This weeks assignment involves digging deeper into the steps of NMF (novel, marketable, feasible) involving our selected 10 product ideas from last week.
I talked to 15 people briefly about all of my ideas in my creativity journal and brought with a mini prototype for a couple I especially like. I began by asking if they thought the product would be successful on the market, if they would buy it, and if so, how much would they pay for it. (For each product idea I will list responses from each person)
After evaluating the results of the popularity of the product ideas. I narrowed it down to 5 top products. I chose,
1. The Snowball Sling
2. The Sphere Sled
3. The Ultimate Snow Fort Base
4. Foldable Snow Chair Frame
5. Lobster Claw Glove Attachments
Next I researched similar products:
1. Snowball Sling: I found that there really aren't any products like this. There are bags, but they aren't waterproof for holding snowballs.
State of the Art: This would be made out of a waterproof material to wick off excess water . It will also be somewhat insulated so the snowballs stay in tact. You are able to fit at least 40 snowballs inside, and it comes with a side pocket with a water squirt bottle to aid in forming the perfect snowballs.
2. The Sphere Sled: There isn't a sphere sled on the market, but there are inflatable spheres that people use to roll down hills safely in the warm weather. I would modify it so it somewhat stays upright while riding and have a lever for steering as well. There will be a hatch door just like the original rolling sphere for the rider to enter the sled.
3. The Ultimate Snow Fort Base: There are only inflatable snow forts that don't actually allow the user to make an actual fort made with snow. This would act as a building aid for a Snow fort and for reassurance that it won't collapse. It would be a very secure material for safety. I was thinking that I would make two small versions of the snow fort base with one snowball shooter in each so that two people can use them together, making for the ultimate snow battle. The outside of the structure would have a textured material so the snow can easily be packed onto it.
4. Foldable Snow Chair Frame: There isn't an actual similar product as this one, but there are foldable chairs that I can use to model this product after. The material of course has to still be stable, durable, and also waterproof for placing in the snow. It would be helpful to have handles as well to easily hold on to and place your chair.
5. Lobster Claw Glove attachment: There also isn't an exact product such as this one, but there are ways you can hold onto the rope with ease. You can use the wavy plastic frame that goes on the palm of your hand to better grip, But this one would have to also be waterproof and more of a solid material like plastic with some texture to really get a good grip. The attachment must also be stable so it's not to fall off while holding onto the tow rope.
I also did a patent search for the similar ideas already out there since I didn't have much luck finding super similar products. Again, there were igloo patents of all kinds but none quite like my idea. There are a lot of snow building products out there such as molds that are pretty creative. I also found many different kinds of sleds, but non that literally allow the rider to be enclosed in a safe inflatable sphere. This patent searching and such however really made me wonder which ones of my products REALLY are possible. A lot of these would be questionable in usage but some I can imagine being very successful.
In order to determine whether or not the ideas are feasible I must look at the cost in which it takes to construct the product and compare that with how much money I can sell it for. Because in the end, no matter how cool the idea might be, it's all about making money.
In general I'm using the reference given to us; Bulk ABS Plastic roughly costing $1.00 per pound.
The Snowball Sling:
Cost to make: $4.00
Cost to sell: $20
Complications: I would need a special material that is definitely water proof in order to carry around snowballs and keep them insulated and in their spherical form. The strap would definitely have to be big enough for one to carry over the chest still while wearing a rather large warm jacket in the winter.
Highlights: This would be a really convenient way to carry the snowballs you create while in the middle of a snowball fight. I think if people knew they could use these, they would be excited about getting into an epic snowball fight.
The Sphere Sled:
Cost to make: $10.00
Cost to sell: $50.00
Complications: It will be extremely difficult to make sure this inflatable sphere is safe enough to be slipping and sliding down snow. The control over the steering would have to be done just properly and actually might take more many than planned. In order for this one to really work, a lot of modifications may have to be done.
Plus: It's the safest way to go sledding since you're fully enclosed but still lets in air flow.
The Ultimate Snow Fort Builder:
Cost to make: $ 6.00
Cost to sell: $50.00
Complications: forming the structures for the snowball shooters may prove to be difficult without sufficient enough product to support them.
Highlights: makes for a safe base for building the ultimate snowball fighting snow forts.
Foldable Snow Chair Frame
Cost to make: $3.00
Cost to Sell: $30.00
Complications: This would be a little bit difficult to physically construct so that it folds and also is able to be set down into snow and not get the bottom of the sitter wet in the process.
Highlights: For sitting and waiting somewhere in the winter time where there isn't a seat, simply unfold the frame and make a chair out of the snow bank.
Lobster Claw Glove Attachment:
Cost to make: $ 3.00
Cost to Sell: $20.00
Complications: This would be very difficult to construct and be sure that the thickness and arrangement of it actually allows for the tow rope rider to more easily grasp the rope. The idea is there but visualizing the finished concept is a little concerning...
Highlights: You are able to not have to use that much energy when riding the tow rope.