In Robert Cooper's
authoritative book Winning
at New Products, he cites "15 Critical Success Factors
in Product Innovation."
"The number one success factor is a unique superior product: a
differentiated product that delivers unique
benefits and superior value
"To provide valuable new product ideas that enable clients to achieve
and sustain increased profits."
of the hardest things to find in an ideation consultancy, is a
significant product they've invented. Most
"product ideation" or "creativity" consultants and
companies want to teach your employees the latest theories on how to become
creative. Unlike them, our approach is not to put the invention expectations on
your employees. It is to provide actual and actionable results. Your
employees can then learn through participation.
Ideation for completely new products or improvement of existing products.
Patent research (patentability and idea mining)
Production cost analysis and market analysis
Administer any necessary 3rd party services (CAD services, patent searches, market
Administer any appropriate patent services
Product Development services (optional)
Whether you have a clear
idea of what kind of product you want, or just some vague
criteria, we can usually help.
Areas of basic expertise:
Consumer products (primarily mechanical)
Industrial products (primarily mechanical)
Client Qualification Process (to screen potential clients'
expectations, for compatibility with our capabilities) including FEE
Step 1. Companies contact us to discuss their new
product goals or wish list. (no charge)
Step 2. We evaluate those objectives and provide a
brief summary of our perceived likelihood of providing results
that satisfy the specified criteria. (no charge)
Step 3. If approved, we then conduct a more detailed
investigation to include informal prior art searching, to
obtain a better understanding of our chances of success.
This step requires a non-refundable payment of $400.00 USD to
cover first day's services,
and a non-binding written statement of intent to bring product(s) we
conceive that meet all the specified criteria to market.
Payment options are negotiated then, and may include any
mutually agreed combination and level of up front fee or
royalties based on subsequent product sales.
Standard Internal Process:
Phase I - Understand
Step 1. Obtain management input (product/market expertise,
corp. culture, limitations, budget parameters, goals, wish list)
Step 2. Obtain management commitment to publicly support ideation initiative, remove fear factor for staff.
Step 3. Analyze existing products, competitive products (advantages & disadvantages, and manufacturing/cost issues)
Step 4. Research industry trends.
Step 5. Consult as appropriate with existing clients or desired clients. Consult as necessary with other knowledgeable parties.
Phase II - Innovate
Step 1. Conceive and develop product ideas and solutions.
This phase uses our proprietary ideation strategies and
capabilities and may optionally include participation by your company's staff.
Step 2. Conceive and develop patentable enhancements to design(s) as required
Phase III - Refine
Step 1. Prescreen potential ideas and solutions with management to eliminate or
change concepts that are unlikely to produce desired results.
Step 2. Revise product ideas as necessary.
Step 3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 of this phase as necessary.
Phase IV - Deliver
Step 1. Produce deliverables (documents, drawings, 3D
computer models, prototypes) for proposed products,
including analysis of existing IP (intellectual property)
in the same product
Step 2. Conduct interactive design focus meeting(s) with
appropriate team members of client for input to refine the
Step 3. Produce production/distribution cost analysis, with ROI projections, and risk factors assessment.
Phase V - Complete
Step 1. Obtain feedback/consensus to produce go/no-go R&D and/or production decision.
Step 2. Tie up loose ends and complete ideation, concept
development and transition to next phases of
Points to Ponder:
- You usually need an expert with a product to incrementally improve
the design. You often need a stranger to the product to
completely reinvent it.
- If you approach product creation like everyone else, you will
usually create products like everyone else.
- By definition, "creativity" is not the product of a
- We don't succeed until we help you succeed.
- "True innovators are firmly grounded in reality and will not claim victory until value is delivered or a problem is solved."