From Idea to Product - How we do it
How do product ideas come to life? Have you ever tried making an idea of yours happen? Like a product or service? I believe it’s a journey many of us have taken. It’s usually not a walk in the park though and getting things done can be tough at times. However, reaching the final result could be extremely fulfilling, it equals to making a dream come true.
After years of creating products and various content, I have found a few simple techniques that work for me and Paladim. I believe they can work for you, too, on your mission to create!
Develop Your Concept
It doesn’t matter if your idea is building an empire or making a paper plane, it all starts in your head. Everything around us that is not nature, was first someone’s idea - cars, smart phones, the Internet, etc. And there is a concept behind every idea, be it a product or service. But what is the difference between an idea and a concept you may ask? Let me share how I see it. Having an idea is one thing, and forming it in a concept is one step further. In order to complete any goal, you need to have all those little goals checked off first, right? Let’s say having an idea is like having a direction, and a concept would be the end destination. The clearer goal you have in your mind, the easier the road to achieving it will be. Otherwise you just can't create something you can't imagine.
For example, we craft inspirational and functional interior accessories. This is our idea (our direction) and our products represent our concepts of wall clocks, desk lamps, and decor. Ask yourself, what is your concept? Narrow it down and form it as a goal. Take advantage of your imagination and put it to use, be specific.
Know the Essentials
What is the essential thing or part about your concept? That one thing that makes your product or service valuable and worthy. For us it’s function and feel of our products. We always design in a way to inspire and bring real value. It could be anything, but knowing the essentials is crucial as it makes your goal clearer to visualize and understand. Make sketches, lists of resources, plans, etc., whatever helps. Once you have the essentials cleared, you can start building around that.
Be Proactive, Work
What often surprises me is how many people just sit there and expect things will magically happen for them. They have the idea, maybe even the concept and execution plan, but there is always something else to figure out before they start. And as you can suggest they never start at all. Until one day the idea just fades away. Making excuses is far easier than making progress - don’t fall in this trap of your mind! You have to work for your goals or nobody else will do it for you.
What separates success from failure is being proactive and putting in the work. You never have all the answers at hand when building something new. Knowing that in advance makes it easier to stay in your lane when times are tough.
Creating a product or service could be a long way to go. Often times longer than you expected and not the way you expected. It is likely that you will feel overwhelmed and stressed when things don't work. But this is totally fine, creating is a proactive process and requires a certain dose of commitment and motivation. Adjusting and changing is part of it. And always trying to figure things out yourself builds a mentality of constant learning, which leads me to my next point…
Do Tasks Yourself, Learn
When you need a specific part of your project outsourced because you can't do it, you may find it really helpful to do a little research on the topic (like having a business card designed and printed, advertising materials and know-how, special boxes for packing, event management, branding, etc.). You will be surprised how often you can even do the job yourself. I am not talking about reading all "how-to" books on Amazon, you have the ultimate information library - the Internet! Doing a quick search on Google can save you a lot of trouble with finding a solution. Again here, work is involved, and if you are willing to do whatever it takes, you are destined to succeed. If you can’t use Photoshop, use it and learn; if you can’t use a camera, start using one and learn; if you can’t promote your product, do it and learn. Just start and work your way through it. One day you will be an expert.
Come Back to It, ImproveReaching a final product or service that was first initiated in your mind is a moment of triumph, a point where you turned energy to matter! You gain real life experience and knowledge through which you can grow and improve further. An easy way for mе to apply these points is to take the product and think: “How would I do things differently from the start if I knew then what I know now?”. This question has given me many answers many times, and it may do the same for you. Try it.
What I encourage you to do is come back to your project every now and then and see if you can update it somehow. Our designs are never final, we have products developed in 2012 and still working on them. Think about that - nothing in this world is permanent, it is natural for things to change as seasons do. With time we gain new perspectives and apply our skills better. Look ahead, keep learning and keep growing.
"One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do." - Henry FordI strongly hope this post will make you think. And more than that, urge you to act and start working. If you have any other techniques that help you in your business, please feel free to share them in the comments.
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