In this article I share 5 things that will greatly help you to create a successful product. Disclaimer: They only work if you apply them - Don't miss No.5.
1. Define a problem first, then solve it.
“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it,” Albert Einstein. To create a successful product, you must solve a problem, and the best way to solve a problem is to first understand and define it. The best way to define it in my opinion, is to experience it first hand, yourself. I have found this to be the case with many of the clients I have been fortunate enough to work with. Typically, they have faced a problem in their life, at work, or at home, that has inspired them to create their own product. If you have spotted a problem, and think you have a solution that makes a job A. easier, B. safer or C. faster, than the competition, then there is every chance you are onto something.
2. Stop looking for that 'BIG' Idea.
I talk to people every week who say I'm waiting for that big idea to come along - I just haven't found it yet. As if its guaranteed at some point in their life.. well, it's not. The world owes you nothing, there is probably more chance of winning the lottery. If you are one of these people, i suggest, Instead of waiting and hoping for that big 'eureka' moment, look towards businesses and products that already exist in the industry you currently operate or plan to operate in. This will be your best source of inspiration. New idea's are great, but don't think you have to come up with something completely new, you don't. Stop wasting time pondering over that BIG idea, put a spin on an existing product, combine two products into one, make a better one. Ask your self what is 'x' product doing that i could do better ? An average idea that you take action on, is 100 times better that that big idea you are hoping and praying for.
3. Exceed expectations.
Have you ever purchased a product and thought 'this is excellent'. The product has exceed your expectations, preformed better and longer than you thought possible, maybe even made you a nice sum of money. It dosent happen very often but im sure we can all think of at least one product like this. This is an example where product design, development and testing was done right. The product was so good you literally could'nt find fault. When it comes to product design and development there are people out there who try to cut corners, to save some money, and have a 'go it on their own' type attitude, later to realise they made a foolish mistake, and the product they once visualised being a massive success, is in-fact a complete failure. It simply doesn't preform correctly, last long enough, or in some cases results in injury to the end user, not a situation anyone wants to be in. Moral of the story, seek advice of a professional designer to ensure your product exceeds your customers expectations.
4. Minimise unnecessary overheads.
Manufacturing is an area many people overlook. They come up with a great new idea, only to realise it is too costly to manufacture. In order for your product to be attractive to potential buyers it has to be competitive in the market, especially If someone else is selling a similar product. The best way to do this is to design your product in a way that reduces unnecessary manufacturing and assembly costs while still maintaining a high standard of quality. Raw materials - another important consideration, for example, if 6mm steel is sufficient for your product to operate safely, there is little reason why you would use 10mm steel, only to end up increasing cost and pricing yourself out of the market. A good product designer will be able to advise you which manufacturing method, assembly process and raw material is most suitable for your product. Remember Profit = Sale price - overheads. Your 3 biggest overheads are raw materials, manufacturing cost and labour.
5. Only those that risk, can reap reward.
Creating a successful product may seem like an impossible task, yes it does require a considerable amount of work, time and money, but the rewards can far outweigh the effort. Being able to generate your own income for product sales is one of the most satisfying things a person can possibly do. Having the freedom to live life on your own terms from selling an excellent product that is improving the lives of people all around the world, is an achievement many people strive for. The journey to achieve this level of freedom can often seem complex and risky, but one must remember there is no reward with out risk. That idea you have in your head is worthless, its the execution of an idea, the making the testing and the selling is where success really lies. Take a little risk, the reward could be life changing.
Most product designers will offer a free initial consultation, take this opportunity to sit down and discuss your idea, get some professional advice, and find out how best to proceed.
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