Launch It!: How to Turn Good Ideas into Great Products That Sell


The easy–to–read bible for developing, financing, marketing, and selling consumer products––from gadgets to kitsch, from high–touch to high–end––for America's rising entrepreneurial nation.

Launch It! is written by a team of trend and product consultants with over 60 years of collective experience advising thousands of entrepeneurs, designers, and companies. As they realized not one trade book was available on the market that would provide soup–to–nuts guidance for any firm or ...

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The easy–to–read bible for developing, financing, marketing, and selling consumer products––from gadgets to kitsch, from high–touch to high–end––for America's rising entrepreneurial nation.

Launch It! is written by a team of trend and product consultants with over 60 years of collective experience advising thousands of entrepeneurs, designers, and companies. As they realized not one trade book was available on the market that would provide soup–to–nuts guidance for any firm or entrepreneur seeking to turn inventions and cool ideas into great products that sell, they decided to write that book themselves. Unlike any other book, Launch It! provides the reader with the step–by–step game plan that anyone can follow to evaluate their idea, raise capital, save time, stay on top of emerging and important trends, and make money.

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Editorial Reviews

Jeff Little
“A thorough and valuable overview that will help educate anyone involved in consumer goods marketing in America.”
Michael D. Dean
“Practical, insightful, and loaded with easy to use information.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060819255
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/5/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Molly Miller-Davidson is a multi-cultural and trend specialist who is a consultant to numerous manufacturers and companies.

JoAnne Stone-Geier is a public speaker, writer, and consultant for the gift, home furnishing, and food industries.

Michael B. Levinson is an artist, interior designer, and furniture designer whose clients include America's most notable retailers, developers, and individuals.

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Read an Excerpt

Launch It!

How to Turn Good Ideas Into Great Products That Sell
By Molly Miller-Davidson

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Molly Miller-Davidson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060819243

Chapter One

Help! I Think I've Got a Great Idea


You have this idea for a new product, and you think it's a good one. So, what do you do next?

Many people with great new ideas simply do nothing. They assume they don't have the talent, time, or money to develop it anyway, so why pursue it? (You'll soon discover that they're wrong!)

For some of you who are already established in a design or manufacturing business, you're lucky to have another excellent idea -- and this time you want to take all the steps to assure it's a success. Good for you! You're about to save time and money and learn a whole new set of important skills you'll wish you had back when you were just starting out.

For others, this may be your first potentially important idea. Perhaps it just came to you today, but more likely you've been tossing it around for awhile and finally you're taking the most important step -- the first one -- to actually decide if it's really worth pursing. Congratulations! The first step of acknowledging and owning the idea is one of the hardest steps. After all, once you put it down on paper, it becomes something concrete, something real that you can move forward. And who knows, it may change your income level, your sense of purpose, your happiness quotient -- and your entire life!

So who gets these bright ideas, and why you and not someone else?

In her best-selling book Simple Abundance, author Sarah Ban Breathnach notes that many people believe that all of us are privy to many great ideas in our lifetime. "The bottom line is that the work must be brought forth. If you don't do it, someone else will," she writes, explaining that good ideas, if not pursued quickly, move on to other people. We agree. After all, how many times have each of us noticed a great new product in the marketplace and realized we had that idea, too. We simply let the idea pass. Now someone else who acknowledged the idea and did the work was raking in the cash -- and having all the fun.

But this time is different. This time it may be your turn to pursue greatness. And you've invited us along for the ride. Good for you! We can be your not-so-silent, but unpaid, partners as you move forward. And lucky you: we already know what you should do next, and what you should do after that, and after that. In fact, the steps presented in these chapters will make your pursuit much easier, especially if you follow our complete formula. (Yes, that's the trick. You need to take each step if you plan to meet your product's full potential.)

First, some good news for beginners: for those of you who aren't in business yet but want to build a company around your concept, the great news is that nowadays you have so many options open to you. If you prefer, you'll be able to outsource many of the business aspects that you simply don't want to do on your own or just the ones that cost too much at first. You won't need as much up-front money, either. (More on this later in several chapters, including chapter 11, Choosing Your Company's Team: How to Make Everyone Happy, Including Yourself! You'll also be able to read a success story in one of our Launched & Growing sidebars about a man who built a superb internationally recognized company over eight years as a one-man operation.)

More good news for beginners: if you don't want to start a company, you don't have to. Once your idea is properly developed (read at least chapters 1 through 6), established companies may be willing to pay you a designer's fee and ongoing royalties that can really add up. If your idea is great and your negotiating skills (or those of your attorney) sound, you may even get rich after putting only minimal work into your idea.


But first things first. Let's get started by determining if your idea is truly something that is needed in the marketplace.

Have you written your idea down on paper yet? Make it one short sentence. For those of you who are long-winded, keep it down to two.

Next, write another sentence stating why you think the world needs your product. We don't want to look down at your notepad and see something as general as "Everyone needs it!" or "It will change the world!" Big statements such as these will only make your task seem daunting.

Instead, write something factual such as: "My product will help young women/new parents/high-end home owners/college students/frequent flyers do this much better" or "My product should cut the time people take to do that unpopular chore in half" or "My product idea will make this item much more attractive so consumers can leave it out on the counter." You get the idea, right?

Whether you've written something down or not, ask yourself these simple questions to determine if and why your product needs to be made:

Question 1: Is your product idea something completely new, unlike anything that exists and something that will likely appeal to a sizable segment of the American market?

We don't mean all men or all women. That's too general. No one is likely to produce a product with such broad appeal. Instead, we're wondering if most people within a niche market (a clearly defined segment of the overall population) are likely to want it. The clearer and tighter you can make your statement, the better. And don't worry now about your item's potential crossover appeal to other groups. That's gravy. We're talking about your potential core customer base now. For instance, all preschoolers or every fisherman or most movie buffs may be your core consumers. If you don't know if your core group is . . .


Excerpted from Launch It! by Molly Miller-Davidson Copyright © 2005 by Molly Miller-Davidson.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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