As part of our MACE course we’ve been tasked with creating a business which sells an innovative product or service. After forming our team, Innovatio, we went through the initial design thinking stages. We wrote down problems we encountered throughout the day and collaborated on these to narrow the list down to a few. The next step was to brainstorm solutions for each of these problems and order the solutions in terms of market need and ease of creation.
We quickly settled on one idea which we deemed to be easy to produce and in demand.
Through prototyping we discovered that we were completely wrong. It was too difficult to manufacture. The structure would need to be made of plastic or a material with similar properties and plastics manufacturing is cheap when done in bulk e.g an order of 10000 but if we only need 200 the cost of each individual product sky rockets.
There are two production processes – the first involves commissioning a mould of the plastic structure. The mould itself is incredibly expensive but then each structure produced from the mould costs relatively little. The second process involves having each individual structure made without commissioning a mould. With this process the first few structures would be cheap but then the price exponentially grows with each structure made. So although the idea may have potential and our research suggests there is a gap in the market we don’t have the distribution channels, connections, funding or time to explore the development of that product.
We decided it was time for our first pivot. We completely abandoned the first idea and have moved on to prototyping idea two.
This experience has taught us to prototype ideas and research production methods quickly because a good idea means nothing if you have no way of feasibility producing it.