Entering the hardware startup landscape is never easy. Aside from the competition already on the market, you will also face customers that are far more sensitive to issues than the customers of the past. Getting the product right before releasing it to the market is critical.
Unfortunately, many startups still make several common mistakes with their product design. These mistakes can be catastrophic to the future of the business but are also very manageable (and avoidable) at the same time.
Rushing to Kickstarter
Kickstarter and similar crowdfunding sites have changed the way inventors bring their product ideas to life. Instead of having to work with partners and investors, inventors and product designers can now focus more on their products with the help of funding from the crowd. Jumping into a Kickstarter campaign too soon, however, can lead to some serious issues.
Scalability is at the top of the list of issues you will come across when you jump into Kickstarter too early. You may be planning to get enough funds to produce 100 pieces, but if your Kickstarter campaign is very successful you may end up with more orders than you can actually manage. Many startups failed to meet their Kickstarter promises for this very reason.
However, these opportunities for startups can be very useful, as long as you are aware and prepared for the challenges of crowdfunding. One benefit of Kickstarter above other crowdfunding sites is that they have set up a program that is intended to help prevent hardware startups from failing.
Errors and More Errors
Another mistake many hardware startups frequently make is skipping the review and evaluation stage during prototyping. You can always fix mistakes once the product is on the market, can’t you?
It is never a good idea to launch a product with issues. Sure, you’ll get valuable feedback from the customers, but you’ll also be letting them down. Disappointed customers are much more difficult to win back, especially in a market as competitive as today.
Instead of waiting until the product is produced, it is actually better and more cost-effective to get the design of the product right from the start. PCB software such as Circuit Maker from Altium will help you to design a PCB that is the most efficient for your product, as it involves a community of creative circuit designers working together to invent the most useful circuits. You can also use rapid prototyping and 3D printing to review other aspects of the product before going into production.
The last mistake I am going to point out in this article lies in the product design itself. Many innovators and engineers design their products without thinking about the production challenge ahead. Using custom parts and relying on unusual forms may be good for originality and uniqueness, but not always so when it comes to actually making the product.
You want to streamline the manufacturing process instead of making it more complicated. Streamlining results in better cost-efficiency, which in turn gives you more flexibility to remain competitive on the market. That’s the very foundation you need to launch a successful product today.
These are the three common mistakes in product design and how you can avoid them. The next time you want to develop a product idea into prototypes and actual products, make sure you avoid making the same mistakes to ensure better chances of success.