Making a Product in 2023

We’re living in a renaissance of sorts. Even for full time workers, having a side hustle is the norm and it’s not completely for monetary gain. The main motivation for the prevalence of side hustles among Gen X-ers and Millennial is to make a mark on the world. It seems all those “You Can Do Anything” motivational posters in the guidance counselors offices got to us.  There are many side hustles but one that’s consistently present is inventing products! Every day there are new products invented and the next day there are new accessories for those products.

There are 3 essential prerequisites to making a profitable product: Great Idea, Great Design, Great Marketing

Great Idea

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Once a month we get a call from someone with a million dollar idea. 50% of the time, their idea is already available on Amazon. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth improving upon, but the point is the idea is only the beginning and the bulk of the work comes after the idea. That being said, a great idea can make the design and marketing 100 times easier. A weak idea might be able to be saved by great design and great marketing, as evidenced by stupid products on the shelves, but it will be an uphill battle.

Great ideas come in all shapes and sizes, our customer Golf Kicks, which turn sneakers into golf shoes is an excellent example. There’s an established target market, it’s a relatively well-off target market (golfers), it’s simple to produce (no electronics or moving parts) and it works with a bunch of other products (most shoes) as opposed to competing against other products.

Great Design

Even with great marketing, a great idea can be ruined by bad design. I’m not just talking about the physical appearance of the product. I’m talking about the manufacturability (DFM) and how easy and intuitive it is to use (UI/UX). If you’re not familiar, DFM is design for manufacturability and UI/UX is user interface. Design for manufacturability is the practice of optimizing your design for mass production, it involves taking in to consideration the machines and processes utilized by mass production. Many first time inventors and designers are unfamiliar with manufacturing processes and design their products without considering the methods of production.

Great Marketing

Without great marketing, great ideas with great designs can sit in an FBA warehouse collecting dust. There’s more to marketing than making advertisements and spending boat loads of money to distribute them on every platform. Where will your product be sold? How will you spread the word about your product? You don’t need a clever campaign. You can sell it on your own online store. But you do need to connect with your correct target market. One of the key factors that makes an idea truly great is a well-defined target market that’s untapped or undeserved.

Invest in your idea

Making a product is an investment. The greater the investment, the greater dividends it will pay. The more (responsible) time, effort and money you put in to it, the more you will get out of it. Take your time, talk to as many people as you can, and work with experienced professionals.