What if my product or innovation won’t be good enough? What if someone steals my idea?
Every innovator, before heading out on their journey into the business world with their product, is confronted by a number of fears or doubts. What if I don’t make it? What if my product or innovation won’t be good enough? What if someone steals my idea? What if the costs will be too high? How am I going to hit the market? How am I going to present myself and my product or idea?
First, take a deep breath and go back to what they taught you as a child: “Fear has got big eyes, but inside it is hollow and outside it is nothing at all.” Every single thing is necessary to tackle slowly, step-by-step, and in a way where we make mistakes, fix them, improve them and find new solutions, all the way to the right solution. If, as an innovator, you find yourself in the world of prototyping, you can simply cast aside many of your doubts.
1. Fear in the face of prototyping
If, as an innovator of a particular product, you’re worried that you will come across problems even before the prototyping phase because you don’t know how to go about making things happen, don’t. Prototyping, for us, is the creation of new products. It is a passion, that supports our vision. We are focussed on developing and producing prototypes that create added value for our clients. The more complicated a prototype is, the more we are motivated to produce it. If you already have your own prototype, we can take a look at it and see how to optimise it.
With prototyping, we stick to the PUMA method, which enables a holistic and comprehensive solution to problems, unique and one-off, minimising costs while maximising success as well as proactivity in business.
2. Fear in the face of prototypes that are substandard or simply don’t work
If you’re afraid that your innovative product in the form of a prototype won’t work in the way you envisage it to, do away with that fear because this is only the beginning. A prototype is an early representation of a product. Prototyping means that we adjust and refine the product after every test, both from a functional as well as a design perspective. The process of prototyping is: create, test, improve, repeat.
In the first phase – examining the innovator’s ideas – an industrial designer, constructor, and a producer of prototypes are included, all of whom have knowledge of 3D technologies. The constructor will give advice about how to produce and optimise the product, therefore reducing the number of possible things to address in the production phase of the prototype.
Optimising the product follows in the second phase. That means that attention is directed to improving the quality, thus avoiding any breakages or cracks on the product or in the construction. First, we digitally take care of these defects, and in the case of demanding components and products which are subject to testing and loads, we undertake topography of the product.
The third phase of the process involves physically prototyping the product. In doing so, we choose the most suitable technology, material, surface, and colour as well as determining the deadline for the production of the prototype and the price.
3. Fear about costs
Is prototyping an investment or a cost? Both. No one claims that prototyping will not incur costs; it is only important that we optimize both the product and the cost throughout the process. This means that when making a certain product, we look for the most cost-effective technology, material, colour, surface, etc. The cost of prototyping should be understood by the innovator as an investment. It is the first investment the innovator will have in investing into his product or construction, and it will pay off for him in the future.
4. Fear in the face of someone stealing the idea
Are you afraid that someone might steal your idea? If you’re about to decide on a prototyping process and at the same time don’t trust anyone, then think about patenting your innovation, but first relax. Maybe you are totally convinced of the uniqueness of your product, but the question is how others and maybe even the market will react to it. A lot of start-ups fail because there is simply no demand for their product.
Before going down the path of patenting your product or idea, ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Do you really need a patent?
- Could your idea be protected in some other way?
- Are you aware of the cost of patenting (including annual patent maintenance fees in all countries where you want protection)?
- Does the invention promise a financial benefit that justifies the costs?
- What kind of lifespan is your invention expected to have?
- Who will pay the costs of applying for the patent?
- How effective will your patent be in countering legal challenges?
A lot of your questions will be answered already during the prototyping process, so don’t go there fearing that someone will steal your idea. Better to make sure you go there with an idea from which reality can be created. You will be able to try, test, and present your product to both investors and end customers. You will get feedback and advice even before you launch the product. When you find yourself on track having gone through the prototyping process, you will also know the answer to the question of whether it is time to register a patent.
5. Fear of market entry and self-promotion
Lao Tzu said the journey of a thousand kilometres begins with one step. You will already have hundreds of them behind you after having successfully gone through the prototyping process. When you start promoting or marketing your product, you will be armed with knowledge that will allow you to help investors and buyers make an informed decision. Start with enthusiasm and believe in your product, construction, or innovation. Don’t be afraid of moving forward, thinking differently, or development. Let everyone feel your passion from the beginning.
Lao Tzu said the journey of a thousand kilometres begins with one step.
Don’t be afraid of doing things that will take you out of your comfort zone. Welcome to the business world. In it, you will often have to do things you have never done before. But that only means that you are ready for new things to come your way, for changes, and for the way forward. Try, test, and then test again. Don’t be afraid of mistakes or making the wrong decisions – they don’t exist as long as you move forward.
We empower innovators to believe in the power of their ideas.
We, at Chemets, will be there for you on your journey. We will take care that your idea or concept comes to life in 3D as soon as possible. We can also begin our association in the development phase – so that when you get stuck, we are there for you to help and encourage you. We will add value to your products and accelerate their growth. And, because we value loyalty, we will be there, by your side – even after the prototyping process, having entered the market and having protected your product.
I wish you fearless innovation.
Barbara H. Wilkesmann