As an experienced product designer and developer working with primarily U.S. based consumer product companies, product ideas are developed through a strategic process involving research and creative and technical development.
This year we have seen a trend in projects coming from independent inventors, investor groups and individuals whom each share the same passion and drive to take their big idea from paper to a marketable product. Perhaps it’s a combination of the economy, where people are becoming more entrepreneurial, and the accessibility to specialized industrial design firms like StudioMoya as we are more open to working with individuals. The quality of the idea is often cloudy and needs some polishing, however, by using the same strategic approach we use with branded companies we are helping these independent thinkers to design and develop products that are often more innovative than competitive products offered by big brands.
A recent client, a wall street guy by day and a family man, approached us with an idea he had for a better grill that came from his own experience as the “grill guy” during backyard entertaining. The problem of a current grill being used for only cooking didn’t allow him time to socialize with guests. We were challenged to design a grill that extended the cooking experience to others and provided a place to comfortably hang-out, socialize, participate in prep food as well as serve food to guests. The result was the Triad grill which features a “grill master nook”, storage areas below and a unique 4’ serving counter top that is removable for cleaning.
Our better clients have examined the market and often conduct an initial patent search either on their own or through a patent attorney. If you have "shopped the category" you can better understand what exists on shelf and understand price points. And by looking on the web individuals can quickly see if their idea exists or is truly unique or commodity. Some clients have even looked through patents on-line on the US patent office website: www.USPTO.gov.
Once an individual decides to take the next step, we discuss options for designing and developing the idea through our independent inventor program. We typically use a 3-phase approach and begin with brainstorming and concept sketch development. Once we identify the strongest designs we move into 3D CAD using various computer aided design software. With the advent of rapid prototyping technologies, we can quickly create tangible models and test the functionality.
As mentioned the process for designing and developing an idea is almost the same as we use for branded companies and we are being approached by more independent inventors, investor groups and individuals – just regular people. The best new products can come from everyday discoveries. We help our clients design and develop marketable ideas that are consumer friendly and unique to the market – and provide them with the tools to pitch to prospective retailers, investors and work with a manufacturer. So what is your big idea?
Joseph Moya of Wilton is founder of StudioMoya LLC an industrial design firm specializing in product innovation and creative offense. www.studiomoyadesign.com