Most of us have probably come with an idea for a cool new gadget at some point in our lives. However, there is a big difference between a thought and an idea, and something you can turn into a viable and successful business. But, if that idea sticks with you, could you turn into a reality? If so, there’s a process you should follow – and here’s how to do it.
It’s true that a background in electronics, manufacturing or programming will help you build an amazing gadget. But it certainly isn’t a necessity. It’s the idea that counts in the early stages. However, you will need to be disciplined, thick-skinned and very determined to make it happen. It will be a bumpy ride, with many potential potholes ahead.
A great idea can come from anywhere. But when it does, it will need fleshing out. Sketch out some drawings in a notebook, and start to look at any competitors there might be in the industry you are targeting. It’s at this point that it will begin to come clear if your idea has legs.
Now it’s time to come up with a proper, workable design. Some experience with CAD or another design software will help – but you can always outsource this kind of thing for a reasonable price. The key is to get a design in place that you will be able to hand over to a manufacturer, and they can work with it straight away.
There are various stages of a prototype to consider. You could, for example, look into injection moulding to create a mockup of size and basic shape. Or, you could buy parts yourself and build up the electronics with the components, before designing the shell. However, at some point you will need a working model that you can show off.
All prototypes need to be rigorously tested. You can send it off to a testing company, or even get your friends and colleagues to try it out. Make sure that you make note of what they say about it – it’s the ideal opportunity to iron out any problems. You can then adapt your prototype accordingly.
Find a buyer
It’s a good idea to find buyers for your gadget before you start any manufacturing process. You need to have that backing behind you before you invest – and the minute you start talking about factories, the more money you will spend. Look at supermarkets, gadget shops, and technology retailers to get you started. And, if you get to make a pitch, make sure it is pitch-perfect.
Make the final product
Now you have guaranteed sales; you can start the manufacturing process. There are plenty of options, but ideally you should choose a factory that has excellent transport links. Once those gadgets start rolling off the production line, you’ll need to get them to a distributor or retailer. The longer time it takes, the more money it will cost you.
Sounds easy, right? Well, of course, if it were, everybody would be doing it. However, despite the fact there will be pitfalls, this rough guide should get you close to where you want to be.