Like a single seed turning into a mighty redwood, one idea, given the right conditions, can change so much. Greatness in the form of game-changing innovations and revolutionary, opportunity-multiplying companies have started with a lone thought.

Like every year, on Thomas Edison’s birthday Metcam celebrated inventors and how they’ve advanced the modern world. From the light bulb to the iPhone, ideas have vastly changed our lives, but the pioneering thinkers behind them couldn’t simply snap their fingers to share their genius with the rest of us.

Making an idea a reality and bringing it to market is hard work, Metcam President & Co-Owner Bruce Hagenau told Manufacturing Today. Yes, product design, development and launch are essential, but there’s so much more. Hagenau told MT that inventors, like the ones that rely on Metcam’s Business Solutions Division to produce their products, should answer these three questions:
  • What’s your hook?
    Before you captivate consumers, you must convince investors, manufacturing partners and others of the worthiness of your concept. Yes, the invention-turned-product must be unique and it must offer utility to a big enough consumer segment, but you must sell your helpers on the idea first.
  • How should you define partner?
    We’ve all heard the story of the lottery winner who finds he suddenly has a million friends. Similarly, when a person has a golden, potentially very profitable idea many will flock to help out as a “partner.” “Inventors must consider whether they are simply salespeople in disguise,” Hagenau wrote in MT. “Consider whether they are offering a service rather than a partnership — usually for a fee and with no guarantee of success.” True partners should be scrupulous and dedicated, have a successful track record, and believe in the product enough to accept “shares” or a percentage of future profits as their return.
  • Are you globally conscious?
    The combination of increased environmental awareness, the Information Age and the Millennial generation means that more and more consumers want to know if companies care. And they have the tools to research and determine that not only your operations but also your supply chain partners are committed to the environment. If your fabricator or manufacturer is also committed to lean, efficient production, and your supply and distribution chains are as lean and efficient as possible, your customers will love you and your product even more, Hagenau said.
A single idea can change the world and definitely your business. Make sure your concept-turned-product takes the right path to power that positive impact.