Over 35% of products fail to deliver a significant return. It is estimated that product failure rate is around 50%. In the U.S. about half of all resources allocated to product development and commercialization goes to products that produce an inadequate financial return. So why do so many hardware products fail to produce any meaningful financial return?
One of the biggest mistakes from new hardware creators is not seeking professional advice in design. Often products are created that are not appealing to its users in the first place. A very common mistake is creating a product with too many features, which is often not desirable. Every extra feature adds significantly more development costs and time which can quickly kill a project. It is important to seek advice from experts.
Another common mistake is underestimating the amount of resources and budget required to go from one working prototype to thousands of reliable units on the market. This is why it is paramount to follow a strict validation process. We advise working with the right partners to ensure a good product quality with the best chance of success.
New hardware creators make the mistake of not choosing the right manufacturer for them. We often see new hardware creators underestimating how much time and effort is required in selecting a manufacturing partner. For first-time product creators, we highly recommend using experts in supplier selection. Make sure you treat your manufacturers like a partner, not a vendor!
Lack of Ownership
Another mistake commonly made by new hardware creators is not taking ownership of the design process. Often start-ups hand a design sketch over to a contract manufacturer and end up with sub-standard product design of which they have very little control over. This normally results in numerous design validation cycles which waste enormous amounts of money. This unnecessary process delays the product to market. To avoid this mistake, it is best to seek expert advice from a Product Design company. The experts can ensure that you hold onto your design value and the product ramps up to production smoothly. CM’s and ODM’s are excellent at making stuff, but design and problem-solving are not their strengths.
So how do you test your design?
At Blender, we undertake various tests to ensure that the products we create meet the needs of the users. This is done firstly by users in the field to uncover valuable insights and to help refine the design of the product. We try to involve users as much as possible from the beginning to end.
Later on in development, we do various validation tests to make sure that products meet their technical, functional, and quality requirements. Validation testing is crucial in consumer product development. The last thing any product creator wants is returns!
At a high level, we follow a four-stage process: Research, Ideation, Development, and Production Support. Thorough planning at the beginning of a project is key to the success of the project. A well-planned project runs on time, on budget, and yields much better results.
The involvement of the idea creator is dependent on them. We like to partner closely with our clients and involve them as much as possible. This is especially important in the early stages of research and conceptual design. Often we are working very tightly with software and electronics engineers to ensure a tightly integrated electromechanical product.
Collaboration is imperative, especially when creating consumer electronic products. When the teams are so big, communication is critical. The magic happens when focused experts from different disciplines work together effectively!