The human side of managing development

For all my recent writings about project management and associated tools, project management is ultimately about interacting with people.  The best tools and methodologies won’t work if the project leader is not comfortable dealing with the human side of managing development. I recently moderated a round table discussion with a group of entrepreneurs, … Read More

Common project management tools

This post is for product people who are new to project management. In my last post I touched on project management tools.  What are some available frameworks and tools that can help us manage projects? Here are a sampling of common frameworks and associated tools.  Your mileage may vary. As … Read More

Agile Primer for Cowboys and Hardware Folks

In today’s connected devices world, where every hardware product also runs or interacts with a significant amount of software, every product development person needs to know how to develop software. This can be a bit of a culture shock for hardware people, who are used to a different type of development process (stage-gate, … Read More

EBook: Bringing a New Hardware Product to Market

Throughout the spring semester, I have been working with student startup teams at MIT, helping them apply Bill Aulet’s Disciplined Entrepreneurship framework to figure out who their customer is, how their target market works, how they will acquire customers, and what their financial outlook may look like in the next … Read More

Cross functional leadership in product development

I’d like to take a moment and discuss cross functional leadership in product development. Let’s say we are working on the same product example I used before in my process post: For the purpose of this discussion, let’s assume we are working on a hypothetical consumer electronics device, to be … Read More

Offshoring and rightshoring

I’ve been chatting with hardware startups who are looking for a production partner. The topic of offshoring and rightshoring came up. Should they manufacture in the US, or abroad? What is right for their product and stage of business? How do they make this decision? I’ve had a lot of … Read More

Repeat after me: Hardware is NOT software

The Lean Startup / Customer Development, as most startup people know, was started by Eric Ries (author of “The Lean Startup“) and Steve Blank (author of “The Four Steps to the Epiphany” and “The Startup Owner’s Manual“. The basic tenet of Customer Development is to invest heavily in customer research … Read More

Hardware Product Development Process

This post is the prequel to my prototyping and manufacturing series. It is also the foundation for my book, “Bringing a Hardware Product to Market: Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production”. Here is a quick whiteboard sketch from one of those conversations.  It illustrates key stages of the hardware … Read More

Foamcore and foam – exploring form

This is the third post in my prototyping and manufacturing series. Once the technology (sort of) works, you are ready to move on to experimenting with form.  You need two resources: An industrial designer who understands human factors and ergonomics A way to make a lot of physical mockups quickly … Read More

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