Making a Plan

Development Planning-PA2

You’ve come up with your idea, created your business, and now you’re ready to get started. You need to make a plan to get your idea designed into a product and on a path to commercialization. This includes areas such as design, marketing, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, prototyping, manufacturing, fundraising, and more.

We’ve posted our “Design. Develop. Deploy.” process below for you to read and better align with your product.


  • Discovery and Ideation
  • Concept Refinement
  • User Interviews
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Provisional Patent Application
  • Aesthetic Refinement
  • User Interviews
  • Product Packaging Concept Design
  • Manufacturing Assessment
  • Proof of Concept Prototype
  • User Interviews
  • Fundraising



  • Version 1 Detail Design
  • Version 1 Prototype Run
  • User/Field Testing
  • Version 1 Formal Design Verification and Validation
  • Preliminary Quote Acquisition
  • Version 2 Detail Design
  • Version 2 Prototype Run
  • User/Field Testing
  • Version 2 Formal Design Verification and Validation
  • Product Packaging Detail Design



  • Revision A Manufacturing Transfer
  • Revision A Pilot Production Run
  • Revision A Certifications & Testing
  • Revision B Manufacturing Transfer
  • Revision B Pilot Production Run
  • Revision B Certifications & Testing
  • First Production Run

So, how do you get all of this done? You’ve got a few options:

Do it Yourself
If you’ve got the DIY skills, abundant amounts of time, and the industry contacts needed to navigate the development process, this will be the least expensive way to get your product into production. You could also hire full time staff, but that is sometimes too much of a responsibility for a new, pre-funding/revenue company. The downside of doing it yourself is that you may make expensive mistakes and it may take too long to get the product into production.


Invention Marketing Companies
All we can say is buyer beware. Do your homework prior to working with any type of invention marketing company. While there may be some success stories, we have had first-hand experience with clients who had previously worked with invention marketing companies and claim that they took their money for promised results, and then failed to deliver or even communicate about the status of the project. The US Patent office also shares their concerns about Invention Marketing Companies.


Some manufacturers will offer to complete your design work at a discounted rate in order to get your business. Some will also offer to do your mold tooling for no charge. While you may save money up front, this comes with several major risks:

  • Do you own your intellectual property, or does it belong to the manufacturer?
  • Do you own your design, 3D CAD models, and part drawings?
  • Are they designing the best product for the user or just the easiest (cheapest) product for them to manufacture?
  • If you didn’t pay for your mold tooling, it’s likely that you don’t own it. The mold tools could belong to the manufacturer, who may feel free to produce product for their own purposes, or raise prices later if your product proves extremely successful.


Product Design Firms
These firms, like us, act as consultants to provide design and development services to clients. Each firm typically has its own core specialty and it can be difficult to find one that can do everything you need in-house. You should look for a firm who can do most of it and tactfully guide you through the rest. These companies offer years of expertise for you to rely on as well as the bandwidth to develop your product quickly, although it does come at a cost.

Moving Forward

Hiring an expert can save you immense of amounts of time and you’re able to rely on their expertise to minimize your risk and safely guide you through the development process. Our team of designers and engineers would love to work with you on your project. To schedule a consultation, click here.

In our next article, we’ll cover how to choose a product design firm that will work best for you.