Estimate Demand & Profit

Hi all,

I know Tindie since a long time, I’m an electronic engineer and I’ve had many ideas in the past for projects that could be sold here. But I never did it.

The reason why I never did it is because it was never clear to me what level of profit, or even if it would be profitable. I didn’t find a way to make an estimate of reasonable sales numbers.

But today I have another idea, and I see the growth of Tindie, which seems to indicate that people are getting a profit. I also see that it is still not easy to validate the product before actually developing it. So basically, you have to make a lot of blind assumptions, design the product and make a small batch, start to sell it and then you will find out if there was demand, or if you wasted your money, time and effort.

It seems to me like it only makes sense if you are making the device for other reasons, and then, once you’ve already made it, then it’s nice to place it on Tindie. But making a product with the purpose of selling on Tindie seems very risky.

How do you guys get over this?
How do you evaluate an idea before commiting to design, prototype, test, and manufacturing?
How do you do an early guess of what profits you could get from a product?
What am I missing?

Thanks a lot for your thoughts!