Engineering breadboards, a.k.a. duct tape prototypes

This is the second post in my prototyping and manufacturing series. Which comes first, the breadboard or the vaporware? I would argue these should arrive simultaneously. Engineering breadboards are the first step for any high tech hardware product development process.  The idea is to use the fastest possible techniques to … Read More

Prototyping and manufacturing hardware products

As a mentor and coach to MIT startup teams working on integrated hardware and software products, I find that everybody keeps running into the same recurring challenge: prototyping and manufacturing hardware products at different stages of the R&D cycle. From idea to mass produced item, a hardware product goes through … Read More

Product Planning Series: Information Architecture

This is the seventh post of my Product Planning Series. I’ve worked with development teams who were “too busy to generate design documentation”. They say: planning is guessing. They say: a design is useless unless it can be represented in code, therefore you ought to start in code. Many of … Read More

Product Planning Series: Requirements

This is the sixth post in my Product Planning Series. The mere word “requirements” can make a lot of startup people wince. It conjures up the bad old days where folks spend months developing an MRD, PRD and a Functional Specification. It brings up images of Stage-Gate and classic Waterfall processes. … Read More

Product Planning Series: From use cases to storyboards

This is the fifth post in my Product Planning Series. My approach to product development revolves around user-centered design. The basic tenet of this philosophy is that the product team must be equipped with a thorough understanding of the end user’s needs, wants, expectations and limitations in order to create … Read More

Product Planning Series: Project Management

This is the fourth post in my Product Planning Series. Bringing up a new web app is much more than a technical project management effort.  Any new product or service development program is a massively interdisciplinary exercise.  In order to have a successful outcome all affected constituencies will need to be … Read More

Product planning series: Staffing for success

This is the third post in my Product Planning Series. I decided to write this post after realizing that the actual activities and functional disciplines involved in building a new product are not necessarily apparent to people new to the game or seasoned professionals who come out of an unrelated … Read More

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