How to Know If You Should Pursue Your Invention Idea

new products

A lot of us have an idea we’ve been carrying around with us for years that we swear will make us rich. But what we don’t have is a tool to tell us the future—no one really knows if their invention is worth pursuing. It may sound good on paper, but is it really a multi-million dollar idea?

Frankly, no one can answer that question for you. Even the most qualified entrepreneurs will tell you that you never know until you try. Many things come into play when considering whether you should actually pursue an invention idea. Trust me when I tell you that the big product design companies do their research, so you should do yours.

If you believe that you’ve thought of the next big thing, consider working through this list before pursuing your invention idea.

Research Your Competitors

You probably think you have a completely original idea that’s never been thought of before, and hey, maybe you do. But chances are, someone else has had that idea and the product already exists. If it does, you can either throw in the towel or innovate.

Figure out how you can make your product different from the others. After all, improving upon existing ideas is how the industry grows. Do some digging and find out where your competitors excel and where they fall short. Continue to tweak your idea until it’s not only different, but better than the rest. If it’s too similar to a competitor and doesn’t stand out, chances are, it’s not worth pursuing.

Don’t Waste Your Time on Ideas You’re Not Passionate About

The best inventions are the ones we would use ourselves. That’s not to say that if you have an idea for something out of your realm, that it’s a bad idea. But you will be infinitely more passionate when inventing for yourself.

You should be excited to talk about your idea and it should be something you would use. If you aren’t passionate about a project, you’re inherently more likely to give up on it when times get rough—and trust me, entrepreneurship isn’t easy.

Keep It Simple

This is a higher priority tip for new entrepreneurs. Keeping your idea simple is beneficial for many reasons. For starters, it’ll have less upfront cost, considering you’ll probably need to work with product designers and manufacturing services to get your idea off the ground.

A design that’s easy to execute will have a quicker turnaround time, which is great if you want to get it to market quickly. You’ll also have less loopholes to maneuver if you’re designing something simple. Certain industries have regulations and rules that you must follow, like the medical device design industry. Steer clear of those for now. And don’t worry—a simple, easy to manufacture product doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be making less money. Which leads me to my next point…

Have an Elevator Pitch

The less complex your idea is, the more succinct and fluid your elevator pitch will be. A short and punchy verbal description of your product will help you sell it to possible investors, or even just friends and collaborators. Your elevator pitch should be persuasive and explain what your idea is. It should contain value statements and capture interest.

Also include stats about your product if appropriate. If your competitors are well-known, make sure you explain how your product is different and better than they are. If you’re having a hard time writing an elevator pitch, maybe your idea isn’t the one.

Follow Trends

If your idea is in line with current trends, you’ll be more likely to find success both online and in stores. If you’re able to push out a product alongside a newly emerging trend, chances are, it’ll find its way into people’s minds. Trendy items sell themselves, especially in the age of social media. Having people share your product online is the best way to find success.

It can be hard to capitalize on trends, especially if you’re not in touch with them. Try to anticipate future trends and be wary of basing your idea around fads.

Exploit Attractive Markets

If your idea falls into a market that’s not doing so well, it’s probably not worth pursuing. There’s always the chance that you’ll be able to reinvigorate a market, but it’s not worth the risk. Try to align your idea with marketplaces that are booming or with industries that haven’t seen innovation in a long time. Current booming marketplaces include self-driving cars, augmented reality, and AI.

Know Your Customer

Identify your customer before you begin working on your idea. It shouldn’t be hard, especially when designing something you’re passionate about. Knowing who your customer is will allow you to predict their specific needs, determine a suitable price point, and enhance marketing abilities.

You’ll have a hard time persuading anyone into buying into your idea if you aren’t sure what they want. Some questions to ensure you know the answers to are:

  • Who is your customer?
  • What do they buy?
  • Why do they buy it?

Define Short and Long-Term Goals

Lay out a detailed plan of not only your short term, immediate goals, but also the long-term goals you have for your product. Short term, your goals may include getting the project off the ground, connecting with product design firms and manufacturing companies, crowdfunding, or just building a prototype. Regardless of what they are, create a checklist—it’ll keep you motivated.

Long terms goals are also useful, thought you’ll often find yourself having to reevaluate them. Nothing ever goes as planned. Make sure your goals are realistic so as not to leave yourself disappointed.

Evaluate Online Potential

A lot of marketing efforts are focused online. Social media is one of the best tools to promote your new product. If your idea follows a trend, you should have an easy time exploiting Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media channels to generate buzz and excitement around your idea.

If your invention is niche and not suitable for mass-marketing campaigns over Twitter and Instagram, look for more niche corners of the internet to promote it. Forums like Reddit and websites that write about the industry your product falls into are out there and can be used as marketing tools. Go wherever your customer is and create your social media strategy that way.

Keep Your Budget in Check

If you’re keeping your idea simple, you shouldn’t have to stretch your budget too thin. A product design firm that’s had many successful launches can afford to lose once in a while. If you’re an independent, brand new entrepreneur excited about your new invention, you may want to sink all of your money into it. However, a failure for you could lead to financial turmoil.

If your invention is a little bit more expensive than you can afford, one way to pad your risk of financial loss is to find someone (or a group of people) to share it with you. Go in together. That way, any failures won’t fall back on you alone.

Your Friends and Family Should like Your Idea

Run your invention idea by your friends and family. Take into account that some people may hide their true feelings because they want to be supportive and not upset you. If the majority of people tell you they wouldn’t use your invention, it’s probably best to not go forward with it. On the other hand, if you get a resounding round of applause, keep your expectations in check and realize that not everyone is telling you the truth.

Figure out If You’ll Need Help

Factor this into your budget. Odds are, you won’t be able to take your idea from a concept straight to the marketplace alone. You may need help with prototype design, which an industrial designer could assist you with. You’ll need design engineer services, packaging design services, and a manufacturer to ultimately put the pieces together. Also, launching a product usually includes creating a business, so those are more costs to factor in.

You can do some of these things yourself, but you’ll likely be sacrificing quality. Weigh the pros and cons and decide what’s best for your product and your budget.

At Cad Crowd, we can help you access a team of designers and manufacturers to turn your idea into a ready-to-go product. We have the best product designers, freelance CAD designers, and can connect you with high quality manufacturing services around the world.

Take a look at our services, and if you’re serious about entrepreneurship, contact us for a consultation and a free quote!