Your Industrial Design Firm and the Inventing Process From Start to Finish

From a Sketch on a Napkin to Store Shelves: The Inventing Process

It all begins with an idea. You’ve had that light bulb moment. So you race to jot down this brilliant, life changing idea before it vanishes from your memory all together. Now what? An idea is just an idea until you take action. You’ll want to consult an industrial design firm to help you throughout your invention journey.

Your industrial design firm can take you through the inventing process.

Step 1: Own It

This is the first step to keeping your idea your own. Write it down – and anything to do with it – in an inventors journal. This is your bible throughout the inventing process. This journal is proof you came up with your idea and is also helpful later for creative briefs with your industrial design firm. The sooner you document it, the more likely the idea is to remain yours. And before you speak to anyone about it, including your industrial design firm, make sure they sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement – standard procedure at MAKO.

Step 2: Do Your Homework and Hire an Industrial Design Firm

Research. Research. Research. Does anyone else have a similar idea? How will you make yours different? Who is your target market? Would they buy your product? Your industrial design firm can usually recommend a patent attorney to help you research your and patent your idea legally. They can also help review the competitive landscape providing in depth analysis on similar products in the field.

Step 3: Our Favorite Part!

Make a prototype! This is either a functional or aesthetic physical model of your idea that brings to life everything in that journal. It demonstrates the design thinking of the industrial design firm and gives you the chance to display it for investors, licensees, and test subjects. First, we begin with a concept sketch, then move to a 3D computer automated design, then move to the prototype and patenting phase.

Step 4: Generate Hype

It’s time to bring your product to market. As an industrial design firm, we make it our goal to help you every step of the way. When you’re ready to enter into the market, we have several retail partners, comprehensive competitive analysis capabilities and more to get you onto those store shelves and into consumer’s hands!

About Us: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.


  1. Bruce collins

    January 28, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    I have a invention idea I would like to run across someone that I could use help with making it Reality and believe it would be used by millions but I just don’t know how to bring the idea to life

  2. Dennis Ralph

    January 30, 2021 at 10:29 am

    How much does it cost from startup to get your product on the Shelf in stores

    • Mako Design

      February 2, 2021 at 1:37 pm

      Hey Dennis! Thanks for your comment. We are a fee for service company so the cost depends on the types of services needed to create your product idea. We do provide a free quote for your product so we will email you to schedule the next steps. Looking forward to discussing with you!

  3. Msrcus

    January 30, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Same here I have an idea that I think can be of good use just need help on getting it started

    • Mako Design

      February 2, 2021 at 1:40 pm

      Glad to hear, Marcus! We would be happy to walk you through our process. The next step would be the schedule your free product consultation where we will give you an estimate on the cost of your project. We will email you at the email you’ve provided here. We look forward to discussing with you!

  4. Cameron jack

    February 5, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    I have an idea, everybody has a hard time opening plastic bags to put fruit or vegetables in. Especially in canada super markets. I went into Walmart to buy fruit, I had winter gloves on that had little round rubber grips. This really helped open hard to open plastic bags. Would like my idea developed where you have small rubber grabs to put on with the thumb and pointer finger. This would help open plastic bags.

    • Mako Design

      February 10, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Hi Cameron – thanks for sharing your idea. That sounds super useful! We will email you at the email you provided to set up your free consultation with our strategy team. We look forward to working with you!

    • Mako Design

      February 10, 2021 at 10:15 am

      Thanks for your comment Cameron! We will email you to schedule your free product consultation. We look forward to hearing more from you!


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