Inventors are the great catalysts for innovation and technological progress. Inventors provide the world with new products and ideas. Great inventions change the world Fortunes can be made, but fortunes are also lost!
Do you have a great idea for an invention? How do you know that it’s great? How do you determine whether your invention is one of the world-changers, the money makers, and reputation stakers? It’s not a question to be taken likely, as the harsh reality is that most inventions flop.
Before you can say that your idea for an invention is good, you have to run assessments, evaluate its feasibility, and understand how it will factor in the lives of consumers and the general public. After all, isn’t that the idea behind inventions – to give people something worth investing in? The biggest trap of being an inventor is to be blinded by your own proximity to the project. Of course, to you, your invention seems like the greatest thing since sliced bread. But you need to verify this with hard, honest market research and solid evidence.
Questions to Ask to Identify If a New Invention Idea Is Good
Does It Solve A Problem?
There are two things that make a good invention: first, it identifies and solves a problem and, second, it does so in a way that resonates with a target audience. You can always develop a product that solves a problem in a spectacular way, but it’s of little use if it solves a problem that people don’t care about.
This is the central and primary question that inventors need to take seriously. But there are plenty of other considerations that add up to make or break a new invention.
Is It Useful And Functional?
This ties into the earlier point. So it solves a problem: great. But is it useful? There are many angles to this. It’s not particularly helpful to solve a problem in an inefficient and cumbersome way. You have to be able to solve your target problem in an elegant and easy-to-use fashion that would be appealing to consumers.
Remember that advancements in technology happen as a means to improve people’s lives. Your inventions should follow the same concept. And the more useful they are to more people, the higher the possibility of your idea taking off and turning a profit.
Is It Original Or An Improvement?
Hundreds of thousands of patents are filed every year in the United States alone. What incredible ingenuity! But an idea doesn’t have to be completely original to qualify as an invention. It can be an improvement of an old idea or a combination several ideas.
One of the classic ways to develop inventions is to exploit and combine new technologies. This kind of thing is happening all the time with high-tech products. Many inventions (most of them, really) are actually improvements on previous developments. Very rare indeed is the completely novel and unprecedented invention — if there even ever is such a thing.
The extent to which your invention is derivative or novel will determine much about the potential profitability. If it is only a minor deviation from previous designs, you have the advantage of know what kind of market you’re entering. But the downside, of course, is that it will be more difficult to convince consumers to switch to your brand and away from well-established companies.
If your invention is too much like what already exists — even if you do manage to get it patented — you will have a hard time gaining any traction. You want your idea to be novel enough to be interesting, while still satisfying real world problems.
Is It Affordable?
Inventions are meant to be useful, and being useful often means providing people with a way to save time and/or money. One of the main reasons why genuinely great inventions never make it to market is that they are impossible to implement at a reasonable price point for consumers. Remember: you have to be able to hit your profit margins, but you also can’t price yourself out of the market.
Very early on in the product design process, you need to figure out as accurately as possible what the cost will be to produce and distribute your invention, and you need to compare this with an honest assessment of what consumers will realistically pay for it. If you can’t derive a decent profit margin from the difference, then it’s time to come up with a new idea.
Is There An Existing Market?
Can you risk inventing something that has little to no existing market? What is the point if no one will use or buy your invention? Ideally, the product you bring to the public should appeal to a significant number of people. No market means no one will use your invention, which renders it useless.
Figuring out the scope of your potential market is important.
Even if your invention is marketable, it can still fail due to poor marketing. It’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to market research. Always remember the 50/50 rule of product marketing: you want to dedicate about half of your energy towards marketing, outreach, and promotion, and the other half towards the actual design and production of your invention. Don’t leave it to the last minute.
Start by asking friends or family about what they think and feel about your invention. Have a university evaluate the product formally. Speak to chain store buyers and gather input from them. Most importantly, have a legitimate market expert conduct a market study.
Is It Feasible?
Feasibility studies are done to identify various pros and cons of a project. So it solves a problem and it has a good potential market. But will you be able to manufacture it without driving the cost up? Is it viable for commercial availability? Is there an existing patent in place that could prevent you from selling it? Concerns such as these must be studied, analyzed, and dealt with early on.
Can You Commercialize It?
There’s no other way to ensure a wide distribution of your invention than to make it available commercially. When you do, however, you will be faced with market players you might not have been aware of, or even consider as part of the whole process.
Take, for example, hydrogen fuel for cars. It’s undeniably a great invention, but it will need a network of charging stations provided by other entities. You also need to deal with people concerned with safety regulations, and those in the business of upgrading vehicle engines so they can become a hybrid.
Is It Worth The Investment?
Bringing an invention to market requires a significant amount of investment of both time and money. This is largely misunderstood. Plenty of people send off emails to major companies bragging of their “great ideas” and offering to sell them. Well, no one is interested in ideas: ideas are free. Inventions cost money, and much of that money comes from the inventor’s pockets — especially in the early days.
If you need investors to help you develop your invention, you must present an idea that is worth their time and money. It has to be cost-saving and low-risk as well. No one would willingly part with their money knowing full well that market failure is high.
What your invention addresses will be a consideration as well. That is, if your idea is to alleviate pollution and poverty, profit will be measured based on the social benefit per dollar and not sales. This drives the complexity level of work even higher.
Work With Experienced Designers
If you’ve got a good idea for an invention, you can be one step closer to realizing your dream with the help of an experienced designer. Leveraging sophisticated CAD tools like Autodesk Inventor or SolidWorks can really help to bring your invention to life. With a 3D view and powerful simulation and analysis tools, you can easily identify flaws, make improvements, and enhance the design in such a way that a good idea becomes great.
Cad Crowd has the designer that you are looking for. We connect clients with industry leading product designers, industrial design freelancers, and freelance engineers. Our services are entirely customized and tailor-fit to the specific needs of each client.
Get in touch for a free quote today. Send us your project description, and based on your requirements we’ll connect you with a world-class product design specialist who can help you bring you new invention to life.