Week 6: Preliminary Idea Evaluation


I. Marketable:
A. Survey Design
I created a Google Survey and posted it online. The survey included an image of each design. Each drawing was redone in the same style for consistency. There was no supplemental text that was not included in the original image.

I sent the survey link to participants of my past surveys, friends and family (convenience sampling), the UMN Design Graduate Student Association, and the College of Design Graduate Student list.

Participants were anonymous. They were not given incentive to participate beyond knowing that they helped me, and I would't know if they did so. I estimated the survey would take about 10 minutes.

Here is the text from the survey:
Creativity & Idea Generation
Winter Product Ideas
The following items were generated through short brainstorming sessions conducted during Creativity & Idea Generation by both students and non-students. Participants drew the idea and labeled it with a title.

The drawings have been redrawn so they are all in a similar style.

This survey is to test the novelty, feasibility, and usefulness of the ideas. In this stage, those attributes will be tested as a market survey, to test if people think they are worth purchasing.

You may check multiple boxes.

Please Check if you:
--Would use the idea.
--Know someone who would use the idea.
--Could see yourself buying the idea.
--In the "Other" box, list the purchase price you would be willing to pay.

Here is a link to the survey if you would like to participate.

There were ten product images presented with questions below. Participants were asked to check boxes if they agreed with the questions:
Would you use this idea?
Do you know someone who would use this idea?
Could you see yourself buying this?
Other: Here they were asked to enter a dollar amount if they would consider purchasing the item.

The last field was perhaps the most confusing. In the Google survey, I could not find a way to edit the other field, and adding a short response field with a different label required a new question section, breaking the formatting of the survey.

There were 38 respondents.

B. Survey Responses
Snow Scoop
11-Would use the idea.
8--Know someone who would use the idea.
9--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$19.57 avg--Dollars ($2; 5; 15; 15; 20; 30; 50)
Other comments:
You should have a 'would not use' category.
Nope, too much twisting.
I don't find what this idea is.

Snow Cutter
10--Would use the idea.
9--Know someone who would use the idea.
8--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$63 avg--Dollars ($25; 40; 50; 50; 150)

Snow Log Maker
20--Would use the idea.
9--Know someone who would use the idea.
15--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$24.50 avg--Dollars ($15; 19.99; 20; 20; 20; 20; 25; 25; 30; 50)

Full Weight Shovel
18--Would use the idea.
9--Know someone who would use the idea.
12--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$26.40 avg--Dollars ($10; 20; 20; 24.99; 25; 25; 25; 30; 40; 44)
Other comments:
Already on market.

Ice Cutter
7--Would use the idea.
5--Know someone who would use the idea.
6--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$17.50 avg--Dollars ($5; 15; 20; 30)
Other comments:
Ouch. I like my feet.

Carden (Car Garden)
7--Would use the idea.
6--Know someone who would use the idea.
4--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$16.67 avg--Dollars ($10; 20; 20)

Vertical Handle Shovel
6--Would use the idea.
3--Know someone who would use the idea.
7--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$15.83 avg--Dollars ($5; 10; 15; 15; 20; 30)
Other comments:
Seems a little tiring for hands.

RFID Winter Clothes Charms
4--Would use the idea.
5--Know someone who would use the idea.
5--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$42 avg--Dollars ($10; 20; 50; 50; 80)
Other comments:
Obnoxious noises, I'd pay 50 just to drive my sister-in-law nuts.
I don't find it attractive.

SnHoe (Snow Hoe)
9--Would use the idea.
5--Know someone who would use the idea.
8--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$48.33 avg--Dollars ($10; 30; 40; 50; 60; 100)
Other comments:
Would not use, dangerous.
The melted snow will be everywhere.

Ice Breaker
9--Would use the idea.
4--Know someone who would use the idea.
5--Could see yourself buying the idea.
$44.80 avg--Dollars ($10; 30; 35; 49; 100)
Other comments:
Too visually complicated.

C. Survey Results
These results are interesting. The people potentially using and purchasing are not necessarily the same. Many said they would use a given idea, when it was not tied to cost. About half that amount could see other people using the idea, but they were not always the same people. The number of participants that could see themselves buying an idea varied quite a bit. Sometimes people said they would buy the idea but could not see themselves using it.

Top 5 Ideas

Top 5 Ideas participants thought they would use:
1. Snow Log Maker (20)
2. Full Weight Shovel (18)
3. Snow Scoop (11)
4. ShHoe (Snow Hoe) (9)
5. Ice Breaker (9)

Top 5 Ideas participants thought someone they know would use:
1. Snow Log Maker (11)
2. Snow Cutter (9)
2. Full Weight Shovel (9)
4. Snow Scoop (8)
5. Carden (Car Garden) (6)

Top 5 Ideas by number of participants who said they could see purchasing the item:
1. Snow Log Maker (15)
2. Full Weight Shovel (12)
3. Snow Scoop (9)
4. Snow Cutter (8)
4. SnHoe (Snow Hoe) (8)

Top 5 Ideas by average estimated purchase price:
1. Snow Cutter ($63)
2. SnHoe (Snow Hoe) ($48.35)
3. Ice Breaker ($44.80)
4. RFID Clothes Charms ($42)
5. Full Weight Shovel ($26.40)

This element seems the least useful to rank by price. The estimated purchase price doesn't take into account the cost of making the item. The relatively high price of the Snow Cutter might be of less value when the cost of the complex machine is factored into the equation. Similarly, the relatively simple appearing Snow Log Maker might be worth more profit if it could be made with one or two inexpensive parts.

D. Top 5 Marketable Products:
1. Snow Log Maker
2. Full Weight Shovel
3. Snow Scoop
4. ShHoe (Snow Hoe)
5. Ice Breaker

II. Novel:

A. Benchmarking the Ideas Versus the State of the Art

1. Snow Log Maker 2x2
Arctic Force Snowball Maker

Emsco Group 53020 Snow Castle Kit

Flexible Flyer Sno Block

Flexible Flyer Snowball Maker

POOF-Slinky Sno-Brick Maker

Whamo Snow Trac Ball

2. Full Weight Shovel 2x2
MANPLOW Metro30 Snow Shovel/Pusher

Power Dynamics Snow Shovel

Rubbermaid 9F52 Scovel Two-Handed Ice Shovel

Silver Bear Snow Scoops

True Temper 26" SnoBoss Snow Shovel

3. Snow Scoop 2x2
Dual Handled Digger

Shovel Master

4. ShHoe (Snow Hoe) 2x2
Eddie Bauer Heated Ice Scraper

Heated Ice Scraper

Ice Dozer Ergonomic Ice Scraper

Shingle Saver Snow Roof Rake

Snow Plow

5. Ice Breaker 2x2
Craftsman CX Series 33

SnoDozer Snow Shovel

Snow Joe Electric Snow Thrower


Vertex Shovel

B. Preliminary Patent Searches
1. Snow Log Maker
Core extractor for core drill US 2850265 A

2. Full Weight Shovel
Snow Shovel US 6237975 B1

3. Snow Scoop
Dual handled shovel US 5921600 A

Shovel With Improved Lifting Means US 4200324 A

Two handled shovel US Patent 7077444

4. ShHoe (Snow Hoe)
Electrically heated snow remover: Patent US 2699614 A

">Heated Snow Shovel: Patent US 4034489 A

5. Ice Breaker

Hand ice breaker CN 2277421 Y

III. Feasible
A. The Biggest Concerns for the Top 5 Ideas
1. Snow Log Maker

My top concern for the Log Maker is that it will not work. My brother is convinced that it will not function, but I think there are some solutions that might. For example, I was thinking of an ice core drill-bit. Maybe a tube is pushed along the ground with the open end in the line of movement to collect the snow and compact it into the log shape.

My second concern is weight when it is full. It might be too heavy for kids to manipulate when it has snow inside the cavity.

2. Full Weight Shovel
My concern for the Full Weight Shovel is simply that it may be too similar to other devices. I do not think it needs wheels.

3. Snow Scoop

My concern for the Snow Scoop is the human factors. It might be lot of weight to be swinging around. I'm not sure about the human factors involved.

4. ShHoe (Snow Hoe)

The SnHoe concern is, as some of the survey participants mentioned, mixing electricity and water. I see there are a handful of patents for a heated snow shovel. I think the rake shape is different enough to pursue, but what about safety? Will an insulated power cord be sufficient or would this need to be a gas powered device.

5. Ice Breaker

My concern for the Ice Breaker is the weight of the device and whether it would work. It might be difficult to get the lifting blade under the snow and ice. A second concern is that it doesn't remove the snow, just breaks sheets of snow and ice.

B. The Rough Manufacturing Cost Assessment for the Top 5 Ideas

1. Snow Log Maker

$2.25 for tube. ODL 14" Diameter x48" Tubular Aluminum Skylight ($89.99)=672". Cut Diamerter of cylinder in half=7"Diameter tube=168". 168"/672"=25%. 89.99x0.25=$22.50. $22.50/10 for materials=$2.25
$0.41 for 1.25" x 48" hardwood dowel (retail $4.10)/10=$.41
$0.28 Hinged opening to release log ($2.78 retail)/10=$.28
=$2.94 Bulk Material Cost
+ $2.94 Labor (1x Bulk Materials)
$5.88 total Manufacturing Cost

2. Full Weight Shovel

$2. for Steel Scoop (about 2 lbs.) = 1kg. At $2/kg.=$2
$0.41 for 1.25" x 48" hardwood dowel (retail $4.10)/10=$.41
=$2.41 bulk materials
$2.41Labor (1x bulk materials)
$4.82 total Manufacturing Cost

3. Snow Scoop

$1.50 for 1m graphite shaft (150g) 150/1000=.15kgx$10=$1.50
$4.58 Double the surface area of the scoop ($2.29 Metal Scoop (retail Snow Shovel $25) - (4.10 wood dowel)=22.90/10=$2.29 ). (2.29x2)=$4.58
=$6.08 bulk material cost
$6.08 Labor (1x Bulk Materials)
$12.16 Total Manufacturing Cost

4. ShHoe (Snow Hoe)

$0.41 for 1.25" x 48" hardwood dowel (retail $4.10)/10=$.41 bulk material cost.
$3.50 for Toaster parts (retail $35)/10=$3.50 bulk material
=$3.91 Bulk Materials
+$3.91 Labor (1x Bulk Materials)
$7.82 Total Manufacturing Cost

5. Ice Breaker

$6.00 Bulk Materials (6kg is the weight of a single-speed bike) =($1x 6kg = $6)
$6.00 Labor (1x Bulk Materials)
$12.00 Total Manufacturing Cost

These prices all look pretty high for a Retail price that is 10x this manufacturing cost.


Hello James:
Your blog is so clear! You listed every single detail on the blog and I can tell you spent a lot of time on it. You did a very detailed survey and also you got 38 people response to it. That’s a great amount and I do agree with you that a good way to get more people to take your survey is to spread the link EVERYWHERE! I checked your survey link; it looks very professional and awesome! Your images are very consistent and it makes the survey takers enjoy the selecting process.
I think your blog is a very good example, and if I must offer one suggestion, I think maybe give your product “ShHoe” a better name? Sorry at my first glance, I was like “WHAT?!!!” because I thought it’s a shortcut for a very inappropriate phrase. Haha, it’s a very good idea, and it deserves a better name without any misunderstandings. (maybe I just have an inappropriate mind!)
I appreciate your patience and your hard work, Thanks for sharing your evaluations with us!

Hi James,
You have a really nicely laid out blog, very easy to read considering the amount of information present. There were a few things that I would have liked to have seen. First, as I'm sure you're aware from attending class on Tuesday, it would have been nice to be able to see the prices of the existing items in your 2x2s. Not only can you then compare to the prices you came up with, but it's another type of comparison to see if what you want to create is feasible. Second, also regarding your 2x2s, it's a little hard to tell which item is which without labels. You linked the items below which is nice, but if anyone wanted to get a quick idea of what you had in there, it would be kind of difficult.
Overall, you have some really great ideas. I look forward to hearing your pitch on Monday!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by cospe002 published on December 4, 2013 1:07 AM.

Week 5: Manipulating Ideas was the previous entry in this blog.

Assignment 7: Concept Selection and Idea Pitches is the next entry in this blog.

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