The Steps from Product
Idea to Product Success
Michelangelo once said
that his statue of David was embedded
in the block of marble and he merely chipped away the edges to
reveal it. Is your product idea inside your mind just waiting to
come alive? Or, is your product already formed and you need only
to smooth out the edges?
Using my Market-Step process your idea will come to life as we
progress in the following steps from idea to launch:
2. Concept Evaluation
3. Prototype Evaluation
4. Product and Market Planning
5. Product Development and Marketing Tactics
6. Product Launch, Marketing and Selling
Please use this roadmap as a navigational tool to guide and
monitor your progress. (See
for a graphical flowchart.)
* Protect Your Idea (Chapter 4)
When you have an idea, you need to protect it. The first
line of defense is to set the date of conception. Start by
documenting your idea in an inventor�s notebook, but don�t
file a patent until you evaluate its marketability.
Market Research and Evaluation
* Self-Evaluation (Chapter 9)
Start the Market-Step process by evaluating your product
idea�s marketability. Your product idea is marketable if
and when it solves a problem, meets a need or want,
overcomes competition, and generates a profit.
* Concept Evaluation (Chapter 11)
The second step of the Market-Step process is to determine
if people like the concept of your product idea. To test your
invention, you�ll need to uncover which people or companies
are your future customers. After identifying potential
customers, ask them to evaluate how well your product idea
solves a problem, or meets a need or want.
* Prototype Evaluation (Chapter 12)
The third is detailed evaluation by giving people a prototype
to examine. A prototype is a working model that looks, feels,
and functions similarly to the finished product. I�ll lead you
through the process of creating a prototype that resembles
what your customer wants. Then, I�ll show you how to get
detailed feedback by interviewing potential customers.
* Funding Your Idea (Appendix F)
Do you need to raise money to develop and market your product?
Initially, you�ll need money for expenses such as market
research, equipment, and prototype development. Raising money
is a normal part of doing business when you start, grow, and
* Patent Review (Chapter 13)
You performed a preliminary patent search earlier. Now it�s
worth your time and money to perform a detailed patent search
and possibly file for a patent.
* Self-Market or License (Chapter 14)
What do you do with your new product? Your choices are to
either self-market or license it. In some cases you can do
both or sell the rights. Self-marketing means turning your
idea into a marketable product that you intend to sell
directly to an end-user, and/or through a distributor or
retailer. Under a licensing agreement, a business will
produce and sell your product in exchange for royalties.
Path A: Self-Market Development
If you�ve decided to self-market, follow the remaining steps
on Path A. If you�ve decided to license your idea, see the
next section for Path B.
* Product and Market Plan (Chapter 15)
Plan your work and then work your plan. The fourth step of
the Market-Step process involves planning product design and
marketing programs. Product design results from combining your
innovation with needs and wants you�ve discovered through
research. Market planning involves positioning, pricing, and
* Product and Market Development (Chapter 16)
In the fifth step you�ll develop your product in stages
(i.e., alpha, beta, commercial release). You�ll use the beta
product to obtain feedback to confirm functionality and
eliminate bugs before final production.
* Product Launch, Market and Sell (Chapter 17)
In the sixth step you�re ready to move into production and
launch your product. This is the most exciting part of your
project. You�ve given birth to your idea and are bringing it
out into the world. And as you would with a child, you�ll
need to nurture and grow your product, with marketing and
sales strategies and tactics.
Path B: Licensing
You�ve determined that licensing is for you. Follow the steps
in Path B to license your product idea.
* Licensing Proposal (Chapter 5)
Before approaching a company or product agent, organize your
marketing research into a proposal. Some companies have their
own forms to fill out; others ask to submit in your own format.
If you feel comfortable presenting and negotiating, seek
companies on your own to license your product. Otherwise,
find product agents who will seek companies and negotiate
on your behalf.
If the company likes what you have, you�ll then negotiate
a licensing agreement, then carry out the obligations, and
Now that you have an overview of the steps, my book Product
Idea to Product Success, takes you through the details of the
Market-Step process, one step at a time.
* This article can be freely published as long as it is not
edited, author information is present, and copyright notice
Copyright 2004 Matthew Yubas. All rights reserved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matthew Yubas is a Product Specialist who assists inventors
and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into winning products.
Mr. Yubas is a Certified Professional Marketing Consultant
for the Small Business Development and International Trade
Center. He has earned a B.S. in Engineering and an M.B.A. in
Management. For more information and free articles, see his