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Who do I turn to with a product idea?

I have an idea(s) for something that could be utilized on it's own standing or as an add-on for an existing company. It's purely an idea, no engineering, but I believe it could become of high interest. Since I have no engineering background and no money to begin with, would it be better to take the idea to an existing company? Obviously, I don't want to look back and say, "Wow, I just gave away my biggest opportunity." I have no idea where I would start.

17 Replies

Mark Hill
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Mark Hill Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & CEO at The Wardrobe Essentialist
Hard to say without knowing more.

How would the customer describe the problem you're solving: blatant/critical (I have a pounding headache right now!) or latent/aspirational (now that you mention it, I may want to improve X someday)? If you're not sure, what low-cost experiment could you run to learn more?

Is the solution a feature, a product, or a company?

Victoria Cabrera
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Victoria Cabrera Entrepreneur
Marketing Coordinator at Patxi's Pizza
Another discussion that would be great to look at ishttp://members.founderdating.com/discuss/3758/How-To-Sell-Your-Service. Remember to always do a search to save yourself some time :)
Neil Licht - HereWeAre
4
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Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567

Remember, there is quite a difference between a great idea and being making money from that idea. Theres a lot of dilgentand blatently honest activity needed before you go and make that idea into what YOU think is a great idea and saleable.

Consider this before you go any farther: Why do so many startups shut down instead of selling? Here's what is often missing:

A) Unfortunately, The startup forgets from the day of their idea that there is quite a difference between what you see as a great idea and a "needed something or other" that folks or businesses would actually spend money for. This unfounded "belief" in a market for their products is why a startup cannot sell and frankly why they do not succeed in the first place.

B) Many startups don't have the inbuilt team sales person who love to and can actually find real markets and, for the reasons of the target audiences, not the startups pitch, know how to acquire paying customers. Instead, the startup goes around pitching to everyone as a "we have this, it does this, isn't that great,buy it" and usually the answer is No. Its not a product Pitch that sells nor can it connect with what may actually be someone who, for their reason's not yours actually need the product or solution but many think that's what works.

C) Nothing in their pre business launce exploratory other than checking with friends and colleagues most of whom have no buying power is present or was done that actually deeply and honestly analyzed
--who were the natural target markets
--what really are the markets issues that if solved were truly natural prospects for their "product"
--revealed an understanding of the issues each natural target audience faced and its resulting adverse "cost"
--understood if their idea had a real market and one that was on a large enough scale and if properly approached would say "Hey that's me! I need that product, service, software, solution to solve my x issues so I can gain a better roi, faster production, competitive edge, leaner operating, etc. I need to call these guys now"

D) They said in justifying their reason for starting up that
--"there are x gazillion global prospects who because of their industry they were in and or the way they do business could use the solution."
--"If we get just 3%, we are golden" and the dove right in with development, maybe even production for that "giant" market opportunity to get their 3% share

E) they forgot to dig deeper, reveal what actual portion of that giant number they actually might logically fit into and then how exactly to ID the people to contact, how to approach them, what to say that could get powerful receptivity and how to define/implement a great acquiring paying customers approach to get those real opportunities as customers.

Thats why they cannot sell enough of what their startups are trying to offer nor make decent profits fast enough to stay alive..

The startup, lean or otherwise was based on a "great idea or tech idea" that everyone told them was great but they never really vetted the idea beyond their own thinking v a real application in real markets that real people would spend real money for nor how much of them there actually are.

Remember, there is quite a difference between a great idea and being making money from that idea

Please consider theses points and not just asking if its a good idea.
Neil Licht Founder And Chief Client Advisor, Hereweare

- How To Acquire Customers Online Without Facing Competition
w:http://bit.ly/idgoodprospects
a: 57 West Main Street, Marlborough, Ma 01752

Scott McGregor
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0
Scott McGregor Entrepreneur • Advisor
Advisor, co-founder, consultant and part time executive to Tech Start-ups. Based in Silicon Valley.
Stephen Key leads InventRight which has a lot of good advice for people in your situation. Check out his website or seminars. Scott McGregor, [removed to protect privacy], (408) 505-4123 Sent from my iPhone
Patti Weckerley
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0
Patti Weckerley Advisor
Marketing/Webdesign for Cameron Weckerley Piano Studio
Thank you, all, for your suggestions. I am definitely going to take them to heart and think, research, and do some experimenting. You gave me the mental nudges to figure out where to put my energy. Thanks, again!
Shed Simove
2
0
Shed Simove Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur, Professional Motivational Speaker, Author & Performer
Hi there - you might want to take a peek at my post on 'How To Launch A Product' idea on my motivational speaker site : http://bit.ly/launchaproduct Hope it helps and wishing you huge success, Shed x

Rob Gropper
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0
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
spend enough time and brain cycles to build it in PowerPoint and get out of the building and go 'sell' it to some customers. If you can 'sell' it then you have a good problem - customers and no product. This is much preferred to the opposite problem which is more typical of startups who spend months/years building a product only to learn no one will buy it. If you can prove product/market fit and demand then come back and we'll help you figure out how to get it built.
Patti Weckerley
0
0
Patti Weckerley Advisor
Marketing/Webdesign for Cameron Weckerley Piano Studio
Thank you for the advice, Rob. I'll have to tinker with that a bit. I'm good with my hands and problem-solving so maybe I can locate some materials that would show how it would work, even though the materials aren't exactly the right ones for the job, if that makes sense. I'm afraid I haven't had to use Power Point for a very long time. It sounds like it's come a long way since then. Another thing to investigate and figure out. I come up with things in my head and then some time goes by and someone else has come up with it and marketed it. I thought perhaps this time I'd listen to my gut. Maybe I'll get lucky, especially since it directly pertains to a rapidly growing market that isn't going to go down soon.

And Shed, I will definitely check out your post. Thank you, both!
Neil Licht - HereWeAre
0
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Want To find-close Business Online without competition Before They Google Search? We solve this problem 1(508)-481-8567
Becausefolks here have different specific backgrounds and focus/product/industry experience, you may want to give us an ide of what it is that you are trying to launch. Its quite hard to advise you without any hint on what it is.

Please Do see my earlier post re what you could and even should do at this point.
Thomas Sutrina
0
1
Thomas Sutrina Entrepreneur
Inventor at Retired Pursue Personal interrests and family
My goal is to make money, but other people have different goals like helping others etc. Be honest an understand what you want and make sure the people that get involved accept it. An Idea does nothing. So you have to figure out if and how. I assume you can start to get answers for free to if and how by off the cuff examinations. This is also a preliminary test on who you may want to get involved later. Finding people that have knowledge that you do not have is haphazard. The wider you association with people the easier it will be and if this is not your thing then the first person needed is someone that that this talent.
The goal, and I have three dozen patents, is to KILL THE IDEA. This may sound strange, but a successful product is killed and then YOU REVIVE IT by figuring a way around what killed it. Here is where you may need to get experts or learn new knowledge. Experts is usually a better approach. KILL IT AGAIN, and revive it again. Repeat this until you run out of ways to kill it. So you are looking for experts that can do this if you are not the one. I am a technical guy but this process of KILLING AND REVIVING. goes across everything.
Few people are good at it. So you have to keep them working at it. It is not very enjoyable or rewarding, but on the bright side you will filter out the people that have not accepted the challenge of you goal. At this point you have not made a penny and most likely do not even have a product, Remember you killed it.
At some point you will have a product that is hard to kill. The product will not look like anything that you started from, but you will have met your goal. That should not be changed easily. You will have the final path that created this end result and will have earlier paths as alternatives. I find that there are always unknowns on any path and until you have move out of the paper and idea phase you can not determine everything. Failure from this point on will cost money. By doing all that Killing and Reviving you have reduced this cost significantly. What you will be paying for and not get value from is the things that you did not know about so did not use to kill your product. Now they get to actually kill the product and you still will have to revive the product.
You have found experts or knowledge along the way as you revived the product first on paper and now you continue when you have a physical item.

Obviously you have used the gate process and have goals that support a business and getting to the market and serving customers. Shortly you will have the item as a prototype and if you done a good job killing and reviving have the process mostly worked out to make a business out of the product. That is what comes next.
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