From the time I came up with the idea of an inflatable building block play system to the time it went to market was just about one year. Subsequently it took another three years to bring it into the top-tier domestic and international distribution channels.
By the time the Great Recession came into full force in late 2008, it became evident that the venture would not be profitable in light of continuously rising costs and a dampened demand for toy products. It was then that I also walked away from a potentially highly lucrative mass-market opportunity with Toys-R-Us. All in all this was a story of unexpected twists and turns and one that exemplifies a retail product’s journey to becoming accepted.
The information here is meant to help anyone with a product or service idea to experience the events surrounding a concept to commercialization journey without the expensive costs involved. I believe you will gain much by looking at each phase of the venture’s existence and the incremental progress made. Of course this isn’t your typical rags-to-riches stories but I’m not sure that there is such a thing to begin with. Everyone’s journey will share similar challenges and triumphs but also contain individually tailored circumstances and consequences.
I hope you will find the information posted here enlightening and useful:
This is a PDF version of the AeroBloks story; a chronicle that traces the major milestones and events from beginning to end. It is a 26-page story with 6 appendices that serve as case analyses for what happened to the venture.
By clicking on this timeline below you will see a detailed history of the phases involved in bringing one concept to market.
The image below is a graphic display of the major steps in transforming a concept into a physical product and eventually the market place. Consider it a concept to commercialization path snapshot.
This display shows a product family tree that lays out the evolution of a product from home prototype to the various product lines that were derived for different market segments.
This image below is a similar evolutionary path as above except that it describes the packaging evolution instead. Different packaging designs were needed to serve different market segments.