Idea Exchange, a design thinking solution to: Product design, development, manufacturing and commercialization.

Idea exchange : design thinking

By sharing a concept, one risks loosing the idea to others and thereby loosing any potential revenues or acknowledgments from the concept, but only by sharing one can create new opportunities. This business model proposes a secure network, that provides an environment for all people who are interested, to be a part of global product and resource selection.

The first aspect of this proposal is that products will only be produced if there is enough demand-committed on the project. This is demonstrated by the presale, barter participation in a project or investments made towards the concept or product by the stakeholders & shareholders. This represents opportunities for financiers, developers, manufacturers, buyers, as well as the labor markets of all levels to connect, produce, distribute, buy and sell products on a trusted network.

Here is how the concept works:

A new design thinking concept is created by an (Intellectual Property Owner, anyone), this is posted on the system or a controlled group, network, category or as private as a reply to a request for a product.

The concept is nominated for review when it has created enough investment for a review; the review is preformed by a PRB (Product Review Board), which consists of the social group for the particular product’s stakeholders, buyers from all level of purchasing spectrum; investors, financiers, institutions, distributors, retailers, environmentalists and consumers. This review board functions much like stock exchange and/or online purchase, where buyers can pre-purchase the resultant product and/or stocks and gain voting influence in a product or concept opposed to a company, early investors can potentially profit at much higher levels than the later adaptors who are coming on board after the product has been proven and risks have been mitigated.

Likewise a request for a product can be created by anyone in any buying capacity, creating requests such as:

  • A sponsored development bid for a “widget”,
  • A we need a better “widget” our budget is X$,
  • Or the famous, wouldn’t be nice to have a “widget”

Subsequent to achieving it’s preliminary design financing, the IP Owner and a PRB assigned PM (Product Manager) analyze, estimate and report the costs of each development phases, return on investment as well as environmental and overall value of the submission. Depending on level of investment generated by the concept, a plan is generated to support the first stage or all the stages of development and commercialization.  At this stage the IP owner and PM can breakup the work and post the work-packages for bidding on the system, group, network or category. Please note that this model work with large corporate organizations as well as startups and independents, where they would operate in private or semi private or public groups depending on their strategy.

As a product advances thought the development phases, the development results are made available to the shareholders and buyers. Likewise feedback from shareholders and buyers are made available to the IP Owner allowing for midcourse adjustments. This creates a flexible market economy that drives the decision for production or cancellation of a product and the eventual financing, development and the sales process.

Skilled labor markets as well as the manufacturing sectors can create their own individual storefronts with their credentials, experience, successful exchanges, ratings, portfolio and recommendations. Labor skills could be bartered in the system, one can bid for a work-package, and for exchange of their services they could receive any combination of service, product, equity and/or cash from the product’s revenue stream.

Since there is transparency in the system intellectual property infringement from manufacturer, Buyers and IP owners can be identified if a final products is distributed thorough the system, a dispute management protocol can blacklist or reduce their rating depending on the severity of event.

Other benefits:

  • Ability to create product criteria’s such as: efficiency, ecological, labeling, fair wage, ethical, carbon tax, % renewable energy consumed, and other criteria.
  • Create an excellent link to physical products and markets

This is a very brief overview of this design thinking concept; I hope you find it interesting.


Ramak Radmard
Creative Director & Chief Designer of Lucidream
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Design Thinking/Industrial design/product development


  1. dmuren

    Interesting concept. Methods for increasing feedback within the product-definition side of the economy will become more and more crucial as more countries begin to crack down on waste due to overproduction of unnecessary product. I have a couple devil’s advocate questions, which I think will hold firm for any sort of hive-mind decision system like this one.

    First, how do you deal with the cost of administration? Every time someone in the network participates, that’s a tiny cost to them. In certain circumstances, participants are fine absorbing these costs. But in others, the system collapses because participants feel too disconnected from the profit realized at the end. An example to look at might be, or other pay per idea, contest-type sites.

    Second, what makes this better then the market as it exists? All of these feedback loops are in place, just not as explicitly, or as elegantly as you have described. I wonder if a new system might be simply translating physical waste into informational or organizational waste — and commensurately longer development times.

    Lastly, why does the system need to be so top-down? Rather than innovate on how to create the ideas that get fed into the same old manufacturing infrastructure, one could alter the manufacturing so that it was easier for people with ideas to get them realized. Then, the broadcast capabilities of the existing internet will enable selection of the “best” or “right” ideas. The major advantage of this method, is that even low-demand products can still be manufactured, because demand drives whether they are created or not. Currently, risk drives the creation of products. Target sells products that it thinks will appeal to the average American: Shooting for a large user group in the first place gives a cushion if the design is off mark. Risk-averse design under serves niches, since they are too small to offer acceptable buffers.

    Do you have any plans for testing the concept? It seems like something at least worthy of further investigation.

    Dominic Muren

  2. Ramak Radmard

    Thank you for your comments, you raise some interesting points they are appreciated. Given the environmental disaster that we are in, I sometimes think, creating and purchasing product should be a privilege, not a right, we should not be able to plunder humanities resources for a profit or trend and we should be held accountable for our consumptions.

    In regards to the cost of administration, only people, who are stakeholders in a concept, would really require to have an input. Therefore if you are a stakeholder and a risk owner (IPO, buyer, investor, environmentalists, supplier, manufacturer and the brand) naturally you are more likely to be interested in your investment and it’s outcome, the product.

    If we look at the Incentive proposition:
    • The incentive for sharing an idea is, to find people how would want to realize the product.
    • The incentives of the IP owner are the development costs, equity and royalties.
    • The incentive for the stakeholders is, equity growth.
    • The incentive for the pre-purchaser is, a lower price.
    • The incentives for the suppliers, manufacturer and the brands are to create work and wealth.
    • The incentives for the environment are fewer resources are used; higher standards can be applied to manufacturing and possessing.
    • The incentives for the worker are, fair relationship and pay.
    • The inventive for the consumer is, the act of responsibility.
    • The incentive for the humanity is a flexile market economy system.
    The other aspect on this subject could be attributed to people’s sociology to desire to be involved and empowered. (An investment that allows the investor not to be helpless in their decision) is an interesting approach, however in the idea exchange model the value proposition is completely different, the IP Owner has the freedom of operating in his or her zone of core competence there by creating a different set of solutions. The market selects, what it deems an acceptable reward to resource relationship. The application of criteria is crucial.

    What makes this better then the existing markets, is the fact that the oversights on products are not honest, efficient or detailed enough. Not all aspect of product lifecycle or manufacturing processes is looked at independently. Additionally there are not enough criteria’s set on products being manufactured, such as: efficiency, ecological, labeling, fair wage, ethical, carbon tax, % renewable energy consumed on products we buy.

    To address your comment in regards to translating physical waste into informational or organizational waste, I would also like to get more information on this issue. However, if the case were, a positive factor in this transformation could be credited to changing finite resources to renewable one, human power, to creating jobs.

    Any skill should be in its zone of core competence, it is the manufacturing companies core competency to develop processes to manufacture parts or components. A paradigm shift in manufacturing would naturally create new solutions and vise versa if an idea that is fed into the system requires a new manufacturing method only the stakeholders can address these needs by assessing the value/cost proposition to develop new solutions, the incentive is always balanced by demand.

    I am sharing this idea to generate interest in creating a test scenario, finding collaborators and stakeholders. I do invite all who can add value to this process to contact me.

    Thank you again,
    Ramak Radmard

    Product Development, Design Thinking
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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