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The Advanced Manufacturing Center


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Is your idea GOOD?

Is Your Idea Good?

It can be hard to know if an idea is good enough to invest in.  There are many steps along the way from a Eureka! moment to a product on the shelves or a service ready for hire.  You may not know if you should even pursue the idea, let alone start spending time and money on it.  There are some things you can do up front to learn.  These steps can be done with little to no money.  They will take time, but what you learn by taking them will help you learn about the value of your ideas.

Write down your ideas, define them.  Give them life on paper.  You may find that as you write about them you learn things about them.  As you write about them they will change.  Your perspective on them may change.  Things to write about are:

  1. What IS your idea?
    1. What is it called?
    2. Describe what is does in one sentence.
  2. What makes your idea special?
    1. Why will other people care?
    2. What convention does it break?
    3. What will it do better than anything else?
  3. Who will want your idea?
    1. Who would buy your product?
    2. Who will pay for your services?
  4. What problem will your idea solve for them?
    1. Does your customer know they have a problem?
    2. Will they be eager for this solution?
  5. How does your idea solve their problem?
    1. What proof do you have that your idea can deliver that solution?
  6. What are the largests risks about your idea?
  7. How do the numbers look?
    1. How much will it cost to develop your idea?
    2. How many will you sell?
    3. How much will it save your customer?
    4. How much will it make you?
    5. What will your customer pay?
  8. Why do you love this idea?
    1. Are you passionate about it?
    2. Why is it important to you?

The things you write become the first real incarnation of your idea, a prototype if you will.  In this state you have nothing invested and you’ll learn a lot about both the things you didn’t know and the things you thought you knew.

Sometimes we learn an idea is simply near and dear to our hearts, and maybe we are the only ones who see value in it.  That’s OK!  Because ideas are free.  If you’re passionate about them then keep thinking.  Keep learning.  Write down more ideas.  The more ideas you write down, define and refine the more likely you are to succeed.  Don’t be discouraged if you have 100 ideas that don’t work on paper.  Save them for a rainy day when something may have changed in your assumptions:  a new technology, a new customer, a new method.  With ideas More is More.

Email us at amc@maine.edu.  We’ll answer your questions via email or in another post so you plan out your next steps.


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Contact Information

The Advanced Manufacturing Center
5796 AMC Building
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207-581-2756 | Fax: 207-581-2725E-mail: amc@maine.edu
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System