Invention Assessment Questionaire
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Score your Assessment of your invention - For each question 1 – 10 (10 is highest)
Significantly Better WINNERS = Products which have a “WOW” factor. If your product will
cause the buyer to say: “incredible” score high, i.e., Virtual Reality versus DVD players.
Stage of Development WINNERS = Products which are packaged and ready to be put on the _
shelf. Is your product ready to go? Score ten. If it needs a little more work, score midrange. If
it needs a lot more work, score low. Be honest.
Trend of Demand WINNERS = Products which have an upward trend of demand What is ______
the current trend of use for products such as yours? Is it growing or shrinking? The stronger the
upward trend the higher your score should be.
Stability of Demand WINNERS = Products which will be in demand day in, day out, year in,
year out. If your product will be used every day, yahoo, score higher. If it will rarely be used
Legality WINNERS = Products which are legal to make and sell in all States and Countries.
Will your product be legal in all states and countries? If it will be legal to make and sell
everywhere, score high. The less places it will be legal to make and sell, the lower your score
Liability WINNERS = Products with no chance of hurting anyone regardless of how they are
used. Can your product hurt the end user? Can it hurt the seller? The more likely it is to hurt
anyone, the lower your score should be. If your product cannot hurt anyone, anytime, score a
ten. If it can hurt anyone under any circumstances, lower the score in proportion to the likelihood
Inventory Requirement WINNERS = Products which have low or no inventory requirements
If your product is small, lightweight, score high. If your product is big, bulky or considerable
inventory is required score lower.
Delivery Requirements WINNERS = Products which can be delivered easily and inexpensively. If your product can be downloaded from the Internet, score high. If special
shipping is required, score lower.
Manufacturing Requirements WINNERS = Products which require few resources to make.
If a new factory or assembly line must be built, score low. Ditto if rare raw materials are required.
Cash Flow Requirements WINNERS = Products for which cash flow is always positive. If
you receive your money before you have to pay your vendors, score high (Amazon, WalMart).
Impact on Environment and Society WINNERS = Products which run on or eat toxic waste
and pollutants, produce fresh air and water, biodegrade immediately after use, and generate
employment for lots of workers. If your product will create waste or pollutants, reduce your
score in proportion. If your product reduces waste or pollutants and will create jobs, raise your
Functional Viability WINNERS = Products which do more than you had originally thought
they would. Does your product do everything you had hoped for and more? Score high. If it
does less than what you expected score proportionately lower.
Product Viability WINNERS = Products which can be easily and cheaply produced,
anywhere, by unskilled workers, with several choices and sources of materials. Are you limited
with respect to where you can produce your product or the materials you must use? Score low.
If it can be easily and cheaply produced anywhere, by anyone, score proportionately higher.
Investment Costs WINNERS = Products which require very little capital to get to market, with
a good chance of recapturing the investment quickly. If you need a large investment, score
low. If you can fund it yourself score ten.
Payback Period WINNERS = Products which have the potential to pay back their initial
investment out of the profits from the first production run. If your product will require a lengthy
payback period to recoup your investment, score low. If your payback period will be short, score
Profitability WINNERS = Products which will net you more money than you could make from ____
a certificate of deposit or equivalent investment. If your product has a very high profit-to-costof-
goods-sold ratio, score high, if the cost to produce your product will eat up a large part of the
projected wholesale sale price, score proportionately lower.
Ability to reach the Market WINNERS = Products which can be tested and marketed in your ____
own neighborhood and then gradually marketed in other areas. If you can reach the end users
of your product easily yourself, score high. If your end users will be hard to reach, and will
require lots of outside help or high dollars to reach, score low. Remember to score
Potential Market WINNERS = Products which can be used by every man, woman, and child in ____
the country. The more people who can use your product, the higher your score should be. The
less people who are capable of using the product, the lower your score should be. Be honest.
Potential Sales WINNERS = Products which have almost as large a potential sales volume as
the potential market size. In other words, out of all the people who are CAPABLE of using your
product, how many can afford to purchase it and of those how many are likely to actually
purchase it. The higher the number, the higher your score should be. Be realistic.
Product Life Cycle WINNERS = Products which have, at a minimum, a life cycle of at least
one minute longer than the payback period, and ideally one minute longer than your own lifespan.
How long do you think your product will be usable? Not too long? Score low. A very long time?
Product Line Potential WINNERS = Products for which an endless stream of accessories,
new uses, and complementary products can be developed over a period of time. Does your
product lend itself to aftermarket sales of accessories or follow-through products you already
have in mind? Score high. Is it a single product which will have no accessories and no follow through
products? Score low.
Compatibility with Habits, Lifestyles, and Values WINNERS = Products which do not
require the user to change any habits and which do not violate basic values. Will end users
have to change any established habits or change their lifestyle in any way to use your product?
Score low. Is your product intuitive and easily used without changing habits or lifestyle? Score
Revulsion Factors WINNERS = Products which do not offend anyone regardless of how they
are used. Is your product likely to offend any ethnic group, age group, gender etc.? If yes
score low. If your product will not offend anyone score high. Think a lot about this question and
End user Learning Curve WINNERS = Products which the end user can take out of the package and start using, proficiently, immediately. Will the end user be able to use your
product immediately and intuitively? Score high. The longer it will take to learn how to use the
product the lower your score should be. Remember to base your answer on average users who
would be seeing the product for the first time, not on how you are able to use it. You are too
close to it and already understand it. Be realistic.
Training and Educational Requirements WINNERS = products which can be fully
understood as soon as they are picked up. Can all the required instruction and training be
fulfilled with simple instructions on the product? Score High. Will the end user have to be trained
by a third party? Score low. Score proportionately for all scenarios in between.
Need or Desire WINNERS = Products which appeal to 50% of the population out of need and
the other 50% out of desire. Why will people buy your product? If it is because the product is
desirable by some AND needed by others, score high. If it will be purchased out of need only,
score mid range. If it will be purchased strictly based on desire, score low. Again, be realistic.
Dependence on Outsiders WINNERS = Products which can be made totally from scratch
from several types of materials, in your own facility, and which are not required to fit into existing
products, holes, or spaces. Think deeply about how many factors can affect the success of
your product. If your product depends upon nothing that is out of your control, score high. If your
product will depend on the continued trend of demand for an existing product, look out. Score
Visibility to Potential Market WINNERS = Products which will be seen by large numbers of
prospective buyers each time they are used. Will your product most likely be seen by other
people each time it is used? Score High. Will your product be used only when the end user is
alone or in private? Score low.
Promotional Opportunities WINNERS = Products which can be promoted using all variations
of the "promotional mix" thus able to utilize all available promotional opportunities. Does your
product lend itself to many different means of display, media exposure and promotional events?
Score high. Will your product be limited with respect to where it can be shown, demonstrated or
advertised? Score low.
Distribution Possibilities WINNERS = Products which can be sold on all fronts, from mail
order to chain stores. Can your product be sold through many distribution outlets? Score high.
Will your product be limited to distribution only through mail order or specialty outlets? Score low.
Service Requirements WINNERS = Products which do not require service or can be serviced ____
easily by the end user. If your product will not require servicing or the end user can easily
service it them self, score high. If it will need regular servicing by a third party, score low. Score
Returnability of the Product WINNERS = Products which can be put right back on the shelf
in the same package after having been inspected by a previous prospective buyer. If your
product must be shrink wrapped and a prospective buyer is likely to tear the packaging trying to
inspect the product, score low. If a prospective buyer will be able to sufficiently view or handle
the product in a pre-purchase inspection without damaging the packaging, score high.
Shrinkage Factors WINNERS = Products which either by themselves or in their individual
packaging are larger than the pocket opening on most clothing, wider than the opening of the
average purse, and longer than the average lunch box. Store buyers hate products which can
be easily shoplifted resulting in the industry term "shrinkage." If your product is small enough to
be easily pocketed, score low. If your product will be hard to shoplift, score high.
Aesthetics of Product and Packaging WINNERS = Products and packages which are
pleasing to look at and immediately project, attractively, the nature and uses of the product to a
prospective purchaser. Will prospective buyers be able to tell immediately what your product
does by simply glancing (in less than 7 tenths of a second) at the product or the package? If yes,
score high. If the prospective buyer will have to pick up the product or package to determine
what it does, score low. Be realistic and score proportionately.
Functional Features, Advantages, and Benefits WINNERS = Products which have a
multitude of both Primary and Secondary features, advantages and benefits for the end user.
As an example, a new car make be an ego booster with its looks, provide transportation and
reduce fuel costs by increasing gas mileage. The more advantages your product provides to the
end user, the higher your score should be. If your product serves only one purpose or provides
only one advantage, you should score low. Score proportionately based on your product's
features advantages and benefits.
Ergonomic Factors WINNERS = Products which seem to "flow" or fit in perfectly with the way
a person works, moves etc. Products which provide the most functions with the least amount of
impact on your body. Will your product make a job or task easier for the end user? Score high.
If your product will make a job more bearable but not comfortable score proportionately lower. If
your product will accomplish a task for which there was no previous solution but is likely to cause
other aches and pains later, score low.
Durability of the Product WINNERS = Products which have a lifespan, which exceeds by at
least one minute, the purchaser's perception of how long the product should last. If your
product is likely to outlast the end user's expectations and will outlast competing or similar
products, score high. If it is likely to last only as long as other similar products, score mid range.
If it is possible it may fail sooner than the end user would find justifiable, score low.
Pricing Structure WINNERS = Products which, after paying all "costs-of-goods-sold," provide
reasonable value to the purchaser, reasonable profit to you, reasonable profit to retailers,
reasonable profit for reps, and enough of a margin to allow sales through wholesale distributors
and accommodate supplier price increases. Yes, there are a lot of variables. Be realistic in
your projections. Score high if your product meets all of the above criteria. Score proportionately
lower for each variable which is questionable.
Existing Competition WINNERS = Products which have little or no present competition. Is
your product the only one of its kind? Are you sure? If yes, score high. The more similar
products there are out there, the lower your score should be.
New Competition WINNERS = Products which will be difficult for a new competitor to tool up
for and are protected by intellectual property rights or other barriers to entry. If it will be easy
for a new competitor to tool up and copy your design and you do not have the money to fight
them, score low. If your product will be difficult to tool up and produce and you have the money
to go after the new competitors, score high. Remember to be realistic and score proportionately
to the barriers to entry that you can place in front of new potential competitors.
Protection Opportunities WINNERS = Products which can use all of the available forms of
protection including trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, utility patents and design patents.
Can your product use all of the above forms of protection? Score ten. For each form of
protection not applicable to your product, reduce your score proportionately.
Calculating your final score
To calculate the initial potential for success, take out your calculator and add up all the individual
scores you have for each of the 41 factors above.
Now take that total score, and divide it by 41.
If you end up with a number which includes a fraction of another number such as 6.5, round down
to the next whole number.
This will give you a number of one through ten.
Add a zero to that number and you will have a rough idea of the percent of potential for success.
If you score 60% or above, your product may be worth pursuing.
If you score far less, it means you have to do more research to answer the questions or it means
the idea may not be worth pursuing.
IF You Have a Winner . . .
If your product idea passed the Initial Idea Evaluation with a score of 60% or more, compare your numbers with some folks knowledgeable with product development and product marketing in your market.
If you need to protect your idea, use general descriptive information like:
an adjustable size tennis racquet
a shovel with a longer than normal handle for extra reach and leverage
an 3 way adjustable size surfboard
A dog backpack to hold and show the owner’s sales material