In the previous post – D – Developing Your Ideas – we considered the remaining ideas from our initial list and took steps to further develop and clarify them:

1. Special car cover that protects cars from damage from hail stones
2. A cork replacement that maintains optimum pressure and humidity for wines

For both ideas, we considered potential retail price points versus the approximate market size and resistance to the price points. It appears that both ideas should move forward to the next stage: enhancing them into inventions.

For the sake of brevity, we cannot hope to cover all aspects of the due diligence of product development in this series of blogs, but will give some high-level recommendations.

The first step towards enhancing an idea into an invention might seem a step backwards: to decide whether or not the idea/product already exists in the marketplace. Do some searching and researching first online. There are a variety of good places to search for new and unique products that may not be in retail stores, including:

• Catalogs – a search on is a good place to start
• Home Shopping Networks – HSN and QVC are the two largest
Hammacher Schlemmer – a resource for a potpourri of unique items

Next, assuming you do not find anything too similar in any of the above online resources, consider shopping some retail stores. Below are just some you may consider depending upon the product:

• Bed, Bath, and Beyond – particularly receptive to new, innovative products
• The Container Store
• JC Penney, Sears, Kohl’s, Nordstrom’s, Dillard’s, Target, Wal-Mart and many others
• Brookstone
• Lowe’s and Home Depot

Once you have done all of the above research (and it will take some time to do so), you should have a good sense as to whether or not your idea already is in the marketplace (hopefully not).

Stay tuned for the next post – F – Further Research on your Invention.