Open Innovation

  • designers at companies work 9-5 boring jobs. They don't deliver their best when they find themselved discouraged

Selling your idea

  • show them how your idea can make them grow.
  • first to market wins (get first into shelf-space)
  • consumers are driven more by desire. Easier to target than B2B

Pros of licensing ideas

  • reduces R&D costs
  • accelerates product development
  • multiplies the ideators

One Simple Idea (Book)

Manufacturing vs Licensing

  • Simple idea + existing technology + 3 or 4 players in the market = LICENSING
  • Unique idea + new technology + 1 or 2 major players in the market = MANUFACTURING

how to bring an idea to market by yourself

Study the market

  • who are your customers
  • who are your competitors
  • what can you offer that is different

Develop your product

  • Design product and packaging
  • Build and test prototypes
  • File a patent
  • How to manufacture the product
  • Regulations and requirements
  • Business plan (production, distribution, manufacturing)
  • Raise capital
  • Licenses, insurance, employees...
  • Sell

how to bring an idea to market by licensing

Study the market

  • competitors (major and small players)
  • how does my idea compares and contrasts
  • value proposition
  • how large is the market
  • primary customers
  • potential sales

Develop your product

Prove that it is sellable, doable and valuable

  • file a provisional patent


Create an idea for what is missing and needed in an existing market

  • look for categories that you're passionate about


  • don't judge ideas in brainstorming mode

Mix and match

pick two different objects and think how to combine them

  • eg. camera + phone
  • water toy + jet technology = Super Soaker

What if

ask what if a product could do X

  • eg. Netflix (what if there were no late rental fees?)

Solve it

observe problems in day-to-day and try to solve it

  • eg. Spinformation
  • your problems might not be a problem for everyone

Choose your winning idea

Assess which idea to work with:

  • focus on one idea at a time, all the way through the entire development and licensing process before picking another idea
  • doesn't matter how big/small, complex/simple, unique or clever it is
  • focus on ideas that will take the least amount of work and the highest possibilities of success.
  • ideas should be able to be explained in a sentence. Avoid ideas that require education of the customer since that is very expensive

Litmus test

does it solves a common problem?

  • confirmed and well defined needs instead of maybes
  • the most universal the better

does it has a wow factor?

  • wow consumers and potential licensees

has a large market?

  • a product that can be sold by all the major retailers for that market
  • it almost takes the same amount of time and effort to license a product with a big market than it is for a moderate market.
  • find if the category is a growth category
  • are the comparable products selling well?
  • how are similar products priced?
  • what is selling, who is buying? who are the major players?
  • which are the trends?

uses common production methods and materials?

  • how will it be manufactured
  • how much will it cost to manufacture?
  • get a network of experts, mentors in that category. someone who has already done it

Challenging industries

  • software
  • packaging
  • pet
  • kitchen/household
  • hardware
  • novelty gift
  • direct response TV

Most marketable ideas are:

  • evolutionary, incremental improvements to existing products
  • solve problems
  • address needs
  • satisfy desires

which means customers are willing to pay for them

  • look for small changes that make a big impact

Generate ideas

  • audio recording, notepads, sketches
  • dump all product ideas into a repository
  • use Evernote
  • serendipity might happen in the shower, while driving, on an airplane, etc. So be ready to take those notes.
  • look at things with creativity and wonder like you did when you were a child
  • passion drives creativity
  • look at things in different ways and angles

Awake sleeping dinosaurs

  • find products that have been unchanged for a long time and make a simple change.
  • eg. laser tag, denim bags, alien guitar pick

Inventors logbook

a log of your ideas and the process of evolution.

  • it helps prove that you are the creator.
  • document the idea from the moment you conceive it
  • document it's changes
  • document final look, licensing and manufacture.
  • use a separate logbook for each of your idea.

Marketplace study

how does the idea fits into the market

  • is the idea isn't unique? the market might be saturated
  • are there are No similar products? there might be no market for your idea


  • check the top manufacturers
  • they might post their price lists

Field observation

record and take photos of your findings

  • small details that are easy to overlook
  • flaws or gaps in form or function
  • inefficiencies or inconveniences
  • boring or outdated materials and styles
  • differences in how different people would use or view the product
  • unconventional use of the product
  • other products that are used for the same purpose

Due diligence

Get Real World information. Avoid assumptions.

  • visit stores to see people's reactions to products
  • which markets are hot
  • check emerging trends
  • check websites, blogs, forums, social networking groups
  • consumer magazines eg. Wired & FastCompany
  • TV shows and industry newsletters that cover trends
  • go shopping and ask store managers which are the hot products
  • trade shows
  • check which products in stores get the most shelf space
  • which traits sell well and at what price?
  • search in Google images and Google shopping
  • Amazon search and read the reviews for similar products

Focus on a specific market

Become an expert in a micro category

  • customer demographics
  • SWOT analysis
  • value proposition
  • how will customers use your product
  • distribution channels
  • price (manufacturing and retail)
  • how to manufacture and package your product

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