I had a meeting with a potential client last week (I meet with about 5-8 a week.). The product idea is interesting, but the methodology they are using to develop the product was all wrong. I suggested to him the way we do product development. As soon as possible we integrate in DFM (Design For Manufacturability). After the meeting, I received this article via email from another potential client. In brief, this article talks about why Kickstarter campaigns are delayed. Lack of DFM is one of the reasons.
Integrating in DFM (Design For Manufacturability) into the product development is key. Why? We receive product designs from customers that look awesome in SolidWorks, but can not be manufactured without alterations. This is a disappointment to them. On the bright side, the integration of DFM and design becomes a collaboration between the product designer, engineers and the customer. The collaboration does not stop there. When we start the tooling process we also collaborate. The factory is a key partner in this; they construct the tooling and assembly line for the client. It is too easy for customers to think that all they need is a design, and that is where their participation ends.
Manufacturing is a collaboration between clients, factory partners, product designers, engineers and project management.
I have been thinking what my first blog post would be about. Should I describe what this blog is about and why I am writing? First off reader beware, I am not a professional writer by any means. I am sure you will like what you read. What I do have, is the geeky love for all things hardware. So I will be writing about hardware and the hardware startup community in NYC (or where my travels lead me to. It will be hardware focused). I have lived through the software revolution now I am living through the new hardware revolution. I have had this love for these things ever since I was a child learning electronics on a HeathKit. Then taking apart my first remote control car (My parents were not happy about that). Then using it as a remote controlled alarm system or a secret decoder device. I spend many afternoons doing these things. I am sure you know of someone that have done the same thing.
The hardware startup trend is the combination of the physical and the virtual. As Brad Feld put it, “Software wrapped in plastic.” For me, there is a bit more happening here than just the intersection of hardware and software and the value only in the software. We are seeing an intersection of the physical world to technology in a much closer direct way than ever before. How can we combine these technologies in a way that will bring us value. The microcontroller processing power has gotten fast, cheap and easy to program. There are inexpensive tools to help you prototype such as the Makerbot, Arduino and Raspberry Pi. The excitement for me is in the endless amount of ways people are mixing these technologies together to help improve people’s lives and solve problems. Such as printing artificial limbs using 3D printers. Using sensors in the home to manage the environment. Using sensors to improve production in manufacturing. Using the technology to create wearables. New amazing products are coming out all the time. Yesterday a new product, called Coin was announced. The product is a substitute for carrying around all those credit cards. Registering of the credit card is done by using a square payment like card reader. Once your cards have been swiped and registered you use the hardware card, just like a credit card. Put all your questions aside about security and all (they address them in their FAQ), this is amazing problem solver for many people like me that have stuffed wallets. The device is just as thick as a credit card so it can be swiped at the credit card terminals. They have hit on a great problem to solve.
There are amazing products coming out all the time now, through a crowdfunding effort or presale such as Coin that take the technologies and use them in creative ways. During my week, I talk to at least four to five startups. Through these conversations I hear exciting stories of new products people are thinking of creating. People are finding creative ways to use the physical technologies to solve everyday problems.
There is excitement in the air about hardware in New York City. There are currently four meetups I know of (There could be more I don’t know about. Having four is incredible.) that formed to have conversations about hardware: MakeItNYC, The Hardware Startup Meetup (Full disclosure MakeSimply is a sponsor), Hardwired NYC, and Tech In Motion NYC (Covers topics about hardware). The attendance at each meetup is in the hundreds of people. If you know of other great meetups, please let me know. I love going to these. My info is on the MakeSimply home page. Select people scroll a little and then select your communications method.
Till next time.