A sample, prototype or working model is an excellent way to help bring your business idea to reality. Up until the time you’ve created a sample, or done some sample service or consulting for someone, your idea is usually just that. It’s tough to sell the donuts, widgets or a woven-underwater basket until you actually sit down (or swim down) to make it.
In today’s world, creating that sample may even get you support and funding for your idea. Take the example of PadPivot, “the ultimate tablet stand for iPad, Galaxy Tab, Kindle, or other tablet device.” Bernie Graham, the inventor and Jim Young, an independent industrial designer put their idea out onto website KickStarter hoping to raise $10,000 in support for the concept of a small, portable, foldable stand to support an iPad or other tablet on a person’s leg or a table. (KickStarter is a way to crowd-source funding creative projects in an all-or-nothing manner – the creator puts out an idea and a minimum funding goal and no one pays until the goal is reached.)
Jim and Bernie put a video up on YouTube and their own site and asked for potential supporters to buy the product in advance to fund it. If the inventors had merely described their idea, they would have been just another tablet case or stand in a crowded market, begging for dollars. Instead, the two were able to show their prototype via video, and teach the world what they were missing without the Pad Pivot. The idea went from their site and Kickstarter to many technology blogs, mailing lists and influencer boards. The project spread like wildfire.
Personally, I bought one on the spot after seeing the video via CrunchGear -and in fact, 3 hours after this article was posted, they had gone from $1,115 in funding to hitting their $10,000 goal. Ultimately the project netted 4,823 backers with $190,352 in pledges of support (which translates roughly to 7600 units sold).
The case of the PadPivot shows that there was clearly a market need, the designers were filling it, and they took almost no risk – they created their prototype, used the internet to show it to people, and their fans essentially funded their operations into existence.
How can you use your prototype to launch your company? Or better yet, what are your questions related to brainstorming, creating, researching and launching a prototype? “Prototype” is Wicked Start’s theme of the week, so ask us your prototype related questions and we’ll get our experts to answer!Tags: padpivot, product, prototype, sample