invention can be awesome, but it may not work for widespread distribution. While it can come down to beating out by market forces, you have to think about logistics and following any applicable government regulations.
There can be bigger unforeseen hurdles that would make it hard for an invention to become commercially viable. For example, releasing a product that would require buyers to make significant upgrades to their home in order to use it. Another being an invention that would only work in cities with infrastructure that would specifically cater to it.
Testing the Market
The market demand will determine the survivability of your product, so bending your idea to fit what people want may be more important than following your original vision. There are ways to get market data, including sending out consumer surveys, examining market share databases (like LexisNexis), and monitoring search engine & social media trends.
Can you invest in it?
Not all startups cost the same, and some will need enormous up-front investments to get production going. Whether self-funding, taking out loans or looking for angel investors, you need to think realistically if your product is worth putting in the money.
If others’ don’t see the profitability in your invention, even while being novel, you might have to scrap the idea.
What will it impact?
You need to step back and visualize what kind of impact your inventon idea can have, albeit in theory. The areas of impact may include what you want to change in the world, what kind of businesses will be impacted, or even how it can change aspects within your own life.
It may be a bit of broadway to think, but it’s a good thinking exercise to put things in perspective on what you want to do with an idea.
While it may not apply to all markets, introducing an invention to the consumer market that’s overcomplicated probably won’t sell well. Instead of inundating potential buyers/investors with industry jargon and lots of unnecessary features, stick to what’s understandable and practical.
Spin a Bad Idea into a Good Idea
Just because you have to scrap projects doesn’t mean an invention idea can’t be reformed into a more viable product. Lot’s of successful startups had been based rather broad or bad ideas that were spun into something great.
For example, Facebook started out as a simple web application comparing the attractiveness of two photos. Obviously, this original idea was not worth a multi-billion dollar empire and it evolved to be the most widely used internet platform in history.
Similarly, your idea may not be ready to be packaged and sold as it is, but it can be a small component of something much grander.