How To Turn Your Idea Into a Product on Store Shelves

How do make my idea into a product?

If you’re asking yourself that right now, you’ve come to the right place. Edison Nation was created to solve that exact problem and make it easier for everyday people to bring their ideas to market.

If I’d had the answer to this question say, 20 years ago, I might’ve sealed my fate as my parents’ favorite child! You see, I was raised in a house full of ideas — which makes it destiny, I believe, and so rewarding to now work for an invention community. It seems every other day my parents were coming up with some new innovation and researching how to bring it to market.

I can even clearly recall one instance where they actually secured a meeting with a major ceiling fan manufacturer to present one of their ideas. They sketched out their vision for the product to the best of their ability, planned a presentation, and drove across state lines to the company’s headquarters to meet with representatives. By the end of the meeting, much to my mom and dad’s excitement, there was interest in the idea and they were told that if they could come up with a working prototype, the company would be willing to meet with them again. Unfortunately, that’s where the story ends.

Ultimately, my parents were unable to find the resources to develop a working prototype and the product found its way into the “idea graveyard” — perhaps alongside many of your past ideas. While it didn’t end the way they’d hoped, it was somewhat of a win in the fact that they’d at least gotten a face-to-face meeting — and furthermore interest — a feat not easy to come by, as in many other cases, they were simply told that the company did not accept ideas from outside of their organization.

I have to imagine that some aspect of my parents’ experiences sounds familiar to many of you. For them, a prototype was their roadblock; for you, it may be something else. While bringing a product to market on your own certainly can (and has!) been done, I witnessed firsthand in childhood, and now from the stories of inventors I interact with every day, that it’s often not without many trials (and many dollar signs!).

I’m sure any independent inventor would agree that it would make a world of difference to have an advocate with established relationships with retailers and manufacturers. One that could not only tell you what specific innovations companies are seeking, but put your ideas in front of those very companies for consideration for nothing more than an initial submission fee. Sound like a familiar company model?

If you’ve ever asked the question “How do I turn an idea into a product?” and this is your first introduction to Edison Nation, or if you’re already an Edison Nation member and just need a refresher on how EN works for the independent inventor, let the video below serve as your guide!

… And in case you’re wondering, my parents are now proud Edison Nation members! :)

[The original version of this post was shared on 12/30/11.]

Originally published at Edison Nation Blog.