Sun Aug 13 20234 min read
Why talking to manufacturer early matter.
Once upon a time in the city of Technagar, a young and ambitious entrepreneur named Jay had a brilliant idea. He envisioned a sleek and fancy device that would revolutionise the way people interacted with technology. Filled with excitement, Jay decided to pursue it.
He followed what Eric Ries of ‘The Lean Startup’ fame said about talking to potential customers to validate his idea. He discovered that his product addressed a significant pain point, and there exists no solution for it either. Encouraged by the positive feedback, he started putting hours in developing the product. He also created captivating renders to showcase its potential. He got overwhelming response, customers where eager to get their hands on that device.
Months after working on it, when he started to delve deeper into the manufacturing process, reality hit him hard. He realised that his designs are not manufacturable at commercially viable cost. He had fallen into the trap that countless entrepreneurs face: the lack of early engagement with manufacturers. It is probably as important as talking to customers, but is often overlooked by a lot of Hardware entrepreneurs.
Engaging with manufacturers early in the product development process provides a multitude of benefits that can save entrepreneurs from costly mistakes and ensure a smoother journey towards success.
Manufacturers possess a wealth of knowledge and experience. They have witnessed countless product development cycles and are familiar with the pitfalls and mirages that often trap enthusiastic entrepreneurs. By involving manufacturers from the outset, they can help identify potential roadblocks, technological limitations, and design constraints, allowing you to navigate around them.
Manufacturers can offer invaluable insights into the feasibility of your product. They can evaluate the proposed design and determine whether it can be efficiently manufactured within the desired timeframe and budget. Their expertise enables them to identify any potential manufacturing challenges early on, enabling you to make informed decisions about product modifications or pivots before investing significant resources.
One of the critical factors in any product’s success is its cost-effectiveness. Manufacturers can provide accurate cost estimates based on their knowledge of materials, production processes, and economies of scale. By understanding the production costs upfront, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions about pricing, profitability, and the overall market viability of their product.
Despite the numerous benefits, entrepreneurs often hesitate to engage with manufacturers early in their product development journey due to a few common misconceptions.
Entrepreneurs may fear that sharing their idea with manufacturers exposes them to the risk of intellectual property theft. While it is essential to protect your intellectual property rights, engaging with manufacturers does not necessarily entail revealing the full details of your invention. By signing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and carefully selecting trusted manufacturers, entrepreneurs can mitigate the risk while still benefiting from their expertise.
Some entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that engaging with manufacturers should only occur once their product design is finalized or closer to production. However, involving manufacturers early can prevent costly redesigns or rework later in the process. Even if you haven’t committed to a particular manufacturer, seeking their advice and insights can help shape your design decisions and ensure manufacturability from the start.
At Makenica, we have witnessed numerous startups and founders embark on their product development journeys, we strongly advocate for early engagement with manufacturers. It will be super valuable. Their expertise can guide you towards a more viable and manufacturable product, saving you time, money, and headaches along the way. So, take the leap and start engaging with those who can help turn your product dreams into reality. Happy Making!