5 Factors for Inventors to Consider while Choosing a Product Development Firm
Product development is one aspect that routinely sets apart inventors from entrepreneurs. Inventors are people who develop novel products to fulfil the particular needs of human society. Whereas entrepreneurs are skilled individuals who undertake design, development as well as the marketing and sale of innovative products. While there are differences between the two, product development firms often help to bridge this gap. These firms are involved in the conceptualization, designing, development, and marketing of either novel inventions or rebranded products.
The following article sheds light on the five factors that inventors should consider while selecting product development firms.
The Difference Between Success and Failure
Product development is a crucial process as most businesses begin with an individual or a group of inventors developing a product, and then creating a business model to sell it to the consumers. It is important to note that a review based on a 2011 study of the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) and Product Development Institute (PDI) dives into the best practices of launching a product starting from the ideation stage. This demonstrates the importance of the product development process because without effective product development, it is impossible to launch successful products. Hence, inventors often partner up with product development firms to drive their innovation process forward.
Choosing the Right Product Development Company
Most inventors who lack expertise in developing a robust business model and product management plan often seek to team up with a suitable product development company. Certain tell-tale signs usually inform an inventor whether a particular product development company will be a perfect fit for them. Below, we have discussed the five factors that can help inventors choose the right product development firm:
1. Previous Experience
Choosing a product development company that has extensive previous experience is the most important criteria for inventors. Product development companies that have worked with large firms or prominent inventors in the past are likely to serve as better partners. This is because large organizations are more demanding and harder to impress, and a firm that has added value to such an organization in the past is likely to be more competent. For inventors, it is preferable to choose product development companies that have extensive prior experience in designing, prototyping, manufacturing, and marketing products similar to theirs.
2. Relevant Industry Specialization
When inventors partner with product development firms that have the relevant industry experience, they are provided with added support in their innovation process. Since industry-specific product development firms have experience and insights on product design and test marketing, they can add valuable inputs to the inventor’s product right at the ideation stage. Hence, looking for specialization in the specific industry of the inventor’s innovation is an important criterion for selecting the right product development firm.
3. Suitable Team of Experts
Selecting a product development firm that has team members with substantial expertise in the technological domain of the inventor’s product idea is equally important. Since inventors often tend to work closely with experts of their chosen product development companies, they need to identify whether these experts fully meet their requirements in product development. Moreover, inventors should ensure that the teams of their selected product development firms have the skill sets that are perfectly suited for the overall scope and objectives of their projects.
4. Credibility and References
Working with product development companies that have verified references and industry credibility is a huge competitive advantage for inventors. When such companies with valid references are involved in an inventor’s project, the chances of errors are reduced significantly. This is because companies that have extensive references are usually characterized by a high level of credibility within their domains.
The said references can include online listings of feedback that can often reveal a lot about the chosen product development companies. Therefore, looking for negative feedback on these companies can enable inventors to analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
5. Trust and Understanding
Choosing a product development company that an inventor can trust and has a good rapport with is one of the major deciding factors. Trust and understanding can often be gauged right from the first interaction between the two parties. When inventors present their product ideas and inventions to product development firms, they must get a feeling of mutual understanding. This translates to the firms understanding the essence of the product ideas of inventors and being on the same page about their social benefits. Moreover, inventors are often required to provide designs and drawings of their inventions to these firms. Therefore, without reasonable trust and understanding, they cannot choose the right companies to proceed with their product development.
Upon evaluating all the aforementioned criteria, inventors can choose the product development companies that are best suited to their needs. Since these companies help inventors to set up effective businesses around their inventions, they serve as indispensable partners for most inventors. Essentially, the right product development company can efficiently move IP from the ideation stage to the commercialization stage.
- Ankur Gupta (IPMS) and The Editorial Team