How to take an invention idea to market?

Without a viable plan to develop your innovative ideas into marketable items, you will never be able to profit from them.

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. – Scott Belsky, Behance Co-founder

You might have a wonderful concept in your mind for a new invention that you believe many people would be eager to buy. However, without a viable plan to develop your innovative ideas into marketable items, you will never be able to profit from them.

An idea is an unverified thought that originates from your imagination; it’s a lightning moment that helps you solve a persistent problem that’s been bothering you for a long time. Innovation is an expansion of a matured concept. To become an innovation, an idea must take the route of least resistance. You must do market research, product development, and cost estimates, and if all goes well, obtain a patent.

Timing is everything in the field of invention. If you wait too long, someone else will seize on a similar concept and take your market share. On the other hand, if your invention is the first of its type, the market may not be ready, and you will have an uphill battle to carve out a niche for your product. Another significant problem is making the general public aware of your product. Your concept may be fantastic, but without a marketing strategy, no one will ever learn about it. While problems are many, a successful entrepreneur focuses on solutions.

In this article, we will discuss how to take an invention idea to market.

Step 1: Document it

The first stage in commercializing your innovative ideas is to obtain ownership rights. You will not earn from your idea merely by imagining it; you must have evidence proving that you were the first to think of a possible product.

As a result, record all you can regarding the concept, design, and marketability of the product in an inventor’s journal. A court-worthy inventor’s journal can be any bound notebook with consecutively numbered pages that cannot be removed or reinserted.

Step 2: Check for patent

Before putting too much effort and money into a new product, make sure it doesn’t already exist. A quick check of the United States Patent and Trademark Office will reveal what has already been patented.

You should also complete a non-patent “prior art” search. If you find any sort of artwork or design related to your idea, you cannot patent it — regardless of whether a prior patent has been filed.

Step 3: Conduct research to ascertain whether the idea has a market

Do some initial market research before devoting too much time and money to patenting your innovation. Conducting market research can help you learn how many consumers or businesses could use the product. The market research should answer one key question – Is this something people will buy? Once you’ve determined the demand for your product, ensure that it can be made and supplied at a low enough cost that your retail pricing is affordable. These prices can be determined by making a comparison to those of similar items presently on the market. It can also help you assess your competitors, which will exist regardless of how unique you believe your innovation is.

Step 4: Make a prototype

A prototype is a representation of your invention that puts what you wrote in your inventor’s journal into action. When you exhibit your idea to potential financiers and licensees, this will illustrate the design.

Do not file a patent without first creating a prototype. You’ll usually always find a mistake in your initial design or come up with a new function to include. If you patent your idea before ironing out the wrinkles, it will be too late to incorporate them in the patent, and you risk losing your new design’s patent rights to someone else.

Here are some rules to keep in mind when prototyping your invention:

  • Sketch- To begin prototyping, sketch down your innovation concepts in your inventor’s notebook.
  • Mockup- Using any materials, create a 3-D model of your design.
  • Model- Make a fully functional model of your product.

Step 5: Consider filing a patent

Patents are classified into two types: utility patents (for new processes or machines) and design patents (for manufacturing new, non-obvious ornamental designs). While you may start the patent application yourself, you should submit it with the aid of a patent lawyer who has the necessary technical knowledge.

Others will ultimately infringe on your patent if your idea is valuable. Hiring a qualified patent attorney ensures that your patent is completely protected and that you avoid costly court fights.

You could opt to sell your product without a patent. However, business experts recommend obtaining a patent for several reasons, such as:

  • Protecting your intellectual property
  • Higher profits
  • Selling power
The value of an idea lies in the using of it. – Thomas Edison, General Electric Co-founder

Step 6: Get investors to back your invention idea

Investors have money. You need money. Now, convince them to invest their money in your product idea. If your product idea is brilliant and you have a prototype to back it up, more than half your work is done! Even better, if you already have an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), then your investors can see for themselves how much traction (paying customers who are interested in your product) your product gets!

Prepare an investor pitch comprising all the relevant details such as your mission, company vision, product idea, team, market opportunities, and financial projections.

Step 7: Product development

Armed with the required funding, extensive market research, and a can-do attitude, it’s time to kick your product development into full gear!

You will need a product development strategy with rigid but attainable targets and goals. Develop the product after careful consideration of its quality, quantity, and demand.

Step 8: Market your invention

Now that you have successfully converted your invention idea into a profitable product, it’s time to market your innovation and sell your product. Make a business strategy for your product concept, including whether you want to start your own company or sell the idea to an existing company. Working on your pitch and presentation to capture the interest of investors will be part of this process.

Turning a Business Idea into Reality

Bringing an idea to life isn’t easy. It requires passion, patience, and, most importantly, the ability to execute.

World-changing events and great success stories throughout human history can be traced back to a single idea. But don’t fall into the belief that having a great idea is all you need. If you have a great idea, then you’ve completed the first step of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Now you need to work on turning that idea into a reality and let your business change the world.

The startup culture is full of people who want to and try to but just can’t get their business off the ground. Why is this the case? Much of the reason has to do with the fact that many entrepreneurs don’t know how to take their business from point A to B. Point A is that brilliant idea in the mind of the entrepreneur. B is that subsequent, hoped-for state where the business is secure, established, and making money.

Bringing an idea to life isn’t easy. It requires passion, patience, and, most importantly, the ability to execute.

Efforts and strategies can help transform business idea inti reality

Here are some steps to help you transform that business idea into reality.

Research The Market :

Your product or service won’t get off the ground if there isn’t a viable market for it. Conducting a full market analysis will help you define your audience and size up your competition. It’s crucial to see how competitors are marketing their offerings, read reviews to gauge how satisfied customers are, and how your product is different (and better) from their offering.

Define your Target Audience:

To build a solid foundation for your business, you must also define your target audience. Once you know and understand your potential customers, you can focus and target your marketing efforts on reaching and attracting them. The critical thing to keep in mind is that “everybody” is not a demographic. You can start broad but become increasingly granular as you progress.

Test Your Idea:

Before you dive headfirst into a new business, take some time and a few extra steps to test your idea. Create a functional prototype that you can present to investors and your target audience. Consider getting their feedback to make sure you’re on the right path with your business. Ask what they think about your products, marketing language, advertisements, offerings, logos, brand voice, and more so you’re gathering opinions on multiple parts of your business before committing to your idea and moving to the next step.

Write a Business Plan:

To start a business, you need a business plan. A business plan typically includes the executive summary, company description, products and services, market analysis, competitive analysis, organization and management description, marketing plan, sales strategy, request for funding, and financial projections. Turning an idea into reality requires hours of research, testing, planning, and strategy, not to mention patience and persistence.

Build a Team:

One of the most important steps in being able to see your business idea to fruition is to build a team that can support your vision. Your team can include a business partner, employees, investors, mentors, or customers who are willing and able to provide unbiased feedback. You need to be with people who are as ambitious as you and who are ready to go that extra mile to get things done.

“Great ideas need great execution”

Take Action:

While many people have great business ideas, a small percentage of those actually follow through on them. Robert Herjavec, star of the show Shark Tank, offers this advice: “You have to have a senseless belief in your idea and yourself—almost to the point of being delusional. Remember that everyone has advice, but no one knows what you have to go through to start, grow and scale a business until they live it. Talk is cheap, but action speaks volumes.”


If you have been struggling to figure out how to move from the ideation stage to the product development stage, you must check out the i2MF program. This program is for aspiring entrepreneurs who have already taken the first step of entrepreneurship – the thinking up of an idea – and are now looking to turn it into a sellable product. It will help you know your target market, target customers, and competitors better, and thus build your business model.

How to develop a product roadmap?

The product roadmap highlights where the organization is, where the organization wishes to be, and how it will get there.

Developing a Product Roadmap

Road mapping is a key component of strategic planning. The act of creating a product roadmap may catalyze discussions about where and why you will focus your efforts. When your product strategy is linked to implementation, you will always be able to trace the impact of your efforts. In this article, we explore the concept of a product roadmap and discuss how it benefits a business/startup.

Road mapping is a key component of strategic planning.

What is a Product Roadmap?

Building a product isn’t something you can do in one night, one day or even one week. It needs concentrated efforts that are reliable, adaptable preparation and many other logistics to consider. Product roadmap refers to the planning that goes into creating a new product or feature.

A product roadmap depicts how a product manager intends to produce a product and contains the budget and strategy to produce it. It is a strategy for creating your product and a plan for how it will satisfy a set of commercial objectives.

A product roadmap depicts how your product will evolve. It outlines where the organization is now, where it wants to go, and how it will get there. It is a useful reference for teams to plan activities and carry out the strategy.

A product roadmap is not a to-do list for operations. Rather, it is a strategy document that will assist you in developing a plan for your product and keeping your team on track in carrying out that plan. It is a tool for sharing your product vision and carrying out product strategies.

Here are a some of the tasks that a product plan accomplishes:

  • Describe the vision and strategy for your product.
  • Create a strategy for executing your product’s strategy.
  • Ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page.
  • Discuss and plan all of the situations as soon as possible.

Why are Product Roadmaps Important?

It takes tremendous effort to create and deliver a product. It requires real commitment towards your goals — from product management and product marketing to engineering — to pull it off properly. This devotion is best exemplified by the product plan. It is a guarantee to your team and consumers that you will be held accountable for the most important tasks.

Roadmaps are extremely effective communication tools. However, there are also other significant advantages to using one. Product roadmaps, in particular:

  1. Back up your vision and strategy
  2. Create an action plan for bringing your strategy to life.
  3. Allow time for debate and scenario planning.
  4. Boost motivation
Product Roadmap highlights the Vision and motto of the company.

Who is Responsible for Creating a Product Roadmap?

Creating a product plan should be a collaborative endeavor. While it is easy to veil product priorities in mystery, teams thrive when transparency and honesty are valued. This is especially true if you’re working on numerous products or providing support for legacy software.

Product managers are in charge of the product roadmap. He/she is in charge of gathering research, ideas, and feedback, translating and prioritizing these materials into features, and eventually constructing the roadmap itself. They also determine when and how to construct the best roadmaps for the team.

Ultimately, the product management team (or product manager) should be responsible for what makes it onto the roadmap and updating it as needed.

How to Build a Product Roadmap

1. Define your product’s goals

The product strategy describes how you intend to accomplish your product vision. It connects your product vision and roadmap by converting the vision into activities that will be emphasized in the roadmap.

Product strategy assists you in developing your future product and thereby, lays the groundwork for your roadmap.

Your product strategy should contain information on:

  1. What kind of a product it will be
  2. Who are the customers
  3. How it will fit into the market
  4. How it will create value for customers
2. Keep your roadmap clear and concise

Product development goes a lot more smoothly when everyone on the team is working toward the same goal. However, this can only happen if the entire team understands the product and its role in its development.

It’s critical to maintain your roadmap basic and straightforward. You may believe that a complex game plan will outline each stage of your accomplishment, but this approach will only result in miscommunication and missed deadlines. The key to keeping staff focused and motivated towards the same objective is to have a clear and concise plan.

3. Breakdown features into user stories

Product features can help you quickly understand your product. However, the problem is that they can’t easily fit into sprints. Hence, breaking down features into sprints is essential for further simplification.

Here are some examples of how features can be broken down into user stories:

  1. Individual workflow stages can be used to divide features into user stories. It will assist you in better understanding your product and planning your efforts.
  2. Organize features by happy/unhappy flow, or how functionality acts when everything goes smoothly versus when there are exceptions, deviations, or other issues.
  3. Sort features according to the data types they return or the parameters they must manage.
  4. Break down features into Create, Read, Update, and Delete activities.
5. Set a timeframe

A destination is required for a roadmap. Set a rough but reasonable timetable based on your intended objective and the difficulties you’ve discovered.

Are these problems with apparent easy fixes that you can test in a few months? Or are you committed to major strategic changes that might take years to fully implement?

Remember that transformation takes time. A product roadmap, on the other hand, should demonstrate progress early on, so you don’t commit to chasing outcomes for years on end.

6. Customize the roadmap for your stakeholders

The process of creating and delivering a product requires several teams, each of which has its own set of ambitions. While your development team may be interested in seeing the product’s development aspect of the product roadmap (i.e., what technology they’ll be expected to use, when they’ll be expected to complete the work, etc.), your investors may be looking for an overview of how you plan to grow market share over the next few quarters.

As a result, personalizing your product roadmap to showcase the specific facts they’re looking for is critical.

7. Review your product roadmap

There’s a good chance your product roadmap won’t be ideal. And that’s just OK. You’ll have to rouse your staff to fulfill deadlines if unexpected barriers arise. It’s all a natural part of the procedure.

You may, however, protect your roadmap by evaluating it whenever you have an issue.

The details in your roadmap are not set in stone. As the priorities of your company change, and as the customer needs and market trends evolve, updates to your product roadmap along the way will be inevitable. 

What is a Product-Market Fit?

Product-market fit is a well-known idea in the startup community. While it is commonly used in discussions about new high-growth businesses, it does not appear to have caught on in the rest of the business world.

Product-market fit refers to a situation in which a company’s target consumers buy, use, and tell others about its product in sufficient numbers to keep it growing and profitable. It is the degree to which a product satisfies strong market demand. Product-market fit happens when you successfully identify your target customer and serve them with the right product. 

Steps to Achieve Product- Market Fit

How to Achieve Product-Market Fit?

One of the most crucial goals for a business is to achieve product-market fit, yet it is also one of the most misunderstood notions.

According to Dan Olsen, a product management specialist and author of The Lean Product Playbook, product-market fit is the point at which a firm has produced a product that provides significant value for consumers. 

In his book, Olsen proposes a six-step framework termed the Lean Product Process that can help get your team started:

1. Determine your target customer

The first step is to determine the target customers. Target customers ultimately decide how well a product meets their needs. We need to use market segmentation to clearly define the target customer. The splitting of the entire market into market segments, which are made up of potential customers with similar wants and behaviors, is known as segmentation. 

This process has four steps: Analyzing your product or service, Familiarizing yourself with your competition, Choosing segment criteria, and Performing research.

2. Identify underserved needs of that customer

Once you’ve created a target customer hypothesis, the next stage is to figure out their unmet needs. Determine the exact requirements for a solid market opportunity. In order to provide value to clients, address any needs that are not being satisfied appropriately.

3. Define your value proposition

A value proposition defines how a product will fulfill consumer demands better than the competitors. It helps to determine which client wants your product can meet. Determine which of your product’s distinctive characteristics will excite customers and how your product will surpass the competition.

4. Specify minimum viable product (MVP) feature set

After you’ve determined your value proposition, the following stage in the Lean Product Process is to select the feature set for your minimal viable product (MVP) candidate. You will not begin by building a new product that delivers on your whole value proposition since it would take too long and be too risky.

This strategy focuses on developing what is required to provide enough value to your target consumer to prove that your product is on the right track.

5. Develop your MVP

You’ll want to test your MVP candidate with clients once you’ve determined the feature set. To accomplish so, you’ll need to develop a user experience (UX) that you can display to potential clients.

The Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is a development strategy in which a new product is brought to the market with basic characteristics that are sufficient to pique the interest of consumers. Only after receiving adequate feedback from the product’s early consumers is the completed product offered to the market.

6. Test your MVP with customers

Once we have created the MVP, the next step is to gather valuable feedback from the users.

Observe what the target client says and does while using the prototype during the test. To elicit deeper insights and maximize the value of user tests, ask clarifying questions.

Product-market fit is the degree to which a product satisfies strong market demand.

How to Measure Product-Market Fit?

In theory, you may test product/market fit through surveys that determine what proportion of your consumers consider your new product to be a “must-have.” However, product-market fit is more about an in-depth and realistic grasp of who your consumers are and how they feel about you and your product than it is about hypothetical statistics and percentages.

Is it creating organic growth, where people spread the word on their own? Are people willing to pay for your product? If they are, you have a product-market fit. 

Your product/service will most likely satisfy a tiny part of the market as a startup or early-stage firm. If you want to acquire this knowledge in the first place, you must first establish a relationship with your consumers and communicate to them (over and over again).

Who is Responsible for Creating a Product-Market Fit?

We usually link product-market fit with product management and marketing, but, in reality, achieving it is a company-wide effort. All departments contribute to the company’s achievement of this significant milestone, including sales, business development, support, and finance.