Inventors Lab - Developing Your Product

Inventors Lab

Getting Started

"Product Development" is a phrase describing the transformation of an idea into a usable product.  It is a process, because it takes time, and it's many iterating steps building and learning as you go.

This Product Development process is often chaotic in many ways, yet can become more methodical by following the right steps.  Though the methodical approach is more effective, chaos is often the default simply because the steps are not always clear.  Each new idea is unique in some way, so the developing steps are unique too.  Yet, there are commonalities.  As a guide in navigating each unique path, Synthesis has published an article (several pages) as an overview of the many topics common in product development.

The Product Developing ProcessThe article, "The Product Development Process", discusses the needs of anyone - especially those who are new to it, like inventors - as they take ideas from concept to customer.  The article is a guide with several topics, direction questions, and an overview of what's involved in each step of the process.  Hopefully, it also gives a feel for the "why" and the scope - and provides a view to comfort some of the anxiety.

The PDP article is general enough to explore a wide range of products and processes, yet specific enough to show the road to travel.  It includes several pages with different topics, and an ongoing illustrative example.  Call it the source for information about turning a great idea into a cool product for the market.

Developing Your Product

It would be great for me to write now just what you need to advance your specific product.  But, what is your product idea?

There are, of course, many ideas, each with a unique path to success.  Some involve various levels of design and then who knows what in prototypes.  Some ideas involve a lot of research into what others have done (to avoid stepping on someone's patent, at least).  Most ideas will take some iteration with new learning guiding the way to a better and better final product.

You are doing the first best step right now.  You are reading and learning about what it takes, and that is the best way to avoid costly dead-ends and common mistakes.  Keep reading, and make a plan for success.  Developing a new product is not an easy task - but it's done by many everyday.  Follow the process outlined in the PDP article above.  We wish you the best of luck on your way.

A related article, "Patents:  Protecting Your Big Idea" is an informative overview of patents and intellectual property, originally published on  It is reprinted here with permission.

About the PDP Article

This article, "The Product Development Process", was first published on in 1998.  It is here to answer questions commonly asked by inventors and professionals alike, because the path to a successful final product and happy customers is not as easy as it sounds.

This article was written based on the many questions we receive at Synthesis every day.  Some of these are also answered in the FAQ section of this website.

Since first publication, the article has undergone 3 major revisions and is published (with permission) in 3 languages and in multiple places around the globe.  It is now in education and training materials for entrepreneurs, both in business and in scholastic settings.  If you're thinking about developing a product, or taking an idea from concept to market, it really is worth reading.

More Info and Services

Want more on Product Development?  Or need Engineering Services?  Synthesis does that, and you can read about it here.  We have also published a bunch of short articles on various topics of Product Development such as avoiding Patent vultures, and Making Prototypes.

No pressure, this isn't a sales pitch, we just want you to know there's a whole lot of information available here at The Engineer's Perspective.  It's all free.  And we do it because we see a lot of really cool inventions fail because of mistakes in developing the product - or more accurately, mistakes in the process.

We like cool new products, and we also like to see inventors find success.  That drives us, so even if you never want to talk with us, please use our free resources.

Learn Lots, and Enjoy the Journey

Inventors LabNext Up:  NIH Syndrome

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