Lehigh University - Product Development - Raking Innovation

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by LehighStudent, Mar 17, 2013.

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  1. LehighStudent

    LehighStudent LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Hello,
    My name is Eric Sciorilli and I am currently a freshman attending Lehigh University. As a part of my Integrated Business and Engineering major, I am taking a product development class which focuses on both the establishment of product as well as the innovation from the conceptual and design phases all the way through to the marketing and business phases. As a step in our project, my team and I are currently conducting brief research to find out if there is a market that would be interested in our product and if so, who would that market be. Our product is currently called “The RakeShovel” and it is based on an idea that our group saw as an essential need for those who rake their own lawns.
    Often times, the hardest part of the raking and cleaning process is getting the leaves up from the ground and into a bag or trash can. A rake helps get them into one pile but there is no easy way to lift and move the leaves. We believe this need can be helped with the concept of a simple shovel. Our current conceptual design includes a normal rake with a flat shovel on its underside that would not be in the way while raking. Upon completion, the user would pull a trigger causing the rake to pivot upward, away from the shovel. Thus, the user could shovel underneath the pile and release the trigger to allow the rake back down and hold the leaves in place to be moved.
    If you believe that such a product would be useful to you, whether you see it helpful or not, we would appreciate if you would take the time to complete our survey and reply to this post. The link is at the bottom of this page and the survey will take no more than five minutes. All of your responses will help us clarify the problem of who, if anyone, is the market for our design. Thank you so much for your time in reading and hopefully in taking our survey.
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TYB7YBR
    - The RakeShovel Team
    Lehigh University
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,966

  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    My concern about your rake would be weight. You are not only adding the weight of a shovel, but also the mechanism to operate the moving rake head. This may not be a big deal for a couple of minutes, but after a while the added weight will become tiresome.
     
  4. ncknaklawns

    ncknaklawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 379

    Believe me your product is a novelty that will sell to seniors and others be used once at then sit or be given away. I can use my arms to pick up nearly 30 gallons or leaves and deposit them in a can or use the dog paddle method. It takes about 10 seconds to fill a 30 gallon can from the pile. Ordinary people that don't do it for a living don't know the process and might buy your product. Sorry to sound so negative. What I need is a snow plow shovel with wings on both sides that throw the snow off to the sides so one pass and I'm done. Made out of ABS plastic with a handle that won't break under a lot of force and lightweight. I'll pay $50 for it. Our town passed new law so they will sell up here.
     
  5. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Posts: 845

    I think your product could sell well to home owners and seniors, but not the commercial guys. That being said I still think you could make a million bucks with a properly placed infomercial or home shopping network feature.
     
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

  8. LehighStudent

    LehighStudent LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Thank you all very much for your input! Even if it is not what our team necessarily wanted to hear, it is something that we needed to hear and understand before continuing our project. I believe we do conduct a patent search relatively soon but it should have been done earlier as I can see there are a lot of similar products already in the market. Also the fact that we really never knew of them before proves that they were not very successful in the market. I really like the snow shovel idea and I plan on running it by my professor and team ASAP. Hopefully, we are not too far along in the process to dedicate our time to a new concept. Thank you all again!
     
  9. ncknaklawns

    ncknaklawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 379

    Think of a Vee Plow so you just keep pushing, no heavy lifting involved. Send me my royalties and support Lawnsite.
     

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