Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Prototype

I will eventually share my business product with you after I have it set up and established. I will even link to the product description. Who knows, you may want to try it as well. While you may ask, why won't you tell me the product, I have several reasons.

First, as this is my first idea, I am probably slower then most, and do not want an enterprising person coming out with the product before me. Second, the process I go through can apply to any business, but will still need to be customized to your particular product.

I will tell you where I messed up, what I would change and how I would do things differently. I want people to learn from this blog, and feel free to ask questions. Most of us would love to have a seasoned business pro tell exactly how to do things. Isn't the journey half the fun though?

So I have my idea. It is one I have been thinking about for quite a long time. My idea came from, there has to be a better way to do this. In my mind I have knocked around ideas, how I would change it, what I want it to look like, feel like, and how heavy. What features I want. That is all great and dandy, but how about creating the prototype?

Yes, mock up what you want the product to look like. No, you do not need to have a degree in mechanical engineering. There are plenty of people out there that can do all of it for you. I will be making my prototype out of things you can get at Walmart, Target, Office Max or any other consumer goods store. Craft stores are great places as well. I already have scissors and duct tape (what isn't it good for) at home.

Using cardboard, plastic, tape, and time, I will create a mock up of what I want my product to look like. This is important for several reasons. First, it allows you to look at it and say, ummm, no I don't think that is going to work, I need to change X, Y and Z. It also gives you ideas for other features to add or those to subtract.

You will also need this prototype to provide to contract manufacturers to create your product. I suggest doing multiple mock-ups as you will most likely need to provide it to several companies as you weed out who is willing to do the work for you. I use the term contract manufacturer loosely as it can include anything from paper manufacturers to steal and aluminum fabricators.

Because I also work and do consulting on the side, this will take me a while to build out. But that doesn't need to slow you down with the other things you need to do. I will keep you informed of my progress as well as continue to post about the other things I need to do as well. Keep brainstorming!

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