Product Development: The Process of Turning Ideas Into Reality

Product Development

Everyone has a golden idea at least once in their lifetime. The thing that sets people apart from the pack is the ability to act on it.

Have you ever asked yourself, “How on earth did they come up with that?” Well, there’s actually a pretty standard set of guidelines for product development. Going from an aha-moment to the product on shelves isn’t as hard as you might think.

This is a complete guide on the ins and outs of bringing a product to fruition.

Brainstorming Your Idea

This is the most important step. Thinking through your idea before jumping headfirst can save you heartache, money, and time.

After you’ve come up with an idea for a saleable product, you have to ask yourself some self-reflecting questions.

  • Who’s my target audience?
  • Why am I making this product?
  • Will people actually buy this?
  • What should I do after this project?

Coming up with your target audience is crucial for marketing your product in the future. It will also give you some insight into whether this idea is viable or if it’s a dud. Most importantly, does your demographic have the ability to buy what you’re selling?

If there’s a reason to make the product, then it deserves to be made. If you’re unable to come up with a reason for its existence, then don’t go any further in its development.

Ask yourself if your product serves a purpose. Everything that has been made had a reason to be made. Don’t pursue a dead end.

Can this product roll into a series of products? Or is it going to be a one-off? If you can develop your product into a series, it’ll extend your profits exponentially.

After you’ve asked yourself a load of questions, now you should start planning your next steps.

Design, Redraw, and Design Again

This step is crucial. It’s the design process. And a lot of errs in development sprout up because of the lack of consideration it was given.

Designing a product is more than how it looks, but how it functions. Designing the blueprints involves a lot of technical understanding, especially if the product is mechanical. But if you have a passion for your idea, you’ll be able to surprise yourself here.

If the technicality exceeds your abilities, you may want to consider outsourcing the CAD designs and engineering. People have ideas all the time that surpasses their knowledgeable limits—don’t let this discourage you from pursuing development.

Emphasizing the blueprints should be met with equal importance in designing the aesthetic of your product. The first thing that people will see is the exterior of whatever you’ve created. Capturing people’s intrigue starts with outside appearance.

Choose a good color palette for whatever your idea is, as well. There’s a lot of theory behind choosing the correct hue, as each color—and everything between—conveys a different psychological meaning.

Reds are harsh and angry. Blues are peaceful and innocent. Yellows have a livelihood about them that incites happiness.

You may want to source the opinions of your target demographic before moving on in development. Ask them which looks best in a focus group.

Make Something Tangible

When you’ve gotten through the designing of the product, now is the time to bring it into reality. It might not be the final product or revision of it, but a prototype in-hand shows a lot of progress.

Prototyping allows for tangible testing to be done in the real world. It can find things that you wouldn’t have otherwise uncovered in the design process that may be a fatal flaw. Putting it through the wringer is a very good way to user-test before finalizing your idea.

What’s even more vital than user testing with a prototype is it’s unequivocally useful in securing benefactors.

Some forms of prototyping aren’t entirely useful. They can be mock models or scaled-down replicants of your final idea. It might be a good idea to use this approach, as prototyping an actual make of your invention can be costly.

A lot of product prototyping can be done from the inside of your home. Using 3D prints, like the Voltera V One, is a great substitute for traditional prototype construction.

Get Some Money for Product Development

Now that you have a physical item to show off, it’s time to present it.

The hardest part in development is having the capital to pursue its construction. There seems to be an endless amount of costs required to get a product off the ground.

Use your prototype and curate a presentation around it. This presentation has to be top-notch, so don’t slouch on this step.

Preferably, it should include financial forecasts for your sales and development costs. If you’re unfamiliar with accounting or financial analysis, hire someone to do this part for you.

It is vitally important in securing money from venture capitalists. Their whole existence centers around risk management; if they can’t evaluate how risk you are as an asset, they won’t invest.

Your Creation Is Alive!

Product development is often mystifying to some people. They’re the uninitiated and don’t realize how easy it really is. There’s a set rule of instructions to bringing an idea to fruition, and most development goes through it step-by-step.

Firstly, it’s important to brainstorm and ask yourself if the product is viable. Then, designing it should be done very carefully. After the designs are complete, make a prototype that you can show off to venture capitalists.

Are you interested in bringing your idea to life? Check out our other articles on inventing and product development.