Ever wondered how to bring that product idea scribbled on a napkin in last night's bar into a reality? We come all come up with revolutionary ideas that simply don't make it to market because of the many, many hurdles you need to overcome to actually get it out there.
So, I've written a helpful guide to get your idea from that concept you thought of in the shower to a product that you can sell on Amazon. Missed the first step? Head on over to Step 1 before you go any further.
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5. Proof of Concept Prototyping (Prototyping Stage 1)
Proof of concept prototypes are prototypes that don’t look the part but do prove that the way your product is intended to work is possible.
Try and make a simple prototype of your idea out of off-the-shelf parts for as little money as possible. This may be difficult for more complicated products, particularly those with electronics and software, but for most simple, non-tech product ideas it is definitely achievable. Here are a few examples:
Example 1: Geco Hub
The first prototype for our wall-mounted storage and organisation product Geco Hub was made using a chopping board, a silicone heat trivet, some string and a beach football.
The 1st Geco Hub prototype. It didn’t look pretty but it worked!
Total cost: less than £10/$15.
Example 2: Nimble
The first prototype for our safe one-finger cutting tool Nimble was made using a cleaning glove, plastic from an A4 ring-binder and the tip of a box cutter blade.
The 1st Nimble prototype, again, not much to look at at this point…
Total cost: less than £5/$7.
Dyson Vacuum Cleaner
James Dyson took apart an existing vacuum cleaner and added his own, homemade, cyclones into them to see what would happen.
Total cost: likely under £200/$300… probably much less!
To conclude, if you get creative and shop around at your local hardware store, on Amazon and on eBay for parts, then prototypes don’t have to cost the Earth.
So, now you’ve sketched your design, and ideally built a “proof of concept” prototype. What’s the next step? Why Computer Aided Design of course!
NOTE: If you intend your final product to be produced entirely by hand then you can skip straight to Step 7.
That's all for now, but tune in next week for Step 6! Any questions? Let us know in the comments.