Critical Questions for Detailed Evaluation by Smart Idea Store


Each innovation is unique, but the factors that need to be considered fall into similar categories.  It is up to you to identify the key factors and ask the critical questions that will help you decide if development and commercialisation are feasible.



Innovation is dynamic; questions must be continually asked to ensure that the technical and commercial viability of the final product is favourable.  Detailed evaluation is a key stage when many of the critical factors are first considered and critical questions are first raised.  This article reviews general categories for the factors that you should be considering, as it is up to you as the inventor, to identify the critical questions for your particular innovation.  Many of these factors and questions are interlinked, such as the technical factors of tooling costs and cost of manufacture.

Financial Factors

  • What are the key risks?
  • Have essential resources been created?
  • Is a feasible development plan in place?
  • Complexity of project; either complexity of technology or numbers of project partners

Technical Factors

  • Product Design Specification (PDS)
  • Design for Manufacture – can the product be made commercially?
  • What materials are needed?
  • What are the tooling costs?
  • What are packaging and shipping costs?


Commercial Factors

  • How do your Unique Selling Points (USPs) compare to the competition?
  • Is your product essential or desirable?
  • What is the predicted route to market?
  • What level of sales and marketing are required to make the product successful?
  • What is the sales price and what profits will this realise?
  • What are the barriers to success?


Legal Factors

  • Which regulations need to be met in your target market regions of the world?
  • What legislation is relevant to the proposed technology and application in your proposed markets?
  • What are the chances of your patent being granted or your patent claims being challenged for novelty?

Table 1:  Factors affecting the detailed evaluation



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