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If you want to successfully take a new product to market, you'll have to prove it works first. Additionally, you'll have to prove it works every single time the same way even if the user and some circumstances differ. This idea is perhaps best illustrated by Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's. His idea was to create a multitude of stores all over the country that could product the same exact food items. If you eat a cheeseburger in Wisconsin at 5 pm in December it should taste the same as one you had in California at noon in July. If you have a great idea, you need to ensure it is actually functional and useful and reliable once you get it off paper and into a working model.
This process is called prototype development. Without an invention prototype you can't get a patent or make a dime. Investors will take a keen interest in your prototype. If you aren't successful in this stage of inventing, the idea will be dead in the water, no matter how good it is. To be successful in prototyping, concentrate in these areas:
*Focus on the most risky elements first. Don't put them off hoping they will fall in place. If you do, you may waste a lot of time and money on an usable product.
*Focus initially on the internal design not the appearance. You may create the best-looking product, with slick outer covers and panels but it's the design and workability you need to patent.
*Consider computer tools and virtual prototype software. Some computers can do initial design experiments for you without the cost of manufacturing multiple widgets. A virtual prototype can sometimes be used to gain investment money to fund more detailed prototyping that's needed. Computer tools, as a rule, will be cheaper than other types of prototype options. You can learn more about virtual prototyping at InventHelp.com.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|