4 Steps To Bringing Your Product Idea To Life
I am writing this strictly as a resource to help you get out of your self deprecating ways of thinking you can’t do it and convincing you that you can! Yes, you can start a company. You can take your idea and bring it to life.
Here’s the skinny: You can utilize freelance platforms, 3D printing, 3D printing services, and crowdfunding to help you take an product based idea from conception to reality. I want to teach you all the simplest, quickest, and most cost effective way to bring your product idea to life.
Let’s focus on the facts. We all have amazing ideas. Every single one of you. How many times have you thought of the next great product? The next great idea? The problem is rarely does anyone attempt to execute these ideas. In the past, building and testing an idea was a VERY lengthy, time consuming process. I know. I spent two years and $8,000 building a watch prototype that was a flop. I think I have a solution that will allow you to quickly take your idea to concept and on to reality and also allow you to test it with minimal investment to see if you can generate some traction and give yourself an opportunity to create an explosive business.
How do I know this? Well, I took an idea I had to make an affordable desktop 3D printer company called ROBO 3D, spent about $1000 of my own money to develop a prototype, launched it on crowdfunding, and raised $650,000 in 30 days. Now, the business has generated millions in sales in a matter of a year and a half and allowed me to make my dreams a reality. On to the facts…
Here is the resources to use to build your next product:
Step 1: Elance and Odesk- Freelance platforms that allow you to post jobs for things you need done usually at a fraction of the price you would normally pay highering a large firm to prototype or design something. People bid on your project from all over the world and you can attract talent quickly to help you build an idea. I personally have used over 50 freelancers on both sites for different tasks ranging from graphic design, web design, programming, app development, CAD models, protoyping…the list goes on. Go on here, hire 1 or 2 guys to help you concept out your product idea into a CAD model and a digital rendering.
Step 2: 3D Printing. Once you have come up with a design for your concept in a CAD model format, you are ready for 3D printing of your prototype. Now, owning a 3D printer company, I would say it is beneficial to purchase one (we sell our machine for $799 total on www.robo3d.com) but you don’t have to go this route. I would also suggest makexyz.com. You can hire someone local who has a 3D printer to 3D print you out your prototype. Simple. If your first prototype is not exactly the way you want, go back and edit with your freelancers and rehire on makexyz to get another one made. Rinse and repeat until satisfied.
Step 3: Shapeways.com, a 3D printing service. Once you have a little bit of a rougher version of your prototype to the size and look you want it through your own 3D printer or makexyz, Take your 3D model and go to www.shapeways.com. Shapeways is a 3D printing service company. The beauty of this is that you can make your model in any material you could imagine. Certain materials are costly but it is well worth it and much cheaper than going through a traditional prtotoyping company. Upload your model, choose your material, and VOILA. In a week or two, your final prototype will come to you in the material and high quality look you want.
Step 4: Crowdfunding. Now that you have your prototype, you are ready to go! Thankful for you, crowdfunding (Kickstarter or Indiegogo are preferred) is at your disposal, which gives you a platform to test your product before ever truly spending time and money fully bringing it to market. I like to think of it as a proof of concept platform. A few pointers to build a successful crowdfunding campaign:
- Make an awesome video- It can be homemade, but try and make it professional looking and hire someone (from elance if needed) to edit it with great music. You can find royalty free music at http://incompetech.com/.
- Research products similar to yours that were successful. It will give you an idea of who they got press from, how their page looked, and what type of rewards they offered to their audience.
- Go read Tim Ferris’ article, http://fourhourworkweek.com/2012/12/18/hacking-kickstarter-how-to-raise-100000-in-10-days-includes-successful-templates-e-mails-etc/ . If you do not know who Tim Ferris is, go look him up and simultaneously read his book, 4 Hour Work Week. Use his templates and strategy to help you make a successful campaign.
- Be a social media beast. Build a facebook page, twitter, pinterest, etc and begin building an audience by posting cool stuff about your product and the process you took to breathe life into it. Invite friends and family to your page and let everyone know you are launching on Kickstarter or Indiegogo soon so you can have momentum built when you click the “LIVE” button.
- After you build a kick butt campaign page and video, set a date and time (I recommend 2 weeks ahead of time) and start promoting your page to press sites (similar to projects in your category that you have researched). Find editors of big blogs, contact them through social media in unique ways and be genuine about why you made your product and who you are.
- Launch that sucker and see if you can create a success in 30 days.
Any questions, advice, suggestions, or assistance, comment on here. Peace and Love. Go make a cool product. Try it out. Could be the start of something amazing.