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a notebook for makers

CREATOR’S NAME

NO.

START DATE


IMAGINE DREAM THINK LEARN EXPLORE DISCOVER COLLABORATE BUILD CREATE SHARE MAKE


WHAT IS HATCH? HATCH NOTEBOOK helps you turn ideas into reality. Follow our guidelines step-bystep or jump right in—Hatch those ideas your way using our tool to guide your personal process. Hatching ideas requires a blend of creativity and practicality, inspiration and perseverance. This notebook is a system to brainstorm, keep track of your ideas, evaluate their merits, decide which ones to pursue, and then plan and execute, turning dreams into reality. We find that having one place for all our ideas helps generate more, as well as keeping us organized and inspired through all Hatch development phases. Whether you’re making something purely for the joy of it, or you want to develop a product to sell, we hope this notebook will help you bring your ideas to life, while having fun and growing and strengthening your creative impulses along the way.

THE PROCESS STEP

1

2

3

CONCEIVE

INCUBATE

HATCH

Generate and organize ideas into an unorthodox table of contents—your List of Ideas

Evaluate your ideas for feasibility and personal excitement level

Develop an idea into a fully formed concept, plan action steps, and execute

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ADDITIONAL TIPS & GUIDELINES

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// Page 145

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GET STARTED

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“

IDEAS ARE LIKE RABBITS.

You get a couple and learn how to handle them and pretty soon you have a dozen. JOHN STEINBECK


1

CONCEIVE Use the blank pages in this section to brainstorm ideas. Record them all on your List of Ideas pages at the beginning of the section, even the ones you don’t think are good. You’ll evaluate later—you never know what might come up if you stay open. Happy accidents are the starting points for so many creative triumphs, technological leaps and successful businesses. For a jumpstart, turn to page 148 for brainstorming tips & techniques

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IDEA

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list of ideas

cit em en t( diffi 1– 5) cu lty ( inc 1– 5) ub ate pa ha ge tch # #

/ ex

CATEGORY


IDEA

cit em en t( diffi 1– 5) cu lty (1 inc –5 ub ) ate pa ha ge tch # #

/ ex

CATEGORY

list of ideas

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IDEA

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list of ideas

cit em en t( diffi 1– 5) cu lty ( inc 1– 5) ub ate pa ha ge tch # #

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CATEGORY


IDEA

cit em en t( diffi 1– 5) cu lty (1 inc –5 ub ) ate pa ha ge tch # #

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CATEGORY

list of ideas

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“

Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, FOR ONE OF THEM MAY BE THE KING. MARK VAN DOREN


2

I N C U B AT E Use this section to evaluate your ideas. The questions will help assess real-world potential as you decide which ideas you want to pursue, based on viability and your excitement. Not every idea is a winner, but through this process you’ll find the ones that are! Conditions change, personally and in the marketplace. Ideas that don’t excite you today, might consume you next month. A path to success might not be clear, but six months from now market realities might align in your favor. Rate each idea in your List of Ideas, so that you always have an easy reference. See page 150 for additional guidelines & sample layout

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

\

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

\

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IDEA /

DATE

/

DESCRIPTION

DEFINITE FEATURES

POSSIBLE FEATURES

MARKET / AUDIENCE / DEMAND

HOW WILL IT ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE’S LIVES?

DOES IT ALREADY EXIST? IF SO, HOW CAN I MAKE IT BETTER?

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incubate


HOW WILL IT BE MADE? POSSIBLE CHALLENGES

WHAT RESOURCES WILL YOU NEED? ($, PEOPLE)

POSSIBLE SPIN-OFFS OR EXTENSIONS

WHY DO YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS? HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

FURTHER RESEARCH / SKETCH

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

EVALUATE DECIDE 1

EXCITEMENT

5

1

DIFFICULTY

5

HATCH IT / # BACK BURNER

Record these numbers on your list of ideas.

ABANDON

incubate

\

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elation possibility

“some kind of quote or something here”

finesse apprehension

doubt

epiphany THE (REAL) CREATIVE PROCESS CONCEIVE

agony DESIGN/DEVELOP

LAUNCH


3

H ATC H This is where your idea becomes real. Aside from Specifications/Scope and an Action Plan for each project, this section is blank to give you flexibility. You can use it for visual development and sketches, or you can use it for research, notes, and sourcing. Depending on the size of your project, this may take you through a prototyping phase, or it may bring you all the way to launch. See page 152 for tips, guidelines, & sample layout

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PROJECT /

DATE

/

SPECIFICATIONS / SCOPE HATCH 1 ACTION STEPS

task

due date

TARGET LAUNCH DATE

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who

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HATCH 1

Does this blank page scare you? Flip to page 152 for tips on how to start hatching your idea. hatch

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“

EVERY GREAT DREAM BEGINS WITH A DREAMER.

Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

HARRIET TUBMAN


TIPS + GUIDELINES Use this section as needed during your personal Hatch process, as creative inspiration, or a map for your action plan. Although it’s written from the perspective of product development, many of the tips and guidelines apply to any creative process— whether you’re launching a product or service, writing a book, developing software, or making something in a workshop with your own two hands.

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CONCEIVE GUIDELINES LIST OF IDEAS SAMPLE LAYOUT Along with helping you keep track of ideas, your List of Ideas will become an unorthodox table of contents, guiding your creative process from concept to execution.

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list of ideas

tips & guidelines

Category. Use this line to separate different types of ideas by page, if that’s CATEGORY / helpful to you. IDEA

cit em en t( 1– 5) cu lty (1 inc –5 ub ) ate pa ha ge tch # #

ex

IDEA

2

5

diffi

/

cit em en t( 1– 5) cu lty (1 inc –5 ub ) ate pa ha ge tch # #

CATEGORY

diffi

1

4

ex

1 3

2

Ideas. Make a brief notation of each idea here, just so you can remember it. If you need two lines, perhaps indent the second line.

3

Ratings. Rate your excitement and how difficult you think an idea might be, on a scale of 1–5. There are two places in the notebook to do this—on this page, and also at the end of each Incubate spread. You can rate your ideas as you list them, or wait until you Incubate. The ratings are there to help you decide which ideas to develop further.

4

Incubate page #. After you’ve Incubated an idea, go back to your List of Ideas and record the Incubate Page #.

5

\ Hatch #. When you decide to Hatch an idea, record the Hatch # here. list of ideas

7


CONCEIVE TIPS Write it down Just writing an idea on paper makes it more real and gives it value. When you keep your ideas in one place, where you can see them all together, you’ll find that you generate even more ideas, and the grouping will help you draw connections that weren’t obvious. Also, don’t be afraid to write down bad ideas. The key to having great ideas is having a lot of them, so all ideas—even the ones you think aren’t good—serve a purpose.

Keep it with you Ideas tend to strike when you’re out doing something else. Keep your notebook with you so you can write them down as they occur.

Follow your excitement Use the ratings to help you think about how passionate you really are about an idea before pursuing it. If you’re not excited about it from the jump it will be harder to see it through when you run into challenges. (And, there are always challenges!) On the flip side, don’t let the difficulty of an idea hold you back from exploring it further if you can’t get it out of your head.

tips & guidelines

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CONCEIVE GUIDELINES

CONT’D

BRAINSTORMING TECHNIQUES Whether ideas come easily to you or not, regular brainstorming sessions are a great tool to exercise your creative muscles and stay inspired. Having a creative mindset can also help solve problems while in the Hatch phase. We find the classic technique of Mind Mapping to be the most useful and versatile; though, there are many other useful techniques that can be found with a quick internet search. A Mind Map is basically a diagram that connects information around a subject. Start with a central concept (it can be anything—a word, problem, image, interest, etc.) then create branches to connect associated words. Use as many sub-branches as needed to further extend the concept. Here are some questions to help you get started. Use your answers as central concepts for Mind Maps. 1. What are your passions? Or, if you don’t know, what do you find yourself surfing the internet reading about most? Can you combine two or more of your passions in a unique way? 2. What are your unique talents, or what are you an expert at? 3. What problems do you see in your everyday life or in someone else’s? 4. What drives your desire to be a maker? 5. What have you created in the past? Or, do you have an idea you like, but never pursued for one reason or another? Old, dusty ideas can sometimes lead you to new, better ideas. 6. What’s your favorite material? 7. What did you want to be when you grew up? 8. What have you always wanted to learn how to do?

Example - Central Concept: Adventure box (a previous idea)

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tips & guidelines


BRAINSTORMING TIPS Don’t censor your ideas at this stage Write down everything that comes to mind. This is the time to explore all angles, because original ideas often come from connecting seemingly unrelated concepts.

Change your environment Going somewhere that inspires you, taking a field trip, or getting some exercise can help stimulate your thinking.

Brainstorm both alone and with others Everyone benefits from different perspectives, and playing on another person’s ideas can help you shift your point of view. You can also just try to imagine the problem from a different perspective, i.e. what would your role model do?

Learn something new Sometimes instead of searching for the big idea, you just need to start doing something that interests you. The fun is in the learning, and getting out of your comfort zone can help creativity.

Make it a habit Take 10 minutes per day to brainstorm, even if it’s on a random topic. Eventually the ideas will start flowing more freely.

Let it marinate Active brainstorming gets your mind started, but ideas often come later after your subconscious mind has had time to make connections, or when you see something that sparks a new idea.

Be in the moment You’re much more likely to come up with ideas when you’re fully aware of what’s going on around you.

Everything is inspired by something else Don’t feel pressured to be 100% original—it’s tough to have an idea that no one has ever had before, as we’re all inspired by the world we live in. Sometimes the best ideas are a simple improvement upon something that already exists. Or you may have an idea, then search and find someone has already created something similar. Don’t abandon your idea purely for that reason; if your concept is different enough, or better in some way, there may be room for your idea as well. That said, we believe it’s important to respect others’ work and to stay true to your own creative self.

tips & guidelines

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INCUBATE GUIDELINES There are 12 Incubate spreads to help you define your ideas and consider both the possibilities and practicalities of bringing each to life. The questions are meant to be reflective and to make you think about the value of an idea, to you and to others. At the end, you’ll decide whether to pursue it, drop it, or put it on the back burner.

INCUBATE TIPS It’s ok for your answers to change later Ideas are always a work in progress, so some of your answers may change as you develop an idea further. Don’t worry about it—think of the Incubate section as a launching pad.

Don’t let the practicalities overwhelm you If you’re excited about something, it’s ok to make it for fun. Not everything has to be marketable to be worthwhile, and you’ll always learn something in the process.

Use this section as a tool, not a restriction Some ideas may not need to be incubated. If you have a project that you know you want to pursue or explore more deeply before you make a decision, feel free to skip to the Hatch section and start working on it.

Share and collaborate Once you’ve spent time creating a snapshot of your idea, you may want to share it with someone you trust. Getting feedback early on can help define the direction of a project and gauge interest in the idea.

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INCUBATE SAMPLE LAYOUT 1 2

3

idea

/

daTe

/

7

how will it be made?

8

PoSSible challengeS

deScRiPtion

deFinite FeatUReS

9

what ReSoURceS will YoU need? ($, PeoPle)

PoSSible FeatUReS

4

maRKet / aUdience / demand

5

how will it add valUe to PeoPle’S liveS?

6

doeS it alReadY eXiSt? iF So, how can i maKe it betteR?

10

PoSSible SPin-oFFS oR eXtenSionS

11

whY do YoU want to maKe thiS? how woUld YoU deFine SUcceSS?

12

FURtheR ReSeaRch / SKetch

This might be a good time to share your idea to gauge response & get feedback.

13

evalUate 1

excitement

decide 5

1

DifficUlty

5

HAtcH it / # BAcKBURneR

Record these numbers on your list of ideas. 28

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incubate

1

Name of idea and today’s date.

2

Description. Briefly describe your idea.

3

Features. Write down must-haves in the definite column and wish list items in the possible column.

4

Market. Who will use your product or service? Be as detailed as possible and include gender, age, interests, and any other details that define your audience.

5

Value to others. Why would someone use/buy it? Will it make their lives better?

6

Does it exist? Do some research to see if there are competitors. Can you make your product better or different?

7

How will you make it? Will you make it yourself or partner with a manufacturer or developer? From what materials?

8

Possible challenges. Think about possible challenges to bringing this idea to life, along with how/if you can overcome them.

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Resources. Will you need to partner/ hire anyone such as a designer? Will you need funding?

10

Spin-offs. Think through the idea’s full potential by listing ways you could develop your idea further, into a line of goods or related ideas.

11

Value to you. Describe why you want to bring this idea to life, and how you’ll define success. Will creating it bring meaning to your life?

12

Further research. Do you need to do market research or learn more about manufacturing and materials? You can also use this box to sketch your idea.

13

Evaluate. Rate your excitement about the idea and how difficult you think it’ll be, then make a decision whether to Hatch it, put it on the back burner, or abandon it. Record these numbers on your List of Ideas.

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HATCH TIPS & GUIDELINES There are five Hatch project sections for designing and developing your ideas. Each has one page for specifications and an action plan; plus, 17 dot grid planning pages. These pages give you flexibility to take notes, sketch, write, create a timeline, or anything else that’s part of your particular process.

HATCH SAMPLE LAYOUT 1

PROJECT

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DATE

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HATCH 1

SPECIFICATIONS / SCOPE

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ActiOn StePS

task

who

due date

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TARGET LAUNCH DATE

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Project name and today’s date.

2

Specifications or scope. Describe your project specifications. A bulleted list is often the best format for this. You can come back to this later if you’re not ready to define this yet.

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Does this blank page scare you? Flip to page XX for tips on how to start hatching your idea.

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3

Action plan. Think through and list the steps you need to launch your idea. Assign each task to a person and set a due date. You might create an Action Plan right away, or it may be a work in progress. Either way, it will help keep you moving forward. This page is at the beginning of each Hatch project so you can reference it easily.

4

Target launch date. Setting a date will keep you accountable.

5

Use the blank dot grid pages for your exploration.


HATCH GUIDELINES Every project is unique and everyone starts from a different point, with distinct skill sets, knowledge, and experience. The key is approaching each project with an exploratory mindset and learning as you go. Start by identifying what you don’t know, then research and apply what you’ve learned to your concept. Often, the hardest part is committing to an idea and getting started. These guidelines provide an overview to get you on the path to product launch. For additional resources, visit our website at www.twotumbleweeds.co.

Product Development Process Product development consists of five main steps, with an iterative Design/Development process that’s informed by user testing and repeats until your product is ready to launch.

In a traditional product development cycle, the Design/Development phase might have spanned months or years before user testing and launch, and production would have to be completed before launch. With the advent of crowdfunding and as resources for small-scale manufacturing have become available, it’s become possible to shorten the cycle, and obtain proof of concept and funding before spending a great deal of time and resources on largescale production. In some cases, you might still produce your product before launch, thereby reversing the last two steps of the process above. As you work through the Design/Development and Prototyping phases, you should simultaneously be working on the following: 1. Find sources for materials and manufacturing and adjust your design as needed to ensure you can produce your product at a viable cost 2. As soon as you have a prototype or even before, get feedback from potential users to gain insight and make sure that you’re building something that people want. You may make assumptions about your potential market that are false, and it’s best to test these assumptions and adjust before your full launch.

Other things to consider The following are other things to think about. If your project is the start of a new business, you’ll have quite a few things to do, but don’t let it intimidate you! Concentrate on developing your idea, and work on the things below when it fits. It’s often better to just start, rather than getting overwhelmed by details. If you focus on the process above first, you won’t waste time trying to figure out all of these things for a product for which there’s no demand. Business Model Sales Strategy Branding/Marketing Intellectual Property

Operations & Support Packaging & Labeling Website & Social Media Business Entity & license

Business Insurance Bank Account Financing Launch Plan

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HATCH TIPS Get feedback early and often It’s scary to share your creative idea, but the benefits usually outweigh the risk. Doing informal market research will help expose potential problems, and give you a different point of view when you start to get too close to your project. Showing your concept to someone can also make it seem more “real,” which will help you stay inspired and committed.

Consider intellectual property Trademarks, copyrights, patents. Depending on your idea and goals, you may not want to pursue any IP. Either way, check you won’t be infringing on existing IP. You can do a preliminary search for a trademark online through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).

Pricing can make or break your idea Though you don’t want to limit your creativity by thinking about pricing too soon, it’s important to think about it as you design your product features so that you don’t end up with a $200 toaster, for instance. Set prices based on the market, then work backwards to determine what your costs need to be. Make sure you include all costs, like shipping and labor—even if you’ll be providing the labor at first. Make sure you have a viable profit margin. Research margins for your industry and consider your sales strategy. Will you wholesale? Do you need or want a distributor or sales rep? Or, will you only sell directly to the consumer? Example: Standard wholesale pricing for products is 50% off MSRP, and your costs should be <50% of wholesale. If your product retails for $100, wholesale will be $50, and your cost should be $25 or less, giving you a 50% margin to cover your overhead costs and make a profit. (Note: Larger retailers often expect even higher margins—over 60% off MSRP). If you want a distributor or sales rep, you’ll need to build an additional 5-15% into your margin, or the sales volume will need to make up for the decreased margin.

Think about scale Do you want your idea to be scalable? If so, how? Also, think about setting things up so they can run without you, allowing you to choose how you spend your time.

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Have a backup plan Have backups in place for critical components and partners, and seek out multiple quotes to make sure your expected costs are realistic.

Beware of compounding errors You’ll probably make a mistake at some point, and it can be tough to know when to cut your losses and change tracks. It’ll be painful, but you’ll only magnify the mistake if you don’t pivot. Example: For our product, Foodie Dice, an order of blocks arrived with defects. We decided to move forward engraving them, while sorting out the bad blocks. After engraving, we ended up defecting the entire batch. We just weren’t happy with the final quality. It would have been a lot cheaper to cut our losses when we received the blocks!

Don’t get discouraged Creating a product isn’t easy. There’s a big learning curve the first time you do. If you’re not personally making your product, it will take time and perseverance to find the manufacturer (or designer, or developer), and you’ll make a lot of calls and send a lot of emails before you find the right partner. You may not even know the right questions to ask at first. This is something that all entrepreneurs experience and it can be frustrating, but stick with it!

You don’t have to know everything You’ll end up wearing many hats when you launch a product. But, try to remember that you don’t have to know it all, you just have to know who to call. Focus on your strengths, and hire others to do what you can’t whenever feasible.

Tap into your community, or create one Everyone needs support during the creative process. Connecting with fellow makers and entrepreneurs can make the process more fun, provide opportunities for collaboration and access to resources, give you an opportunity to learn from others, and help you overcome moments of doubt, which everyone has. To connect with others who are using the Hatch process, join the Hatch Makers & Entrepreneurs group on Facebook.

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Ideas can come from anywhere, no idea is too big or too small, & IDEAS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. LIZ & SARAH DOWNEY

For more resources & tips, visit www.twotumbleweeds.co Connect + share on Instagram // @twotumbleweeds #hatchnotebook

HATCH NOTEBOOK // V1 DESIGNED AND PRINTED IN THE USA ©2016 TWO TUMBLEWEEDS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Hatch Notebook for Makers & Entrepreneurs  

A notebook for makers & entrepreneurs. Bring your ideas—both big and small—to life. Brainstorm, evaluate, sketch, develop & plan all in one...

Hatch Notebook for Makers & Entrepreneurs  

A notebook for makers & entrepreneurs. Bring your ideas—both big and small—to life. Brainstorm, evaluate, sketch, develop & plan all in one...

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