I saw the first draft CAD design of Product #1 today. Even though this was my first product idea, I waited to do this one last because it needed the most thought to get it right. The manufacturers’ engineers could disagree, but I do think this turned out well from an aesthetics and functionality point of view.
I’ve been rethinking the design of Product #1 before I give it to my designer to put into CAD. It is certainly the most complex of all my ideas. My concerns with the current design is that I don’t feel like it’s flexible enough to allow the customer to install it without some above average DIY skills. I want to simplify it, and the answer isn’t obvious. Therefore, I feel like the only way to do it is to rethink the entire concept starting from the customer’s needs again.
After a lot of googling and drawing rough sketches, I have a new idea that might work, but I don’t feel 100% certain about it yet. Sent an email to my mechanically-minded friend to ask his thoughts – using my food metaphors again to try to describe the technical bits I don’t know. In this case, “like two donuts stuck together,” I tried to explain to him.
Received an early morning message from my father advising me to bring on investors and not use up all my savings on the business. Poor dad – I really hate worrying him!
Received back 43 market surveys within 3 hours of it being posted on that Facebook group’s page – almost all very positively in favour of my product idea (#1), and just as many were willing to test my prototype. They also brought up a need for a Product #3 in the survey results. How can I not do this if so many people are looking (and in some cases begging) for these types of solutions?
Bought the business and product domains that I think I’ll need. I’m into this business with both feet now. I feel certain that I can help both people and the environment now.
Found some metal parts available online in bulk that will likely be needed as part of Product #1.
Went to hardware store to see if there were any standard parts that I might be able to use for Product #1 or #2. Nope! And nothing like these products really exist there.
Put together a rough budget with no real idea about how much it’s going to cost to get these products manufactured. I heard that simple moulds could cost about $20k each. This is definitely going to be the most expensive business I have after started.
Found an Australian product designer/manufacturer online – Manufacturer #1. I liked what they had done for another business in their case studies – makes me think that our values are aligned. I need to put together some sort of product requirements doc for a prototype before I call them. I’m not really sure how to do that, but I suppose I can use a similar format that I would have used for software development in my old IT days
Did more market research for competitor products for Product #1 and #2. There are a lot of DYI projects, but very few options off the shelf even in the US.
Finally found some retail pricing for industrial products made of recycled plastic. I can work backwards to figure out how much it might cost to make the products.
Ugh! With these margins, I can’t see how I can possibly sell enough industrial products in the ACT to justify the cost. And if I go beyond these borders, I will be directly competing with established brands and manufacturers that can do it better and likely cheaper.
I had coffee with some friends this afternoon that used to work for the ACT Government in the waste management space. I explained my dilemma with industrial products ,and then I mentioned a random idea I had about another product – one for consumers. They liked that idea for Product #1.
Went to another networking event with the entrepreneur group tonight. Told one of the organisers about my consumer product idea, and he suggested that I set up a formal meeting with their business accelerator group