Most Important Thing for Hardware (IoT) startup
Ashissh Raichura, giving insight on how to successfully get your product in the market by validating the success of the product at every stage.
As a tech expert, I pondered over the topic, and realized that this is indeed discerning, as the marketing game has turned a whole three sixty degrees. There are many path-breaking ideas one stumbles across, which can help mankind in the long run. But somewhere in between the process of the ideation and actuating the design, the product gets lost in oblivion. Let me explain “how to validate your idea and get the ball rolling in the market.”
Today, with the presence of the Internet things have actually changed. One can tap into the market, and design the product keeping with the needs of the chosen target audience. Emailers’, social-media networking, and crowdfunding now come to our aid to not only promote but also fund the product.
To begin with key your ideas down to the minutest detail. Include everything from what is the product about, usability, target audience, features, and even the approximate cost of the product.
Freely discuss the idea in your circles, and use the received feedback to improvise on your product. It is also very crucial for you at this juncture to tap your desired target audience using emailers. This will keep them in the loop of a development they have been waiting for. At any stage of the development of the hardware don’t forget to notify your target audience using email. As the interest grows it will not only help you bag a bigger and better target audience but they could be probable crowd funders of your product in the future.
After you have validated your idea, you need to create a functional prototype to actuate the idea. There are a couple of stages one must follow even to create a functional prototype.
- You may find things around the house that you can use to create your hardware product (specially when you are on a tight budget). But if you can invest in a little more money you could go to a professional who could help you with a 3 D print of your future hardware product. This is more fittingly termed as the proof of concept. Use sites like indigogo.com, ketto.org, and kickstarter.com, as a platform to promote your product.
- The next stage involves the development of a functional prototype. This means you will develop a product, and simulate the hardware with all the actual functions showcasing full potential of the product. This would be ideal to show to both investors and vendors.
- Design for manufacture plays a critical role in any hardware product. The most fitting design will survive competition. One must bear in mind that typically 70% of the manufacturing costs of a product are determined by design decisions. Production decisions only take up 20% of the cost. The initial prototype doesn’t necessarily make for the hardware that is ready to manufacture on a mass account. The design might have to undergo alterations even after the product hits the market to survive the product life cycle.
- Branding! This is the most important aspect of any product. One must brainstorm, and astutely key down the U.S.P. of the product to sell the same in the market. Impacting advertising, and branding plays a very critical role before any product is staged in the market. One is advised to conduct surveys to understand the consumer’s psychology and attitude towards the product.
- Funding, Good Lord! One cannot overlook this one. But not to worry, but conceptualizing your idea online, and giving step by step detail on the development of the product you have already done your homework, by being able to garner some amount. Angel investors, venture capital firms, and kith-n-kin can procure the rest of the amount. Once you have your funding in place you can start with the manufacturing process.
- It is now time for you to find a trustworthy manufacturer who has the correct tools to create your dream device and manufacture the same on a mass level. A cost may incur on employing the correct mechanism to catalyse the production process. You may opt for manufacturing overseas to overcome problems relating to quantification and cost.
- It is ideal to work with a number of suppliers, as then one automatically rids themselves of the fear of competition and counterfeiting of the product designed by you. So, you’ll need a solution to put all the pieces together. Assembly takes up a lot of ones time, so once you go from small to large batches, it’s advisable to find a person whose expertise lies in assembling the product.
- Even after manufacturing, your product needs to be tested to certify it for consumers use. It is necessary for one to go through a channel of both national and international repute for this process.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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