Archive for the ‘Step 1: Idea Validation’ Category

The Innovation Institute and the WIN-I2 Innovation Evaluation Service

The Innovation Institute and the WIN-I2 Innovation Evaluation Service

The WIN-I2 Innovation Evaluation Service is an inventor/innovator assistance service that provides inventors, entrepreneurs, and product marketing/manufacturing enterprises with an honest and objective third-party analysis of the risks and potential of their ideas, inventions, and new products. WIN-I2 is an expression of support for inventors and innovators by the Innovation Institute and our WIN Affiliates.

WIN-I2 has two components. The first, launched in 1979 by the Innovation Institute, is our Preliminary Innovation Evaluation Service (PIES), which is for inventors and people with new product ideas. The second component is our Product Assessment Service (PAS). Two of the two important changes in PAS program since it was first started-we have improved and expanded our product assessment format, and we now invite manufacturers and product marketing firms world-wide to submit their products for an assessment of their potential in the American marketplace.

Just as most inventors do not have the expertise to patent their own inventions, most lack the know-how to determine the commercial potential of their ideas and inventions. This is why WIN focuses on invention evaluation. We feel we can best serve inventors by helping them avoid costly mistakes. The same is true for entrepreneurs and product marketing/manufacturing enterprises, especially if they are entering a new market where they have little or no experience. Even large firms can benefit from a systematic, multifaceted, third party review of their ideas, inventions, and new products.

Where Should I Start?

“Where Should I Begin” is a common questions that ICKC gets asked.    That’s a good thing because starting well is one of the highest value activities that an inventor can do.    Here’s what ICKC Board members Steve Pope and Carrie Jeske recommend.

Validate the New Idea Yourself, FIRST.  

  1. Market Audit – Google, Google Images, Google Products, Google Patents.
  2. Competitive Research to find the white space, sweat spot, & price points.   If there are no competitors, ask yourself if your product really solves a problem people are willing to spend money to solve.   Chances are, it’s not.   Competition can be a good thing because it validates the market need.
  3. Design the Product via 3D Illustration Rendering or inventor mock-up.
  4. Sell Sheet Layout.   Explain the functionality, Problem, Solution, Benefit in condensed language.   You may even need to do a short home video of this in 2 minutes or less.
  5. Cost out – COGs vs SRP.  You should start with a 1-6 ratio from cost to retail price to open up the most distribution channels or markets.    Find out the industry standards for your category?
  6. File Provisional Patent – Here’s where you should consult a good attorney.
  7. Send out to prospective licensees and buyers and potential end users to gain feedback.   Listen, Learn, Adjust.
  8. Repeat as needed.

Once you have a final product that buyers like at a price they can accept, then you’re ready to roll.    Remember, it’s less expensive to fail fast, reboot and start again then it is to bang you head up against a wall and bloody your skull trying to force something to break through.    Determination is a good thing, but it works best when you’re going with the flow of positive trends, consumer buying habits and existing user behavior patterns.

STEP 1 – Validation

VALIDATION is the first step.  
Find out if your idea is unique and marketable or already available online?  You’d be surprised how many people miss this simple step.   Start by going to any of these sites and enter in the keywords that describe your product.  Keep a list of what you find out and what keywords are most relevant because you’ll need this information later.   
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