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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Idea generation criteria, tips and feasibility analysis

New ideas are becoming a necessity for business continuity. This guide should help you ace the idea generation process.
Written by
Mohamed Hassan
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Design Thinking

Research and Development R&D

A number of people might find it helpful to have a clear process on how to move forward, including innovators with great ideas, start-ups new to prototyping, and companies new to product design. Companies need to ensure their continued existence, when their existing line of products have matured and saturated the market. The need for new product design development arises. Many companies undertake the process, but not all of them manage to get their products manufactured. It is a process where success is an uphill battle and needs to be done with the appropriate engineering design steps to increase the design solution success.

There are so many things to understand, from consumers, markets, competitors and so much more if the goal is to produce a quality product. In general, most companies will follow the below steps in the product development process to get their product manufactured and bring it to market.

Having an idea is nothing if you don’t know how to put an idea into  production. Now that you know what it takes to bring an idea to life,  you can get the product manufactured. This will not only allow you to  create a company but also ensure its continued existence.

People use products, such as electric devices, every single day, sometimes without ever stopping to appreciate how they came to be. Someone worked to bring the idea to life and managed to get their product manufactured in order to improve lives of thousands and possibly millions. Everyone can formulate ideas in their head all the time, but not all know how to make them a reality. Steps below shows how one can bring ideas to life.

One of the most amazing things about creating something from scratch is the transition from nothing to something. It is fascinating – the capacity for developers to build something from their imagination with no clear precedents and responding to a specific set of objectives.

The design process is very important in coming up with a quality product that will be marketable and guarantee the success of the company. Designing a product that satisfies market needs guarantees the continued existence of a company. The design process has a number of processes that need to be carefully followed in order to come up with a great product.

Idea generation criterias

The first step in the design journey is the process of coming up with  feasible product ideas. The designer pools a number of ideas before  picking the best idea to work on. When coming up with ideas, the  designer must keep in mind the customer's requirements, product  analytics, target market needs as well as current market trends. Once  the designer has the perfect idea after taking all that into  consideration, they can now move to the next step.

Make sure you write down everything that is important to your idea. This  includes things like what it is, what it does, the target audience and  how it will be marketed to consumers. These things are important when  you want to bring an idea to life, as well as when forming the business  plan to show investors and getting a patent.

NPD always starts with idea conceptualisation, which means brainstorming great product ideas. The aim of this exercise is to innovate, and usually leads to hundreds and even thousands of product ideas. At this stage, the company looks internally and externally, spending hours braining storming to come up with ideas to evaluate.

Not all product ideas will be worth pursuing, and the bad ones need to be filtered out from the good. This is the whole point of idea evaluation stage, which involves screening each idea until there are only a handful of them left. This step is crucial to finding out which products are worth pursuing and will contribute to the company’s growth and profitability.

When it is time to start a product development project, you will probably come up with a couple of ideas. Not all of them will be great ideas, which is expected when you are trying to bring innovative products on the market. This means it leaves you with one question of which idea out of the bunch to put into production.

This is not an easy decision to make. As we all know, not all products that are launched become successful. And a majority of product ideas that people dream up never grace the market with their presence. If you were to take the thousands of product ideas in existence right now, you will probably find that only one of them became successful.

What is it that made that one product better than the others? As any brilliant innovator will tell you, you need to have criteria that can filter the good ideas from the bad ones. With that said, here are a few things you need to consider when choosing a product idea.


You can’t launch a product on the market if there is no need for it. Consumers only buy products that they need or want because they find that it offers them some sort of utility. Without that, you basically have no demand for your product. It would then be pointless to develop a product no one wants to buy at the end of the day.


Competition will always be there in any market – it is just a constant in the business world. This means if you release a product that is a carbon copy of what your competitors are offering, you significantly decrease the chances of people choosing yours over theirs. To make your product idea stand out, it needs to be unique. If you can make a product that doesn’t directly compete with others, the better chance of survival it has.


People like products that are easy to use. This means the learning curve to bring the utility out of it should not be steep. A good principle would be to take away the complexity from the user’s end and work on something that is user-friendly. No one can appreciate the utility of something they can’t use all that well.


If your product can fulfil the practical need of your target consumers, then it can easily become appealing to them. But that is not all there is to it; some people are also looking for something that fulfills their needs on an emotional level. By making sure your product idea is emotionally appealing as well, you can enhance its utility.

"GOOD IDEA" written on a green chalkboard

Idea generation tips

When you come up with a great idea for a product, not only can you manufacture something that will sell great on the global market, but also transform people's lives for the better. But coming up with a great idea is not easy and requires a lot of dedication to produce the necessary criteria that will aid you in deciding which ideas are worth pursuing. Here are five tips that can help you think up new ideas for your next product development project.

Free your mind

Regardless of how hard coming up with great ideas is, for many people, the biggest hindrance is their own mentality. It starts off with thinking they are not that creative; a thought that creates a mental roadblock and prevents any idea from passing through and reaching its full potential. Here is the truth: idea generation is not a skill that is only available to the select few; it is something that is available to everyone, as long as they can dissuade themselves from the thought that they are not creative.

Brainstorm ideas

Start by looking into your target consumers – what problems they are currently facing – and think about what products can help them solve their problems. Sit down (alone or with your team) and make a broad list of ideas without worrying about the minute details (you will flesh these out later on). After you come up with these product ideas, narrow it down to the ones you think will make great products.

Look at existing products

No idea is 100 per cent unique and everyone needs some inspiration. That is why it is a good idea to look at the current products that are meeting the needs of your target consumers and learn from them. You should not copy another company’s product but look at what makes it good, how it benefits the other company and how what you have learned could benefit your business. After that, you can aim to create a unique product based on the information you have uncovered.

Talk to people

If you want to come up with a great product that will help people, one of the best ways to go about it is to just go ask the people. Listen to their experiences and take down noteworthy stuff that you can reflect upon in your next brainstorming session.

Take your time

If the idea generation session is not yielding any fruits that day, do not force it. Sometimes, great ideas do not just come at once, but take some time to marinate in the brain. You might even be surprised that during the next session, ideas are just flowing with ease. So do not be discouraged if you come out of a session with nothing to show for it. Rather, always be prepared to take advantage of ideas when they do come, especially if they come in waves. Even if the idea seems dumb at the time, write it down; do not focus too much on wanting to come up with a great idea.

Following the above-mentioned tips will get you closer to coming up with a great idea. Idea generation is the first step when it comes to new product development, and taking it seriously is the best way to ensure success on the local, national and global markets.

Idea feasibility analysis

Next, the company needs to know if they have feasible product ideas on  their hands by conducting a feasibility study. To determine if they have  a feasible product, the company has to evaluate the product idea  financially and operationally. Not only that, looking at the feasibility  of idea allows the company to determine the risks involves and take  measures to minimise them.

An idea can seem great but when all is said and done, it is not feasible. That is why it is important to gauge the idea feasibility early on before any capital investment is made. The analysis should take into consideration measuring the level to which the idea implementation will solve the problem it was initially created to fix. This could be done against a set of requirements identified when the idea was conceived.

Before they bring an idea to life, the company needs to determine if  doing so will satisfy its overall objectives, which means there is a  need for business analytics. This is where the company’s business  analysts come up with projections in terms of cost, sales and profit.  The analysed data is then sent up the management chain for a decision to  be made on whether to go forward with the project or not.

Products that are complex can be hard to develop – not to mention costly to manufacture. Basically, this can happen when too many custom components are used or if the product spends a long time in development. The best option would be to take the product idea and conduct a feasibility study to make sure undertaking such a product development project is practical.


Sometimes, you can have competing ideas, but not all of them can bring in the same amount of revenue. It makes sense from a business perspective to choose a product idea that is the most lucrative. Although this may not be easy to do, it is something that can literally pay off in the end.


If there is one thing that will happen over the course of time is that the needs of consumers will change. What they found useful today might be obsolete tomorrow – that is just how consumer behaviour works. This is why you need to pick a product idea that is scalable. That is to say that if the users start demanding more from your product, you can increase its capabilities to meet their demand.

With the above criteria in mind, you can significantly increase the chances of turning your next product idea into a success story. Product ideas are plenty, but not all of them have the same chances of taking the market by storm. By doing a thorough analysis, you can make sure you select a winning idea.


Prior art is any evidence that idea is already known. It does not need to exist physically or be commercially available, previously being described can be enough. However, where a prior art exists does not always constitutes a barrier against its use.

Sometimes the idea has already been deployed without legal backing like a patent, in such case it is sometimes feasible to use the same idea with little to no modifications. Although, it might be wise to make sure the idea was not well protected for a good reason, e.g. being unfeasible.

It pays to conduct prior art research to make sure you do not infringe on others rights, but also to get inspiration from previous works and try to go the extra mile instead of reinventing the wheel. This is especially helpful for bigger companies who can afford royalties to use innovative developed ideas.