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

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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