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Author Topic: Business Idea (advice needed)  (Read 669 times)
bitfreak!
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January 20, 2014, 06:58:33 PM
 #1

So the other day I was looking around the internet for a certain type of product but there was really nothing to meet my requirements. It was clear however that a lot of people besides myself were looking for the same type of product based on the comments I was reading around the internet. I don't want to mention exactly what type of product I'm talking about in case someone decides to get in before me, but what I can say is that it's a very common type of product which most people use and it comes in many different variations (except the variation I was looking for). I know for a fact there would be a huge market for this product and that it would quickly become one of the most popular variants available. It would be the type of thing that if you put it on kickstarter you'd get an uncontrollable inflow of funding (not that I would really need to use kickstarter) and when the product became available it would quickly sell out (and I don't at all feel like I'm exaggerating how popular it would be).

However, it would require a professional 3D modeling artist to first design the product and then it would require a large manufacturing factory to mass produce the product. The problem is that I really don't have any type of experience with starting a large manufacturing business, I've only ever managed my own small business as a website programmer and I don't have any employees. So I really wouldn't know where to start or what would be the safest way of going about it. I guess what I'm saying is that I need some business partners with some good business experience and I need some 3D design artists to help produce the first line of products. The other problem is that I live in Australia, and even worse is that I live in a rather rural area of Australia where I'm cut off from a lot of large businesses and manufacturers. But I really feel like this is a good idea and that it can be extremely successful if it done right so I want to give it a shot in the true entrepreneurial spirit.

If you have any advice for me or feel like you could some how contribute to the business plan then post in this thread or send me a PM. Thanks.

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bitfreak!
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January 20, 2014, 07:18:47 PM
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A bit more about the product: it will be moderately simple with few parts (no electronic parts required) and it could be made out of plastic or metal, so it wouldn't be exceptionally hard to get it manufactured.

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January 20, 2014, 09:26:32 PM
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The fact that you are not telling us what the product is tells me that you think the idea is so valuable that someone will steal it. This is very common. But it is wrong! As an entrepreneur you should be out there talking about what is is you are trying to do to anyone who will listen. Nobody will listen or give you advice if they have no clue what the product is, which market it is in, etc.

If nobody else has come up with the same idea as you in the past then it is probably not a good idea. Even if somebody steals your idea, it comes down to execution - who is the most dedicated - to see the idea through to success.

Look up the "Lean Startup Methodology". The concept behind lean startup is that you test an idea before you spend your time and money building the product, only to find that nobody wants it. There are ways to do this without building the product first. But you will find this very hard if you don't tell anyone what the product is!

bitfreak!
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January 20, 2014, 09:35:44 PM
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Look up the "Lean Startup Methodology". The concept behind lean startup is that you test an idea before you spend your time and money building the product, only to find that nobody wants it. There are ways to do this without building the product first. But you will find this very hard if you don't tell anyone what the product is!
Like I said, I'm quite certain it would be a very popular product because I wanted to buy something like it myself and I've seen many comments around the internet which indicate that many other people would like to have a similar product. And I am telling people what the product is, but only people I trust or people who contact me and want to be a part of the business in some way (I've already had one guy PM so far actually).

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gogodr
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January 20, 2014, 10:22:16 PM
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without details of the product itself, can't give you advice on anything.
Maybe ask some questions and we might be able to help you a bit.
Even though my goal is to be a game dev, I currently own my business on web development and I'm an entrepreneur always looking investment opportunities or new projects to see through.
I have enough experience starting off small business and doing project analysis, so I think I can help you. (I'm finishing my degree on systems engineering, which also helps in Process and resources planning).
Why you don't want to tell your idea? afraid of a big company doing it before you can even start? If that happens it is actually on your favor.
If you start it and a big company can see future on your product then that company will simple undercut you after you test the water and you will lose a lot of your investment.
If the idea is something you can get a patent on and you really think it will be the next big hit, then do it and invest in a patent, then you can license it.
Being secretive about it and doing nothing is just naive.
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January 20, 2014, 10:37:57 PM
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Quote
Maybe ask some questions and we might be able to help you a bit.
At this point I'm getting most of the help I need via people who have contacted me so far. What I'm really lacking at this point is a person who is capable of designing a 3D model of the product in industrial type software in the formats which can be used by manufacturers to produce the product on their machines (it will mostly be a sheet metal type of product). Anyone who can help me in this area please send me a PM.

Quote
If you start it and a big company can see future on your product then that company will simple undercut you after you test the water and you will lose a lot of your investment.
That is some what true, and I'm sure it will happen eventually if I end up manufacturing this product. But I don't mind a little bit of competition, that's the way business works. It all comes down to who has the most popular design (it's the type of thing where the appearance of the product will play a major role in its success). Plus the first company to do something often gains a loyal customer base and becomes the trusted and recommended manufacturer.

Quote
If the idea is something you can get a patent on and you really think it will be the next big hit, then do it and invest in a patent, then you can license it.
It cannot be patented, it's really just a variant of existing products, and none of the variants have patents or copyrights on them. It's a very general sort of product which many different companies make.

Quote
Being secretive about it and doing nothing is just naive.
The reason I'm being secretive is because it wouldn't be very hard for existing companies who make similar products to create the type of variants I want to make. And if they get around to it first then it will really hurt my attempt.

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January 20, 2014, 11:08:56 PM
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Being secretive about it and doing nothing is just naive.
The reason I'm being secretive is because it wouldn't be very hard for existing companies who make similar products to create the type of variants I want to make. And if they get around to it first then it will really hurt my attempt.

If the idea is so great and it is easy for them to copy it, they will do it anyway. They probably have more financial backing and better marketing than you, so that might be the biggest threat to your idea. So if you share your idea or not, you cannot prevent them from copying your idea. I would prefer discussing the idea with some people so you can get an estimation of how promising it is.
bitfreak!
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January 20, 2014, 11:27:38 PM
Last edit: January 20, 2014, 11:55:57 PM by bitfreak!
 #8

Quote
If the idea is so great and it is easy for them to copy it, they will do it anyway. They probably have more financial backing and better marketing than you, so that might be the biggest threat to your idea. So if you share your idea or not, you cannot prevent them from copying your idea.
Like I said, I don't mind some competition. But you do have a valid point, and that's why I want to get into the game before anyone else. It will still take them a while to produce their own version of the product and that gives me enough time to establish my business and build up a nice customer base and get the word spread around. By the time my competitors get into the game I will have already secured a nice portion of the market.

Quote
I would prefer discussing the idea with some people so you can get an estimation of how promising it is.
Well every person I have discussed the idea with so far thinks it is a very good idea with a lot of potential. I really have no doubts about the potential of it, just like I had no doubts about the potential of bitcoin all those years ago.

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stealthman
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January 20, 2014, 11:53:04 PM
Last edit: January 21, 2014, 12:06:37 AM by stealthman
 #9

without details of the product itself, can't give you advice on anything.
Maybe ask some questions and we might be able to help you a bit.
Even though my goal is to be a game dev, I currently own my business on web development and I'm an entrepreneur always looking investment opportunities or new projects to see through.
I have enough experience starting off small business and doing project analysis, so I think I can help you. (I'm finishing my degree on systems engineering, which also helps in Process and resources planning).
Why you don't want to tell your idea? afraid of a big company doing it before you can even start? If that happens it is actually on your favor.
If you start it and a big company can see future on your product then that company will simple undercut you after you test the water and you will lose a lot of your investment.
If the idea is something you can get a patent on and you really think it will be the next big hit, then do it and invest in a patent, then you can license it.
Being secretive about it and doing nothing is just naive.
That's no nead for him to tell you with your degrees about anything! It's his idea and it's up to him to be naive or not to be. You are not the man to judge him! You could easily PM the author and talk to him in details but instead you are writing all that stuff here. Do you suppose he will PM you with drawings and tech process or what?
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January 21, 2014, 02:24:45 AM
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Let see, I'm guessing that it is some sort of casing since you need a 3D designer.
I'm actually a 3D designer(I have done many things with my life, getting an autodesk certification was one of them), but I have done very little industrial design, so I'm not sure if I will be able to help you. I would recommend you to go for a professional one like what you are doing now, I'm not the guy for it. (Here is some of my work, some shameless promotion doesn't hurt anybody)

If I'm right, and you want to do some kind of cases, then use 3d printing for a couple of prototypes. Just so that you can show it to investors or partners or to showcase it and get more distribution channels ahead.
after printing the prototypes you will most likely move to vacuum forming or injection molding. The first one is less expensive than the second one, but is has it's limitations.

I would recommend you to start planning ahead and look into the price of actually doing a minimal order production run. That way you will know if you need investor or if you can do it with your own capital.
Other thing, don't rush it. I can see you are exited about your product, but don't jump right on and start production right away. Get some buy orders before even thinking about starting a production run. when you have enough buy orders to cover at least half of the production run you plan to do then do it and you won't be risking that much. If you start getting inventory without a secure way to get rid of it, it will hurt you badly.

Also if the idea is big, don't directly sell yourself, or at least not in big quantities. Get distribution channels, get in some stores. This one can be harder to get if the product is bitcoin related since there are no big retailers for bitcoin products, but there are some medium sized stores you could get in. You also have the opportunity to contact Overstock if you plan on going big. They are starting to accept bitcoin and even though currently they don't sell bitcoin related products, they might.

That's all the advice I can give you, it is pretty general I know.. but I don't have much to work with since it is a secretive project.
I wish you good luck.
bitfreak!
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January 21, 2014, 04:46:17 AM
Last edit: January 23, 2014, 03:41:54 AM by bitfreak!
 #11

Quote
That's all the advice I can give you, it is pretty general I know.. but I don't have much to work with since it is a secretive project.
Your guess was actually pretty close to the mark so your advice is helpful. I will keep your suggestions in mind moving forward. Thanks for taking to time to provide your assistance.

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January 21, 2014, 09:46:54 PM
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I'm just coming on to echo what others have said -

Don't be afraid of telling people your idea. It's the only way you'll get honest feedback.

If your only protection is secrecy, your idea will either fizzle out as you strangle it to death, or be copied by someone bigger and better as soon as it gets to market.

You need to offer something genuinely unique, whether it's the idea itself, the business model around the idea, or your network of contacts that makes it a success.

Apple weren't the first computer maker on the market - their innovation lay elsewhere. TomTom don't own any patents, Garmin have loads - who is the bigger success?

Anyway, I'm rambling. Best of luck. But secrecy isn't as much an advantage as you think it is.
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January 22, 2014, 07:05:31 AM
 #13

See if anyone at TechShop is interested. From there you may even be able to get a team together and build a prototype.

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