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voodoo

Getting Your Idea Into Production

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I am attending my final year at Uni (back in Oct) and I have been working on an invention/idea that i would like to turn into a product and get mass produced, it is a small consumer electronics product.

Would I have to get my idea patented before I go further?

Once I have got the prototype produced and I have proved the device works, where do I go to get the device on the market? Or at least get enough produced to get interest in the product?

I would like to have full control over the rights of the device so I am a bit wary going to a large company and getting my idea nicked!

Can the fact I am attending Uni help me? Can they help me on any level?

Anyone help?

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Guest superbad
Patents are overrated for most things. You will get ripped off with or without a patent- the trick is to do a better job than the people stealing your idea. Your fear of big companies ripping you off is largely unfounded. In fact, most big companies won't accept unsolicited product idea submissions from the general public because they don't want a lawsuit if they come out with something slightly similar a few years later. Most home inventors seem to have a huge persecution complex and think everyone is out to screw them and steal their brilliant idea. If I ran a big company, I wouldn't let them in the door either. (Not implying you fall into this category, of course, but that is the environment in which you will have to operate.)

Normally I would recommend going into production yourself, but probably not for a small consumer electronic product. You'd have a hard time doing sufficient volume to recoup your costs and make a profit. You should at least make a prototype or two if that's feasible.

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Regarding patents, I know my university will patent an idea if they think it's worth it. However, that means they own the patent and take a fair chunk of any money made from it.

As far as going from prototpe to market? First off youd need capital, and a lot of it. To get the molds made for anything plastic usually costs more than most of us will make in a year.

Even after production you're going to need more than a 1 man team to develop and set up the resources for marketing, distribution, etc.

If your idea is honestly that good, your best bet is to enter it into competitions and hope it wins a design award. Often times student designs will be picked up by companies and further developed if someone sees the value in it.

Also, being secretive about the idea won't help. I've seen many student projects that even though they had a good deal of research, after developing their "revolutionary product" someone else in the room would find a website that had a nearly identical product already in existance. The world has a lot of stuff already out there, and it's too much for one person to track down all of it.

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Guest davetheblaze
I wouldnt trust a big company or a small company with any idea.
A patent could help but you have to patent it in every country and fight it out in court anyway.
Getting the product out quickly and well is probably your best bet alongside a patent.

As for where to go next it depends on what the product is, I have plenty of ideas and am in the smae situation.

I read plenty of business start up books which can help but it all depends on the amount of capital you need and what the technology is.

If you have someone you trust at uni or a peer then talk to them.

As for finding a revolutionary product, Cyber demon sums it up really well, Ive invented about ten brand new ideas only to find by a random google search after plenty of other research that its been being worked on for a few years or is on sale.

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Guest CheckMate
make sure you make plenty of prototypes and put them through rigourous testing from many perspectives of use until destruction. most consumer electronics will come with some kind of warrenty covering most or all of the parts for a considerable period of time. if your competitors all have warrenties and yours doesn't then it won't stand the heat in the market place, for starts no one will bother stocking it because there reputation will be on the line. if u give it a warrenty then u best make sure 99.99% of units go the mile, cus if they all break after 9 months on a 12month warrenty then u are really up @#$@#$ creak!

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Guest robbie
Hi Voodochile, I work for an injection mould and tooling company with an integrated design company.

We have worked with numerous people just like your self. If you send us an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) we can then dicuss your idea with you and how to make it it a reality. The NDA will mean we cannot discuss it with anyone else and the idea/product reamins in your control.

If you don't have a NDA, then we have a general one that we use with budding entreprenuers like yourself.

I head up the design company, so feel free to contact me regardig your idea and I can help educate in the painful (but rewarding!) effort required for product development.

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Thanks for that. Can you send me your details via a personal message and I will put the details on file.

I start Uni in October. I will start to develop and prototype it then to prove it.


Cheers robbie

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Yes the best advice I can give is talk to as many people as you can that you trust. Often what you may think is a good idea is in reality not. I'm a professional as well as a student mentor, and the divide is really huge and very rarly have i seen student work "ready" for the market or to be sold.

Also what superbad said is very correct, most big companies dont "nick" ideas, in fact you will be safest there, personally at your stage, if you can sell off your idea lock stock and barrel, i would reccomend that instead.

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Guest BA Hons P Newton
Hi,

I have currently finished my degree now in July. I am trying to get the childrens furniture shown as my display picture into production. I am having difficulty, but as it came into the top 20 ideas in the RSA 'furniture for real environments' it was meant to be excibited at the NEC area In Birmingham. Problem is i do not have the funding. If anyone has any ideas on how it can be produced then replys are most welcome.

Regards

Paul

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Guest superbad
Paul- Got any pictures? It sounds like you are just trying to get prototypes made for a show, right? You're obviously going to need <i>some</i> funding to do that, but it might not be as much as you think.

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Guest raptor
im having the same problem.
have a product out, has good very good consumer interest, but lack of funding and at a loss of direction to get proper help on manufacturing. more tricky when it has electrical stuff - u know testing, and so on.

Sighs*

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