As I mentioned before, this whole journey started with an idea from my husband, Antonio. So, who better to speak to dissect on how to break down your idea before presenting it to a design team? Here is a list of questions and answers to tackle breaking down an idea.
M: Remind me, when we decided to move forward to making the idea reality, what was the first thing that you did?
A: I bought a notebook dedicated exclusively to my product. I wrote and drew out the idea with dates and signature.
M: What was the first part of the process after you drew out your idea?
A: Research- extensive online research for whether my idea already existed or its closest competitors.
M: What follows if there is something similar to your idea?
A: Do a patent search on the similar product and see which parts of your product are similar. You don’t want to infringe on someone’s patent.
M: So you have your idea on paper, searched the internet to see if your product already exists, and you have checked out USPTO in regards to patents… Now what?
A: I went and found parts to make a rough prototype.
M: Were you happy with the first prototype that we made? Give me some details…
A: No, it changed several times. It took many parts and it wasn’t so pretty. However, it gave an idea on what the functionality would and/or could be.
M: Did you ever think of just drawing it out and then having a design team take it from there?
A: No, I had to take the time to research if the product already existed. I had to check USPTO to make sure that there was not already patents out there on my idea. Also, I needed to come up with a business plan and a budget. Budget is very important because it dictates whether or not we can bring the product to life.
M: Tell it to me straight- when you were looking at your drawings and our many attempts of piecing the product together- can you recall your thoughts?
A: I was thinking that this is a simple product that could be a good seller. I was thinking about how I could make a high quality version of this that the consumer could enjoy.
M: Is there anything that you should have done during this process that you didn’t do but should have done?
A: I should have moved faster. Our product is time sensitive and we don’t want to always be playing catch up.
M: Tell us about how you were feeling during this process?
A: I felt anxious, excited, stressed, and a little self-doubt. Even with having those feelings, I felt more overwhelmed with looking forward to bringing the idea to life. That feeling pushed me to continue to proceed on.
M: Do you have any advice to someone that is just starting out with an idea?
A: Get a notebook and document everything. Do research to see if your product is worth making and is it financially viable. Ask yourself- does this product solve a problem?
Here is a taste of our journey of breaking down an idea. As you can see there are many moving parts such as designing, crafting, researching, and drafting a business and financial plan. If you complete all of these moving parts and find that your idea is worth bringing to life, you will then be better prepared to speak with a design team with confidence to move forward.