How to Pitch Your Product Using SOLIDWORKS
So, you have a concept, and it is time to make it a reality. But before you can do that, the concept needs to get outside your head and into the heads of others. You need to pitch your concept and get buy-in from coworkers, investors, clients and customers. Here are some tips on how you can pitch your design idea to others—and how you can do that with SOLDIWORKS.
Part 1: A Crash Course in Pitching a Product or Idea
“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”
If you want to get something in your hands quickly, all it takes is a 3D model in SOLIDWORKS and a 3D printer. In a few hours, you have made your concept into reality—but only to yourself. That’s where it will end if you don’t inspire others with your concept.
Start With the Why, Not the What
You have the “what”—the idea—now you need to convey the “why.” That is the hard part when pitching your idea. The “what” is easy—it’s your idea. You get it. The “why” takes your idea from concept and can help make it real to everyone else. People imagine their reality with it. This shared reality is what makes ideas happen.
How to Start with Why
Don’t tell them about the features and functions. Instead, tell them why or how it will change their life. Listing the features and functions, or speeds and feeds is easy, but it’s not impactful. You can start with the details, but don’t stop there. Take it one step further and explain how it will help them achieve their goals. Don’t focus on the details, focus on the outcome.
Let’s look at a shovel, for example. A homeowner doesn’t buy a shovel because of the features it has. They may not want a shovel at all. What they want is what the shovel enables them to have—shade from a tree they can plant, or privacy and security from a fence they can build.
Don’t Just Inform—Inspire
When it comes time to pitch your product, think about your intention. You want to inspire rather than inform. Have customers imagine their life with your product. You want to inspire your colleagues to work with you to get your project to the finish line. This process will, of course, require some sharing of information, but the intention should be to inspire.
What’s the Difference?
Pitching your product is an art more than a science. There is nuance in the methodology that enables you get more people on board with your idea and more buy-in from key stakeholders. Again, you will need to consider your intention. There are two categories for this—inspiring or informing. The difference lies in your end goal, but a good way to think about the differences is in the way you share the content.
The means by which you share the content is critical. Think of PDF handouts versus a conference keynote. If the content could be shared via email attachment and have the same effect, then it is probably informational content that has the intention of informing.
The flip side of this is inspiring, which is usually done in presentation format delivered live at a conference keynote or through a reusable asset such as a recorded video or even your website homepage. There is a time and a place for informing and a time and a place for inspiring. Think about what role you want to play and be deliberate with it. When you are pitching your product, a handout or data sheet will inform—but you as a product developer will need to inspire.
Part 2: Creating Content that Inspires
Starting with SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE Tools
Once you have created the mindset for pitching your product, you can create the content and collateral necessary to support you in inspiring your audience. There is a typical five-step process for product design that looks something like this: idea, napkin sketch, 3D model, prototype and final product. This being 2022, most of that can be done in SOLIDWORKS CAD and the cloud-enabled 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
You can get started with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, including SOLIDWORKS desktop CAD, for only $10 per month thanks to the SOLIDWORKS for Makers license. This may be the best deal in engineering, and I love to tell the community about it. To learn more about it you can check out our article here. If you are ready to get started, click the link here. If you want to see how it can be used to help you pitch your product, then keep reading.
Why 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS for Makers?
This is not just another sales pitch for the newest SOLIDWORKS tools. I’m a product design consultant in the business of helping people bring their products to market, and the 3DEXPERIENCE tools are my go-to recommendations and truly what I believe are the best in the industry.
You don’t just get the SOLIDWORKS CAD program, you get a complete suite of product development tools that help you go from concept to reality faster and easier than ever before. At the time of this writing, you get 66 applications including:
- SOLIDWORKS Connected: Desktop SOLIDWORKS CAD basically indistinguishable from the commercial application.
- x-Design: Cloud based CAD modeling applications.
- x-Shape: Cloud Based sculpting, surfacing and freeform modeling.
- 3DSketch: Ideation tools combining free form sketching with CAD modeling.
- 3D Markup: View, redline and notate edits on your drawings in the cloud.
- Project Gantt: Manage your team and project with powerful project management tools.
How 3DEXPERIENCE Can Inspire
When we say cloud-based, we mean that it works on any web-enabled device. I use the tools on my iPad and in a pinch, I have even used them on my phone. When you need it, this functionality could be a life-saver for your business.
Imagine this: you are on a flight from your hometown to San Francisco to pitch your design to potential investors. You get settled in your seat and you connect with your seat mate while each of you shares niceties about the weather and spends a few minutes talking about the upcoming trip. You find out that they are a legendary angel investor in products just like yours, and could offer capital and expertise to help you make your vision a reality. Once the plane lands, you may not have their attention again. But for now, they have to hear your pitch.
But you packed your computer into your checked bag because you didn’t want to bother with it during your flight. No problem. Even with the painfully slow satellite connection in flight, you can log into your 3DEXPERIENCE drive on your phone and show off your concept.
They love it! They connected with it on a personal level, and they are inspired by how people’s lives can be different using your product. They are on board and now your life will never be the same—all because you inspired them. It wasn’t the information, but rather the inspiration and the shared vision that makes product concepts become reality.
Tools like SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform helped support you, but your inspirational message is what can truly take your product and make it a reality.
Learn more about SOLIDWORKS with the eBook SOLIDWORKS 2022 Enhancements to Streamline and Accelerate Your Entire Product Development Process.