It’s an exciting moment when a great new idea forms in your mind and after running through a quick common sense test it seems feasible. To make sure of it you make a crude prototype and guess what? It works! This is going to be a smash hit and take over the world! So, what do you do next?
Firstly, slow down and contain that excitement a little. Of course, you are going to need that passion and drive to see a product development through to the end but we also need to be careful not to let it blind our senses from reality. And, that reality is that the majority of new ideas and innovative product developments fail in the marketplace, it’s that plain and simple. We don’t mean to completely burst your bubble but it’s important to be both realistic and cost efficient in your product development approach because too many people lose a lot of money chasing dreams that turn into nightmares, that with a bit of experience and insight could have been avoided early in the process.
Here’s our recommended four step process from here:
1. Research your new idea.
Has someone else thought of this already? Answering this question can save you a lot of time and money. Assuming you have a novel idea, you should now do your own research into product development, intellectual property, funding, etc. There’s lots of information on-line and you may be able to answer many of your questions without engaging consultants just yet. Be sure to read from reliable sources.
2. Engage your personal network.
Who do you know that may be able to help you? Maybe you know a business owner, an engineer, an accountant or a lawyer? When you are discussing your idea with these people you know they have your best interests at heart. Once again, be sure to discuss with reliable sources; there’s is no point chatting with your engineering friend about consumer product development if he’s never worked in that field. People will often go out of their way to help you but may offer poor advice if they are not experienced in the right area. Instead you should ask them for a reference to somebody more experienced with your projects needs. Even though these people are family and friends, make sure they are willing to keep your ideas confidential on a professional level.
3. Non-Disclosure Agreement.
Once you have exhausted your personal network it is time to engage professional assistance, but before you do this you should prepare a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). An NDA is an agreement signed by yourself and a person or company you wish to engage. It will allow you to disclose your ideas and legally bind them to confidentiality. If you’re meeting with us, we can provide you a standard NDA for the purpose of confidential discussion.
4. Professional Engagement.
We recommend that a product design consultancy should be your first port of call as they generally have the broadest understanding of the whole development process and can point you in the right direction. There are many good companies around, each with their own strengths and experiences. Meet with them in person and ask about their process and past work before discussing your idea. Look for professional accreditations such as membership with the Design Institute of Australia. At Whistle we are an open book and happy to show you our capabilities. If we cannot service your needs we’ll endeavor to put you onto someone who can.