That is why we wanted to show all you inventors and innovators what goes on behind the scenes when we get a product idea.
Everyone knows that we here at Edison Nation review all ideas we receive—no matter if it’s a sketch on a napkin, a prototype, or a patented invention. We never throw away ideas but instead review all ideas following a set evaluation guideline.
Before getting into an in depth look at the stages of evaluation, we want to assure you that our product review process is 100% confidential. We are under non-disclosure agreements with each and every one of our licensing partners and believe that your intellectual property is our highest priority.
Like a fly on the wall, this week we want to take you into the “ROOM”, that place that first sees your idea when you hit submit. What happens? Who sees it? How does this process get started? What makes someone within the Edison Nation team say, “This idea has legs,”?
An idea comes into our platform as a one-liner. We see:
After that submit button is hit, your idea in an open search category begins its way through our 8 Stage review process.
Stage 1: Submission Received
Congratulations! Your idea has been successfully submitted into our secure system. Now we get to work.
Stage 2: Pre-Screen
In this stage, the first thing we do is prescreen your idea to make sure it is a concept that is able to be licensed.
Stage 3: Initial Review
In this stage, we perform an initial review to find other products and patents that may be similar to your idea.
An Edison Nation product reviewer opens up the submission. The first thing seen/read is the DESCRIPTION.
What is considered on first glance by our reviewer?
Does it make sense?
Do I see a “WOW” value?
What is the “problem” this product would be addressing and do I see the solution with this idea? We want to fall in love with “the problem”.
How many consumers would be concerned, or identify with the need?
Contrary to popular belief, any attachments sent to us are viewed last. An Edison Nation product reviewer reads the description first, goes through all the content, and THEN looks at any attachments submitted.
Why is it done this way? There are multiple reasons.
The first is that sometimes it is to see if the image in the reviewer’s mind matches the image that the innovator has provided. Another reason is we want the reviewer to start the “what could it be” process of thinking how the concept could evolve. Our EN reviewer then takes everything we have just outlined above and posts initial thoughts and evaluations in a comment box dedicated specifically to this invention.
Stage 4: Research
Now that we know the potential competitors, the research begins.
In this stage, we dive further into your idea to confirm that it is better than anything else already on the market. We also look to make sure it has mass market appeal and offers a fresh and innovative solution that will really resonate with consumers.
Did you search the market? Be sure to think outside-the-box here. How does it look, what are some features, different uses it could have?
Did you list your competition? We want to know that you know your competition. This makes for a strong submission being able to tell us why your idea is better!
With all this in mind, a person should not need a scientific degree to understand why your product is better – so keep it simple!
Is there a lot of competition in this space? Be sure to include the closest competing products to your idea. This also helps in determining the patentability of your idea.
After this, the product gets a new set of eyes to review it and the initial screening starts again. After an idea gets passed around independently through the ranks, comments are reviewed and consolidated. What do we look at?
What were the common links noted in reviewing this product?
Was the problem well addressed and understood by the reviewers?
Was there an agreement as to mass market appeal for the solution?
Are the same concerns noted by more than one reviewer?
This doesn’t mean any idea is out, these are talking and research points our team will be discussing.
And remember – No matter how great your idea may be; the cost evaluation comes into play with our reviewer. We want to know that after all costs are incurred in the process of development, manufacture, fulfillment, the whole bit… that money can be made at the end sale. We see a lot of great ideas, but it has to make financial sense for a company to invest their dollars into it.
Is your product merely a concept? Is there an actual product to evaluate or a “like product” to work from? It’s ok if it’s just an idea, we’ve licensed many ideas. That doesn’t rule out the potential for licensing, but it does require R&D to develop and test, which is why your “WOW” is so important – to state it simply, ROI.
As you can see, product reviewing and evaluation is a detailed and in depth process designed to help you as best as we can! We have used this process for all of our successful products—such as Easy Glide and Table-2-Go—and will continue to use it in order to give the best opportunity to all your ideas.
Stage 5: Final Consideration
We’ve now determined your idea can hold its own against existing products and will appeal to a mass market.
In this stage, we begin considering what companies we think would be good potential licensing fits for your idea, and begin thinking about their market, competition, price points and more.
What is the WOW, between your product and the various products you noted as competition?
What are the differentiating aspects that will win market share?
Is it truly better than the existing products cited? Why?
Stage 6: Final Intellectual Property Review
You’ve made it to the final intellectual property review!
In this stage, we perform an in-depth analysis of competing intellectual property, patents and ideas in the public domain. If your idea has a patent or patent application filed, we review the patent or application and confirm its status. If your idea does not have IP filed, we compare it to published patents and patent applications to determine whether it meets patent requirements.
Stage 7: Finalists
Your idea has passed through six stages of review and you are now a finalist!
In this stage, we take a look at the IP review results to confirm your idea offers the level of protection a licensing partner requires to bring it to market. Success at this stage means your idea will be presented to the licensing partner(s) for consideration!
Stage 8: Success
Congratulations! You’ve made it!
Reaching Stage 8 means your idea has been selected by a licensing partner for a licensing deal! We will contact you directly with more details soon!
Your idea was not selected
If you see a Red X at any stage, that means your idea does not meet the requirements to move on to the next stage. Learning more about each stage of the review process is the best way to understand our team’s rationale. Or, if you’re interested in even more feedback on your idea — Learn about upgrading to Insider Membership.
Some final tips we have for future submissions:
1) Less is more! Videos should be 2 minutes max. Keep it direct and keep in mind the points above–don’t clutter your submission.
2) The product name is not that important so don’t worry over it. An innovator should try to name something that would help to provide insight on the idea and potentially how it would go to market, but Edison Nation does not control the names when we license out. Our licensing partner will make branding/name decisions. For internal Edison Nation products we may go with a suggested name, or develop branding of our own. In other words, don’t get married to the product name!