IS MY IDEA GOOD ENOUGH?
As an Innovation Facilitator I am asked that question a lot. I still find myself thinking “who am I to judge”, but the Innovator wouldn’t know that. They have been sitting with this question for some time, unsure if this idea is really feasible, viable, or even patentable. So I have decided to write this blog to explore some of the common questions I frequently hear from struggling Entrepreneurs and Innovators. Hopefully it will shed some light on starting the ‘what’s next’ process. I do not profess to be the ‘all-knowing’ when it comes to the process of commercializing a product; however I am in the unique position of hearing a few of the struggles that can be faced. Addressing those struggles will be the focus of my Facilitating Innovation blog.
Is my idea good enough? One way to test that question is to try to think it through a process. The four key areas we work the idea through are:
- Innovations and Ideas – which consist largely of Concept Development, and Intellectual Property
- Technical Feasibility – initial product assessment and performance, certification, engineering resources and networks
- Market Feasibility – market discovery, creation and entry; access to market development information
- Financial Viability – will this opportunity generate adequate returns to justify investing in?
All four components of the process (action plan) are important to success; however some may be more of a focus area to the Entrepreneur/Innovator than others for varying reasons.
Is my idea good enough? Well that depends. To Who? If you are someone who has been frustrated time and time again with a particular tool and your (small/simple or large/complicated) solution will make someone’s day-to-day life that much better – then yes “Damn Straight” your idea is good enough. If you ask the same question to someone who doesn’t use that tool a lot then perhaps – probably not. Remember, do not get ahead of yourself; these things do take time. And be cautious of where and how you are spending your money, there are many professionals out there to help, but you can also start by doing your own homework and at the same time learning important details about each key component.
Check out the links provided below, and do some digging on your own; sometimes your idea is better than you think and is already out there!
- Canadian Patent Search : http://goo.gl/oevCH and http://www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/blog/entry/3534 http://canadian-patent.ca/information-about-canadian-patents/
- United States Patent Search: http://www.uspto.gov/
- Use the internet, it is chalked full with practically everything you need to know about navigating through your challenges.
- Contact free services, the government of Canada has many offerings that can help get you started, and in some cases offer monetary help in the form of grants. One such link offers a great connector service. If you are in northwest Alberta a good place to start is Grande Prairie Regional College, Centre for Research & Innovation. They can help with all of the above.
Hopefully this has provided you with a spark of information, a move towards commercialization and ultimately placing your innovation into the hands of a consumer. Is my idea good enough? You be the judge.
Until next time – keep innovating!