Particularly during our adolescent years, many are susceptible to having lots of innovative ideas for inventions. It’s unlikely that someone will know what product development is at such a young age, but in reality, ideation is the first stage in this exciting journey.
In today’s digital-first society, technologically impressive creations are not exclusively reserved for utopian television, and “dreamers” are not just children with an excess of imagination. Instead, they are people who, when paired with experts who carry out product missions, can develop products that can be brought to market. This is product development.
Turning visions into missions
Product development refers to the overall journey of a product. The initial stage involves having a ‘vision´. Whether you are struck by a never-before-seen concept, or aspire to iterate upon an existing one, having an idea and building upon that is key. When constructing a plan for your product, product validation is necessary in order to identify, ensure, and quantify the market need.
Data collection, such as collecting quantitative data from an online survey, or even sparking discourse within your circles is instrumental at this stage. Product development experts will also communicate to you whether the desired outcome is feasible.
Building a product roadmap is the next essential step. Interaction between inventors and engineers results in shared objectives and plans, often including sketches, which are derived from sketch competitions between experts.
Next, we can get started with the exciting step of prototyping. A prototype is the physical embodiment of your vision, however, prototyping is about much more than turning those dreams into something you can physically hold in your hand. It is a critical part of the product development journey. A prototype can be used to test an idea’s feasibility, as well as convincing those stakeholders that a business has potential.
In the past, those looking to develop a prototype would have had to fork out enormous sums of money to traditional engineering consultancies. However, this is no longer the case, today ordinary people can turn their dreams into reality. Digital transformation has aided in the democratisation of product development, with relatively inexpensive marketplace solutions now in existence.
The ever-evolving product journey
In tandem with your prototyping journey, you should consider developing a basic business plan. Don’t worry if you have jumped right into product development with little to no idea of the world of business – that’s perfectly normal!
Nevertheless, entrepreneurs should approach product development with planning and preparedness. The best way to start building out a basic business plan is to start with some online research, connecting with fellow entrepreneurs, and reading up about general business and entrepreneurship. All of this will give a newbie insight into the product development journey and help build connections with other new business owners.
Previously product development was reserved for a select few, however, in today’s digitalised world it can be for anyone with a good idea and a willingness to get stuck in. There are many stages in the product development journey, but this doesn’t mean you need to be a seasoned entrepreneur to get started. With the support of a team of experts, it is possible to build out your idea and get started with prototyping. Once the prototyping stage is underway, it is then a good idea to start on a basic business plan. Taking the time to reflect and apply appropriate research will pay dividends in the long run.