VISA is based on the product R&D methods of HIT Laboratories, Procter & Gamble, Bell Laboratories, Edison International, Tesla motor company, and Apple Corporation.
For New Innovators
VISA is adapted to small companies and individuals who have smaller budgets and less RDC (Research, Development, and Commercialization) experience.
A Modern Approach
VISA blends proven RDC methods with popular modern concepts like Lean Startup and Agile Management, making it suitable for individuals and small teams.
The VISA Process reduces risk compared with traditional design-first methods. It stresses market validation and strategic planning early in the process, prior to manufacturing or licensing. This lean approach reduces time-to-market, total cost, and financial risk.
1 · Validation
Find and prove a feasible path to success.
Product commercialization begins with knowing your competition, the intellectual property surrounding it, and being able to prove the opportunity to investors and other partners.
How do you know if your product idea is good enough to succeed? Was a similar idea already on the market? Is some aspect already patented? Do enough consumers want to buy it?
By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. —Benjamin Franklin.
Product concept validation should be done as early as possible. It is the least expensive part of development, and the results are necessary to prove your product idea is viable to eventual partners or licensees.
In the worst case, you may find reasons your idea is not feasible, in which case the idea could be modified.
Often the idea is shown to be viable, and the validation process identifies improvement opportunities to make it more successful.
Nikola Institute assists innovators with validation with these services:
Expert Advisory Council (EAC). A panel of product experts examine your product concept and advise on strengths, weaknesses, and potential pathways to commercialization.
Market Intelligence Report (MIR). Comprehensive research into similar products on the market and their status, potential patent and trademark conflicts, and related issues.
InstaHIT: A survey which scores your product for market viability. Hundreds of U.S. consumers are survey to assess purchase intent, perceived value, and various other purchasing indicators and preferences.
Now that you have validated and optimized your product idea, what is your plan to get it manufactured and on the market? How can you make the plan practical and presentable so others will trust it?
Many innovators do not appreciate that commercializing their product idea requires treating it as a business, which means they should think like entrepreneurs.
As with any startup, creating a practical and detailed business plan is important. The plan also demonstrates to potential partners (such as investors, marketers, and reps) that you know what you are doing.
In this stage, create a Research, Development, and Commercialization (RDC) Plan. This is essentially a business plan for your product idea.
You should also prepare a Financial Analysis, Investor Presentation, and Sell Sheet to help win attention and support.
Nikola Institute assists innovators with strategy using these services:
RDC Plan: A detailed business plan for your product including financial analysis, investor presentation deck, and product sell sheet.
Expert Advisory Council (EAC). A panel of product experts help brainstorm and discuss strategy options for commercializing your product.
Now that your product is validated and you have a good plan, who should you work with to complete the final steps? How do you get your product in Walmart, Amazon, specialty retailers, or direct sales channels?
There is no single company that can take any product idea from concept to market. Cosmetics, electronics, clothing, and hardware all require unique experience and connections.
Instead, focus on the process of finding the right partners for your needs. Use trusted referrals to find qualified experts, and only work with people who are excited about your product and goals.
The process is more than simply hiring people, but rather finding like-minded individuals who you will enjoy working with in the long-term.
Depending on your skills and experience, you may need more or fewer allies to launch your product properly. Examples of partner roles include:
Legal advice partner
Nikola Institute provides referrals and recommendations to our network of experts.
For this assistance, we never accept referrals commissions of any kind from any party.
This is a pro bono service that we provide free to innovators who have completed the steps necessary to provide partners the information they need to proceed confidently.