In this episode of the Predictable Designs Podcast I discuss the importance of finding a technical advisor, and how critical it is to get help upfront to simplify your product.
I share a couple of stories to highlight the importance of simplifying your product. One story is about an entrepreneur that likely saved at least $50,000 by eliminating one secondary feature of his product.
The second story showcases another entrepreneur that greatly simplified his product development by changing one feature specification.
In this episode of the Predictable Designs Podcast the topic is all about development costs for hardware products.
I'm going to start by giving you some cost ranges for the different strategies of developing a product.
Then we'll hone in on tips and strategies for those of you that don't have the technical skills to do a lot of the development yourself but also have very limited finances to be able to outsource it.
In this episode I discuss 6 different product development strategies.
Which strategy is best for you will depend on several variables including your skills, how much money you have to spend, the complexity of your product, and how fast you need to get the product to market.
Strategy #1: Do the product design yourself
Strategy #2: Design only the early prototype yourself
Strategy #3: Find a technical co-founder
Strategy #4: Hire freelance developers
Strategy #5: Hire a development firm
Strategy #6: Partner with a manufacturer
In this episode I mix things up a bit by answering 3 questions asked by members of my Hardware Academy.
The first question is about outsourcing the activities you can't do yourself.
The second question is about pricing your product for different distribution channels.
The third question is about how much it costs to get a new product to market.
In this episode of the Predictable Designs Podcast I speak with Mike Morena and Shawn Litingtun about how to evaluate suppliers and manufacturers.
Mike Morena started a successful medical device company called AdhereTech back in 2012 who’s core product is a smart bottle that helps to insure patients take their medicine on schedule. The product is now used by tens of thousands of patients.
Mike is also a mechanical engineer with massive experience working with manufacturers and suppliers.
Also on the call today is Shawn Litingtun. Shawn is an electrical engineer, who happens to be one of the best electronics designers I’ve ever worked with.
In the past, Shawn worked for both Compaq computer and Blackberry, and now he does full-time consulting. In addition to electronics design, Shawn also has a lot of experience evaluating suppliers.
In this episode of the Predictable Designs Podcast I speak with Steve Szymeczek from Penumbra Engineering.
Steve is a mechanical engineer that specializes in 3D printing and additive manufacturing.
In our call we discuss the pros and cons of additive manufacturing compared to the more traditional injection molding process.
Although many people consider additive manufacturing to be the future of plastics manufacturing, we look at the practical uses now for low to medium levels of production.
In this episode I speak with Joshua Hsu who is a co-founder of a hardware startup named Introhm that is developing a fitness product.
In our call we discuss a wide variety of topics including prototyping, product validation, patents, fundraising, marketing, and sales.
In this episode I speak again with Dave Millman of BizDev.Global. This time we discuss some hardware startup horror stories and how to avoid the same outcomes for your own startup.
Dave has decades of experience helping hardware startups and he specializes in helping them find their first customers. He was originally my guest back in episode #2, and he has also taught a couple of live workshops inside my Hardware Academy program.
In this episode I speak with Scott Miller who is a mechanical engineer and the founder and CEO of Dragon Innovation.
Dragon Innovation specializes in helping hardware startups transition from the prototype stage to mass manufacturing in China. They are well known for helping successful hardware startups such as Pebble and Ring.
Scott is also a partner at Bolt which is an early stage investment company that focuses specifically on hardware products.
Scott and I discuss his experiences working with Pebble, his story about Dragon being bought by a multi-billion dollar company, the biggest challenges of transitioning manufacturing to China, tips for designing a product for manufacturing, and his suggestions when seeking professional investors, and so much more.
In this episode I speak with Duane Benson from Screaming Circuits which is a PCB assembly company located in the U.S. in Oregon that produces both prototypes and small volume production runs.
Duane and I discuss the process of manufacturing assembled PCBs, how to ensure their quality, the infeasibility of at-home PCB prototyping, and then we review various Design for Manufacturing (DFM) tips to help make your project go more smoothly.
My guest for this episode is Marty Zwilling of Startup Professionals. Marty has been involved with startups for many years even working with Bill Gates in the early days. He’s now a consultant and angel investor. We’re going to be discussing business plans, getting investors, the pros and cons of patents, and much more.
In today’s episode I’m continuing my conversation with hardware entrepreneur Allen Walton of SpyGuy.com. Allen successfully brought his new hardware product called the Scout to market in only about one year.
My conversation with Allen was so valuable that we talked for nearly two hours. So I’ve split up my conversation with Allen into two podcast episodes.
In part one we spoke about his experiences of starting with an eCommerce store selling products of the same category as the Scout. We also discussed the boost he received from appearing on the Tim Ferriss Podcast, the pros and cons of being a non-technical founder, the advantages of competition, trademarks, patents, online marketing, and more.
Now in part two we discuss the pros and cons of selling on Amazon, prototyping, development, the transition to manufacturing, and lessons learned.
In this episode I’m speaking with hardware entrepreneur Allen Walton of SpyGuy.com. Allen successfully brought his new hardware product called the Scout to market in only about one year.
Allen has taken a rather unique path to market with his new product that has given him a big advantage. We’ll get into all of the details in my interview where we discuss all things from product validation, to development, to manufacturing, and to marketing and sales.
This is a value loaded interview. In fact, Allen had so much great information to share that our conversation lasted for nearly two hours. So my interview with Allen will actually be split into two episodes with part two releasing next week.
In this episode I speak with Nick Frank who is the founder of Knectiv, a company based in Austin Texas that offers product design services as well as manufacturing in China.
In this episode I speak with hardware entrepreneur, Erik Hunter of InD Creation. Erik successfully raised over $40,000 in a recent Kickstarter campaign for his frozen fish food feeder product. We discuss both his experiences with crowdfunding and strategies for developing and manufacturing his product.
In this episode we discuss the advantages and challenges of manufacturing electronic hardware products in China and Taiwan. I interview Case Engelen who founded a company in Taiwan called Titoma which specializes manufacturing electronic hardware products.
In this episode I talk with new hardware entrepreneur Kris Christopher, founder of Grow Nanny which is a hardware startup that is developing indoor gardening products with an ultimate goal to help feed the world.
Before founding his hardware startup Kris was a truck driver for Pepsi, so he had no experience with technology development especially with hardware design. Since coming up with his product idea to help feed the world, Kris has been incredibly motivated and has taught himself a good amount about both software and hardware development.
Fortunately Kris isn't making the common mistake of hiding away from the world while he develops his product. Instead, he is reaching out to as many experts as possible to help get feedback and guide him along the best path to market. In addition to seeking out consulting and coaching from me, Kris has also been actively meeting with various professional investors, and attending lots of entrepreneur meetups.
If you're a hardware startup founder without any product development experience, this interview will show you that it is possible for you to succeed in hardware, if you are willing to learn and seek out help when needed.
In this episode I talk with Dave Millman of BizDev Global who specializes in helping hardware startups find their first customers. Today, we'll be discussing 5 of the biggest mistakes that hardware startups make when it comes to customers.
Dave is an expert with decades of experience helping tech startups find customers. He even had the opportunity to work with Steve Wozniak on a new product that he developed after first leaving Apple.
As we discuss in great detail, way too many entrepreneurs begin their hardware product journey by completely ignoring the customer. The typical entrepreneur starts with the product, and then eventually works toward the customer after development is nearly complete. This is backwards. For real success, it is critical that you first begin with the customer and then work with them toward the product.
This is a much smarter strategy than spending months or years, and likely thousands of dollars, developing a new product without starting with the customer. The biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs make is they assume that they really know what other people want. Incorrect assumptions like this are the death for many hardware startups.
In this interview Dave shares five of the biggest mistakes he sees hardware startups make when it comes to customers. This is a interview you will not want to miss!
In this first episode of the Predictable Designs Podcast I speak with Michael Morena, co-founder of AdhereTech which is a startup that manufacturers and sells a medication adherence hardware product to large pharmaceutical companies. The AdhereTech smart pill bottle device is currently used by tens of thousands of patients.
In my interview with Mike he shares many of the lessons he learned and challenges he faced developing the product, pitching it to large pharmaceutical companies, and finding a world-class manufacturer. Fortunately, Mike had two other co-founders which helped to split up the various tasks, so we discuss the benefits of having a founder team with complimentary skills.
The business model that AdhereTech uses is really quite beautiful. They don’t just sell a one-time hardware product, instead they collect a recurring revenue for the back-end services that are included with their product. Mike shares how this recurring revenue was really helpful in their fundraising efforts.
This an interview you do not want to miss!