“Hardware is Hard” is something you’ll often hear from folks involved in designing and manufacturing physical products. The truth is, with the right foresight and planning you can remove a lot of friction, massively improve your efficiency and actually enjoy your journey.
We came across a blog post that gives some solid insight on how to avoid 5 common (and often costly) pitfalls and highlighted a few kernels of wisdom from the post that rang true with us. Credit for the content goes to Ian Reilly via Smart Company Australia which is linked here.
1. Validate early but plan for a long road
“Before you head off spending time and money you need to be certain that the product your engineers design and build is the product the market wants, otherwise, you may as well take your cash and burn it.”
2. Develop a realistic journey with value inflections
“Aligning each product development stage to value inflections builds shareholder value. If you need to raise more funds, you’ll be able to demonstrate what you’ve done with the funds so far, what knowledge you’ve gained, and how the future is more certain.”
3. Bring investors on the journey
“We’re all a lot happier if we can see a map of where we’re going, and what we can expect to see along the journey. That way we can look forward to the next meal break or milestone and see progress.”
4. Engage competent, committed experience
“When choosing a design house, find one that demonstrates they can ‘walk in your shoes’ and are strong communicators. Design projects generally fail, not because of a lack of technical skill, but because of poor communication.”
5. Engage manufacturing talent early
“You need to develop a product design that’s aligned to the manufacturing process and manufacturing supply chain, and ensure effective communication between the two teams.”
This list might seem a little theoretical, especially if you’re in the planning stages of your product. If you want to see how these values are applied in real projects, we’d be happy to show you.