I Have an Idea, But is That Enough?

By Samantha Harr | 5 minute read

Maybe the concept came to you in a flash

The proverbial lightning bolt. Or maybe it was the result of your 47th attempt at some intricate new theory. It doesn’t matter how you got it. What does matter is that you believe you have come up with the Next Big Thing™. What do you do next? Take action? Maybe, but not so fast, friend. What we implore you to ask yourself is this: What problems are you solving

"I didn't come here for you to take the wind out of my sails!"
Don't worry, that isn't what we're after. What we do want though is for you to take a hard look at your motivations, your expected results, and whether or not you are being realistic. There are tons of articles out there explaining how to start production on the limited edition shoes made out of cheese graters you envisioned in a fever dream last night. As an industrial design firm that doesn't settle for providing a lot of talk with no end game plan, it is in our best interest to help you navigate the murky waters of dallying naivety and get you on the right track: Optimism with direction. 

From Point A
We are glad you want to contribute to the technological future of mankind. Where do your noble aspirations come from? This question is not intended to shame you. If you want to one day dive into a money pit like Scrooge McDuck, then by all means live your best life. However, the world is full of get-rich-quick schemes, and if you're taking the time to read articles on industrial design, we believe you're probably too smart to fall for common traps. There's a deeper level to your ideas: You have identified a problem that needs solving. Consciously or not, you want to make the world better than it was yesterday. 

To Point B
Now that you're considering the specific problem you aim to solve with your inventions or services; what is your brand? Who is your target audience? Are you certain you have identified people specifically in need of the solution you offer? Research matters so much. While it is always possible you could be overestimating demand and preparing to invest in a dead-end niche, the fun and optimistic option (one that is more often true than many realize) is that you may be missing entire customer groups that are in desperate need of your help. Part of what we do is help you identify your target demographics to avoid wasting time sending marketing campaigns out to the universe, only for them to fall upon unwilling recipients. This segues us nicely to the last point.

In a Straight Line of Sorts
What happens between point A and point B is the part where you have to build appeal for your brand. How is your great new service going to reach those buyers out there who want what you're offering? As a company, what do you look like to them? Your message should reach the intended audience, the product should be something they want, and your company's image has to speak to them. The values of your company matter more and more to new generations as disposable income becomes scarce.  Buyers are more hesitant to spend with anyone who they perceive as having notably misaligned values from their own. You don't buy lollipops from a masked man in a trench coat sitting underneath the slide of the public playground. Beautifully painted signs proclaiming "best lollipops in town" may be excellent advertising, but it still isn't going to make this sale happen. Who you (as a company) appear to be matters just as much as what you're selling and what you're saying. Project your values clearly and you will be rewarded with consumer loyalty.

Ty Hagler wrote an excellent article about building a solid foundation of core values, and why it matters to hold fast to your guiding principles in growing your business, inspired by the work of Simon Sinek. The Infinite Game Starts With Values.

Ultimately
We want you to succeed. We want to succeed right along with you. The world needs bold, exciting technological advancements and we are always hungry for a challenge. Bring us your ideas so that we can plot our course together. If you invest in the future, you create the future. Let's make sure it's a great one.