What we do always involves these three phases:
Is it plausible? Does your idea violate any known physical laws? Are you asking for a new light bulb that has 110% efficiency? If it passes the plausible test, we go to the next phase:
Is it feasible? Can your product be made, given a reasonable budget in a reasonable time frame? Often the ‘existence proof’ of a similar technology or device can help us answer this with minimal effort. Or we build a prototype to test the most tricky aspect – this becomes an object that can be tested, used, and evaluated, which brings us to the third phase:
Here it is. It’s tangible. A prototype, a ‘proof of principle’, a first example that shows what kind of performance and cost can be expected. Something you can use. This is a way to find the ‘slap on the forehead’ mistakes, and find them early in the project. Before you waste a lot of time, effort money on tooling, marketing, etc.
In the next weeks I’ll be writing about more specific examples of this process flow.