Product Development

The Five Steps of Product Development

Suppose you have watched episodes of Shark Tank or Dragons Den, you will have an idea of how entrepreneurs develop a product concept and pitch these concepts to potential investors to get their product rolling into the market. Most of the entrepreneurs you see in the show have great concepts and ideas but are still procuring money to pay for industrial design experts that will take their concepts into reality.


The market for new products today is very competitive. Small business owners who want to succeed in their industry must think of something innovative or disruptive to mark the industry. Without new products, businesses may not have the growth that they strive for. However, creating a new product is not as easy as it seems. Here are the steps in creating a concept into a marketable product.


Step 1. Generating the Idea. The first and initial stage of product development is thinking of ways to solve a problem that nobody has ever thought of before. One way of determining common problems is by conducting customer surveys or keeping in touch with people and knowing some of their common frustrations. The idea for a solution to a common problem is a crucial stage in getting a new product out in the market and making profits from that product.


Step 2. Screening. Once an idea has been concocted, this idea is distributed to the decision-makers of a company for screening. A small business owner will then float this idea to the company’s different stakeholders with hopes of getting both positive and negative feedback regarding the idea. During the screening process, all the feedback is taken into consideration so that the idea or concept can be modified to accommodate any improvements.


Step 3. Concept Development. A small business that has an idea for a new product will then undertake several research types into their target market. These researches will aim to answer questions such as “is there a similar product out in the market already?”, “will customers want to purchase such a product?” “if this product is developed, how much are customers willing to pay for it?”. This step involves all the research to identify the product’s target market and identify the product’s possible competitors.


Step 4. Developing the Product. Once all the feedback on the product is taken into accord, a small business owner will seek industrial design experts to make their concepts into reality. Industrial designers are tasked to create a working prototype of the product and test this prototype for any flaws. During this product development phase, industrial designers are tasked to produce a physical prototype of the product based on the ideas and feedback concerning the ideas. Industrial designers will then test the prototype for any flaws and note any necessary modifications to the prototype. Once all testing is done, and modifications are noted, the industrial designers will produce a final product that will be ready for mass production and rollout.


Step 5. Mass Commercialisation and Rollout. In the shows Shark Tank and Dragons’ Den, most aspiring entrepreneurs pitch products that have passed the prototype stages and have been marketed to a certain extent. However, entrepreneurs pitching at Shark Tank episodes seek to finance the commercialisation and rollout of their products. Commercialisation and rollout involve getting enough capital to put the product into mass production to be distributed to a wide market.


Developing a marketable product from an idea may be financially rewarding. However, the above product development steps must be implemented car

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