General Question

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

From idea to production?

Asked by Jonathan_hodgkins (626points) March 14th, 2011

Once one has a viable & simple marketable idea, what are the next steps towards production? How do you go from an idea to a physical, marketable object?

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4 Answers

WasCy's avatar

It probably depends on the product. I once met an inventor whose business consisted of coming up with ideas for inexpensive products – primarily homewares and kitchen utensils made of plastic, for example – and then making prototypes to test, molds for production, test marketing, and then selling the whole thing – idea, prototype, marketing results and production molds – as a going business. Then he’d move onto the next idea in his head.

I met him about 30 years ago, at which time he was already a millionaire and just doing what he was doing for fun. One of the products he had in development at the time was a 3-pack of hand-size fire extinguishers for kitchen use. The idea was that a cook who had a small grease fire, for example, wouldn’t hesitate to use an extinguisher that was non-toxic, wouldn’t spread the fire or make a huge mess, was right there on the counter (because it was so small, and because there were several of them in various handy places) – and only cost about 50ยข to $1.00 to use.

If your idea is for a replacement for the Brooklyn Bridge, though, you’d have to come up with a different idea to develop that.

jerv's avatar

That depends on the idea. You always need the right tools though. For some it’s as simple as basic hand tools whereas for some it requires a Makerbot or RepRap , or a full CNC machine shop with welding tools in the corner.

Be warned that engineers and machinists sometimes have different ideas on the definition of “simple”, and often marketting has at least three other opinions on top of that. Some fixtures are a cast iron bitch to make. (Well, more of a steel bitch really….)

funkdaddy's avatar

Check out the glif blog and Idea to Market in 5 months: Making the Glif for a recent, real world example of a simple physical product that got made, launched a company, and was successful.

They cover pretty much everything there, including funding, prototypes, production, costs, etc.

Summum's avatar

I am building my business now. I have had this idea for about 20 years now and I finally found the courage to actually get the business going. I have bought the domain name and I will soon have a web site that I will let you know about. I want to open it this fall for the Christmas season so that I can do a business review and see if this will make millions. I believe it will and have had other ideas also but have done nothing with them either. I even have a toy that I built and have not gotten it out there.

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