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1) Innovation indicators: great ideas, caution points, warnings, concern areas
2) Could you get a patent?
3) Is your idea new?
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1.b.
Assessing whether your idea is worth the effort.

Have a look through our list of caution areas.

Caution area 1 Gadgets to help with disabilities. A very worthy cause - but
depending on the gadget your target market may be very small. It may be
possible to run a business on specialist equipment but the money is usually in
the cheap mass produced gadgets that everyone wants.

Caution area 2 Gadgets that use software. Software to you is something that
you download and run on your computer. To most people it is something to avoid
because they are used to finding it frustrating - and it not working properly.
Unless your target market is a technophile market you need to recognise that the
average person would rather buy a physical object off a shelf than install
software.

Caution area 3 Software. Unfortunately making money out of software is hard.
You might think that in a single effort you can get lots of buyers, but most
single-product software writers find they have to give it away as free-ware to get
people interested. Offering cripple-ware (trial versions) or freeware lacking all
the features does not often impress a market where users have very high
expectations. Your product will have to be so useful that ordinary people will
actually go about telling each other about it, if you expect to make money from it.

Caution area 4 Mass produced gadgets that cost more than two dollars, p
ounds or euros to manufacture.
Be aware that everyone (yourself,
manufacturer, distributor, store owner) wants a cut and the sale price is likely to
be about 6 to 12 times higher. You need to assess very carefully what a
reasonable sale price will be, and whether a large enough proportion of the
population will be interested at that price for stores to want it on their shelves.

Caution area 5 An accessory for a popular product. Make sure you really
understand the interests and motives of the users of the product. It is easy to
think of an accessory that will be of interest to a minority of them, but that won't
get it onto shelves.


Braced for bad news? Have a look at our list of
warning areas.


Warning: Nothing in this document constitutes legal advice. Talk to a business
advisor and an intellectual property advisor in your country before taking any
action or making any decisions.

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