How Idea Development Works: According to Real Cobalt Users

May 10, 2021 | Idea Development, Innovation

Remember when we said, “Innovation is just a fancy word for idea development.”? well, here’s how idea development works according to our actual users:

It may be a flash of inspiration or something you’ve been dreaming about for years, but you’ve got a brilliant idea for a business and are determined to get it off the ground. You don’t need us to tell you that there could be quite a distance between a great idea and a great launch, but you may not have a clue how to bridge the gap — how to turn those daydreams into reality.

There is an abundance of startup tools and resources available to help you research, build, design, finance, market, operate, and sell your idea. The abundance is a blessing and a curse — where do you start? 

We’re here to make things easier. Imagine if you could enhance your efficiency by automating and streamlining product development and launch with just one tool! At Cobalt, we think developing ideas into actual products should be as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. Our simple, 4-step Idea Development guided process was designed to help anyone go from idea to business in as little as 45 days.

By now, you may be thinking, “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Luckily, you don’t have to just take our word for it. We asked our real users how Cobalt’s idea development app helped them turn their dream into reality. Here’s what they said:

Before you knew about Cobalt what resources or resources did you use to understand idea development? 

Jenna: I spent hours googling, reading articles, buying products to see who manufactured packaging, sending cold emails to food packing companies across the globe, finding inspiration on Pinterest, trying to find package designers and someone willing to source materials for me. I have a master’s degree in creativity and innovation, so I knew what it took to develop an idea. But I lacked the connections in a completely new industry to make my product packaging come to life.

Candice: Unfortunately, the only resource I had prior to Cobalt was Google. I reached out to friends and colleagues that had started companies, but their experiences didn’t apply to what I wanted to create. I have been journaling my ideas for the last 15 years but never had the knowledge to bring my ideas to life. Cobalt has provided me with the “formula” and expertise that allows my ideas to be created into actual products. 

In your experience, what is the most challenging part about starting a business and/or developing your idea? 

Jenna: The most challenging part for me was creating packaging that separated my business and was functional in keeping my food fresher longer and provided multi-uses, including home decor, space-saving in the fridge, and even fit a windowsill. I still think I need to iterate on the packaging but getting my idea to prototype to get testers in less than six months was critical. I can see how this can drag on forever!

Candice: That’s a tough question. The most challenging part is not knowing everything that needs to be done as well as how to get all of these items accomplished. For me personally, I had an idea but didn’t know how to take my idea to the next step. I could describe what I was ultimately hoping it would become, but I didn’t know someone that could draw my idea.  I didn’t know someone that could think about my idea from a manufacturing standpoint. I didn’t know someone that could prototype my idea. The scariest part of starting a business is having no idea what it will cost to bring my idea to market!  

Outside of Cobalt, what resources did you find to be the most helpful?

Jenna: Pinterest was most helpful, but I also found that getting something in the hands of users immediately allowing me to change the product was critical. For example, one product tester told me exactly how he used our packaging and how it broke while he entered the house, so we added handles and reworked the design with the manufacturer. I would have never known that, and in fact, the handles added to the design improved the look of the plantr box.

Candice: Outside of Cobalt, the most helpful resources to me were other entrepreneurs I connected with through Brit Morin’s Selfmade entrepreneurship course. For me, Cobalt and Brit + Co’s Selfmade entrepreneurship course provided all the knowledge, connections, and support I needed to start my company, Nug + Tater.

Do you have any advice for others who want to develop their ideas (on or off Cobalt) to start a business? 

Jenna: Always have a sketch pad nearby! You might think your idea can’t be a reality, but my idea started on a sketchpad after being completely annoyed by plastic salad containers taking up a whole shelf in my fridge. Then I hacked up a bunch of packaging I saved to make a cardboard prototype. Never underestimate the power of a prototype!

Candice: If your dream is to start a business, do it!  A lot of people will tell you that it is hard (and it is) and try to talk you out of starting a business. The reality is developing a product/starting a company is the most rewarding, fulfilling, and purposeful thing I have done professionally. I wake up every day excited to tackle new challenges. Starting Nug + Tater has allowed me to create something I’ve always dreamed about.  

Want to join our Innovator Community and turn your idea into a business like Jenna and Candice? 

You can get started for free! Get your invite at cobalt.co/get-invite.