How to Create a Product: How Do You Turn Your Idea Into Reality?

When researching how to create a product you need to start with your own curiosity. How do you make your idea successful in a world flooded by “good ideas?” Every day there are probably hundreds of people trying to enter the entrepreneurship world with “the best app idea” or some new gizmo or product.

And, more than likely, most of them will fail, their product will fail, or the idea will never actually get made. Why?

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They didn’t ask questions. Whether your product is a widget, app, service, idea, or anything in between, you need to know the underlying reasons and the plausibility of your product before you begin.

How to create a product and turn your idea into reality

These three rules apply to everyone and everyone looking to learn how to create a product. There’s nothing wrong with brainstorming, or throwing ideas on a cork board and hoping something sticks. But before you start posting embarrassing status updates about “the next best thing” on LinkedIn, go over these three rules:

  1. Ask yourself if you have a passion for your idea

This may sound rather ethereal, or soft, but with any degree of launch or startup, you’re going to be tested. You’re going to be tried, and you’re going to work harder and more intensely than you ever have before. If you are doing it for anything other than an intense passion for your business, product, or idea, then you won’t make it through the rough times, and you won’t be able to do what needs to get done.

Are you launching this product because it will make you rich? You will fail. Are you launching this product because you want to become the next Elon Musk? Yet again, you will fail. Or are you launching this product because all your friends are successful and famous and you feel left out, so you need something to talk about on a Friday night? Make sure your resumé is up to date because you’re going to fail.

how to create a product: make sure you are passionate about your idea

If the base to create a product is anything other than raw, unbridled passion, you will burn out before the “end.” Without that passion, you won’t make it through the inevitable hard times, the times that separate the Forbes-covers from the LinkedIn talkers. Without that drive, how can you inspire others to follow and believe in your product as well?

Read an article about those successful entrepreneurs you hear about every day, and they all have one thing in common: they made sacrifices. Is your drive powerful enough that you will make sacrifices – in family, money, time and health – to make it a reality?

2. Make sure your idea has value

All too often good ideas are just that – good ideas. This question is harder to answer than it appears. But by switching our focus from the “money” in the equation, to the “value” in the equation, it makes a lot more sense.

Look at this example: What if we take Facebook, and remove everything? Take away friends, photos, videos, pages, and games, and leave just the status-update box. Is there money to be made in that? Doesn’t sound like it.

Is there value in it? Twitter thought so. In December 2016 Twitter’s profit margin was -23.29%. In 2015, it was -12.70%, in 2014: -26.17%, and 2013: -210.8%. There are no typos in those numbers. And now everyone involved in Twitter’s creation is millionaires.

Investors and customers give money to value, not to good ideas, and not to the company with the best pricing structure. If you can’t make a business out of it or turn it into net cash in the bank then what you have is a charity, not a business. When looking into how to create a product, remember entrepreneurship is about business, it’s about making money. You need to be able to map out what your immediate pathway is to driving cash generation — you need to discover what the economic engine is. Your idea may be good, it may be great, but if it has no value then it won’t succeed.

3. Ensure there is a need in the marketplace

Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Sometimes the need isn’t clear; sometimes the marketplace itself doesn’t know what is needed. Ten to twelve years ago, most of us didn’t know we needed smartphones. Three to four years ago, most of us didn’t know
we needed ride-sharing apps, and now most of us can’t live without either.

Broadly define what the marketplace needs are, and then try to fill them. If it isn’t obvious, then it’s your job to identify and demonstrate how you are going to serve that need. The delta between what I thought (prior to the new information) and what I now feel (after highlighting the need and providing the solution) is what locks in people’s passion as employees, as customers, as partners, and as investors.

How to Create a Product: Capture the A-ha Moment

If you can capture this “a-ha” moment, then your product or idea is on the right track. If, after addressing these three rules, you are still comfortable with what you have, then it’s time to get to work. Develop a plan and begin moving forward to execute with an intense work ethic. Don’t dwell on your lack of skills or technical chops. I have witnessed these deficiencies be overcome many times by sheer dogged determination and hard work.

Aaron Webber is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and business guru. Aaron is the Former President and CEO of Unicity International. He currently serves as the CEO of Webber Investments and Chairman of the MadisonWall agencies.

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  • Originally published March 27, 2019, updated April 26, 2023