Think you need to invent the next wheel or iPhone to make a million dollars? Some of the dumbest ideas of all time have led to inventions and riches for the folks who decided to put a product out into the universe.
How will you know if something will take off unless you create it then offer it for sale? Focus groups are for filthy rich corporations to see if a product is worth making. The average Joe can’t test ideas out like that. You or I have to see if people are willing to pay for a product or service before we know if it is a viable idea.
By the way, just asking someone if they “would” be willing to buy your widget if you decided to make it in the future won’t work. You need actual proof, as in someone handing you some dollars in exchange for the widget. Anyone can say they would love to buy from you, and that your dumb idea is awesome as long as there is no pain from giving you some money for the product.
Your dumb idea for a product or service can be anything that gets attention and has an actual use. If you could come up with a cure for cancer or figure out how to fix jerkism, that would be terrific. But if you just have a dumb idea that will make washing a pet easier or keep a water hose from tangling, there is money to be made. The proof is everywhere around us. I can’t count how many homes I have seen with the weird little spiral garden hoses that took off with the $19.95 TV ads. And just this week I saw an ad for a wacky dog washing attachment for a water hose that is supposed to make dog grooming a snap. Never mind how ridiculous the item looks to me. I bet it sells millions! It’s just crazy enough to work, even though the dogs in the commercials look miserable.
How can you get your dumb or brilliant idea to market in a big way? I am no mass production expert, but I have watched Shark Tank quite a bit and listened to many a podcast on marketing products. The key to going nationwide or worldwide with an idea is to sell a ton of the product on your own. Once investors or partners see your idea is marketable then they are more willing to come aboard. Selling is tough so this is where most inventors meet a roadblock hindering them from progressing. If you don’t believe in your product or service enough to sell it yourself then how are you going to get investors to believe in you and buy in?
You are much more likely to create something trendy like the Snuggie than you are to go Steve Jobs on the world. It would be great if all inventions truly helped mankind. The fact is that we humans just like what we like and some weird stuff ends up selling to the masses. If you have an idea for an invention, give it a shot….even if it is perceived as dumb. Just be ready to be a salesman or find a partner that can do the selling.