With software projects, overhead can be extremely low, close to zero in fact. But with hardware, that’s an entirely different beast. The good part is that business with hardware products can be extremely lucrative. The question is, how do you flesh out your design idea?
Consider the following five tips if you actually are interested in making a product that has parts and pieces: find a company that makes parts to spec that you need, find investors that are already familiar with how your industry works, ship, then adjust and ship again, be prepared to scale quickly, and make your hardware modular if possible.
Find a Company That Makes the Parts
Your hardware design isn’t going to go anywhere if you don’t have a part maker. Find a company that specializes in consistent part manufacturing, and make them a partner in your product if necessary. Low quality parts make low quality products, so this is one time in particular that you get what you pay for. Check reviews for these companies to get honest consumer feedback.
Find Investors Familiar With the Industry
Search for investors, and then search through willing partners to ones who are already familiar with the industry your hardware belongs to. This could be the computing industry, the music industry, or the communication industry. The closer your main investors are to the topic material, the better chance you’ll have of being able to crate the hardware design that makes the most sense.
Ship, Then Fix, Then Ship
It used to be that hardware designs would take forever to get ready to go because companies wanted them to be perfect before shipping. However, thanks to business minds like Seth Godin, this mentality has changed to a form where you want to get something just good enough, get it out there for some criticism, and then alter it on the run.
Be Prepared to Scale
If your hardware design succeeds, be ready to make a bunch and ship them fast! Many companies fail and go bankrupt because they can’t scale fast enough. Have a plan ready to take care of whatever kind of order comes in, and you won’t be trapped in the financial death spiral many new startups find themselves in after designing something successful.
Make It Modular
Modular is the way to go these days. Make your hardware design such that it can be modified or added to later. This means that you can add new tech to it as technology improves around the world, and people won’t be left with some sort of obsolete device. This is another way to make sure that your product stays relevant for longer.