Part Two: How to go about Turning a Project into a Product.
If you missed Part One: Bringing it into Reality, please feel free to check it out here!
So now that you have a functioning prototype of your idea, its time to look at the options out there of bringing it to the world. These options depend a bit on the quality of your prototype, but waiting too long (trying to perfect something) or rolling out a faulty version (by being hasty) are both equally bad.So the first step here is to decide the MVP, or minimum viable product by your and the option you select’s standards.
Also check out provisional applications. If the idea really is a million dollar one, you may want to get some protection it right away. Filing a provisional application (country to popular belief there is no such thing as a provisional patent) can get you the early filing date, but it is useless if a full patent app is not filed within one year. They do offer some degree of protection however, which can be invaluable when pitching the idea to companies.
Having a provisional application is the best thing to do before heading into option one, two and four.
Option One: Pitching
If you have the time and charisma, pitching your idea to a company can be a very effective way to get it out there. Just make sure you do the research to make sure the company is legitimate and you are suitably protected. Shows like Shark Tank are also options, but keep in mind that a whole lot of people try out for these things so make sure you have a backup plan.
Option Two: Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a great way to generate money and buzz about an idea. However, it is not for everyone or every idea. Make sure you check out some cautionary stories and other real life experiences in addition to just swooning over the idea of enjoying the wild success of projects like the pebble watch.
Selecting your crowdfunding platform is also a challenge, but there are a massive amount of articles online about this very topic.
If you do decide you are crowdfunding make sure you understand that for that month or so, it is likely that that will be all you are doing. The chances of success are already low, but without you throwing yourself into the product (posting on all your social networking sites, making quality promo videos, staying involved and updated) it will have an almost abysmal chance of success.
Also know that crowdfunding is just the first step of product launching. Make certain you have a plan of what to do if your product succeeds.
Option Three: Post Online/Opensource
If the idea is too pricey, complicated, or just plain not worth pursuing as a business, a good option is to post it online for free. This way you still get credit for the idea, as well as the satisfaction of sharing it with people who will appreciate it. It also is a good way to gather attention for future ideas.
Instructables.com is a fabulous site for this with an excellent community and feedback.
Option Four: The good old fashioned way
If you are able to, try to get this idea and business off the ground yourself. This often requires resources out of the reach of the average citizen, but if that is not the case for you, this is a good route. Just make sure you are careful, understand the risks, and tackle it like you are starting a small buisness not just trying to sell a project.
Whichever you choose, good luck!