Traits That Makes an Invention Market Viable
Is your idea worth the investment?
While inventors have always made up a small portion of the population, they are the core of how the human race has progressed. Nowadays, it’s much easier to be an inventor now that the general population is relatively open-minded and the internet makes it easy to propagate ideas.
At the same time, competition has accelerated so that weak inventions settle to the bottom and are seldom discovered. This is why it’s important to have a good idea in the first place before dropping money for mass marketing.
Whether you’ve developed a unique method in your line of work or a cute gadget that would make a good stocking stuffer, it’s quite a long road ahead to bring an idea to the marketplace. No matter how much confidence you have, you need to take a step back and ask yourself a few serious questions about your invention idea.
Does it solve a real problem?
I think it’s quite obvious that an invention is a means to solve a problem, or at least make a current solution more efficient. The problem with a lot of inventions is that there is no real point apart from novelty, and sites like Kickstarter are plagued with such ideas.
The problem should address a real need or want by a significant amount of people. While it may not be desirable, it may also involve collaborating with top corporations or an inventor service company to connect with those that already dominate the market. Be pragmatic rather than romantic about your invention.
Inventions may also need to be time-critical to be market viable. When Google was launched, they filled a niche for a functional search engine when the internet was quite chaotic. Launching a competing search engine nowadays is doomed to fail, even if you offer some improvements.
Is it unique?
Just because you’ve never seen your invention idea out in the real world, it doesn’t mean that someone else hasn’t thought of it. Using a tool like Google Patents will easily pull up patented products within related keywords.
If your idea might be taken or vaguely covered by an existing patent, it doesn’t mean you cannot create a product with improvements. It’s a good idea to consult with patent experts to make sure you apply it legally.
Is it worth producing?
Inventions are meant to be useful and practical, but depending on various factors, there may be little to no profit after all things considered. You should always take market data quite seriously as your product may be expensive to make, and thus you will price yourself out of an already competitive market.
This is why prototypes, whether physical or theoretical, are extremely important. You should have an idea of what it costs to create each unit early on before you invest even more time & money on it.
Does the Market Exist?
The scary part about having a very unique invention is that one would have to carve their path and find out how profitable it is. Some of the early tech pioneers certainly wandered into uncharted territory and made their billions, but that went far beyond anyone’s expectations during their era.
Generally speaking, a small invention-based startup will want to enter a market that already has a customer base and profit projections are quite linear. Sure, competition may be higher, but you know your marketing budget won’t be in vain from the start.
If you are unsure about the marketability of an invention, you can always have it evaluated by a university or a private invention consulting company. Consumer market surveys can also give you an idea of what the average person thinks of your product.