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 12 months and beyond.
One topic that became a recurring theme for hardware startups is the mystery of how to go from ideation to mass production. What are the steps? How much does it cost? How long does it take? What sorts of considerations are important to anticipate? What are the shortcuts and what are the consequences? How can they run things in parallel to accelerate time to market?
What I, and many other product people have found, is that while there is a wealth of materials to help new software teams learn how to go from ideation to minimum viable product (MVP), there is very little practical, actionable materials for startups who are bringing a new hardware product to market.
Engineering programs at major universities teach students how to think and learn and solve hard problems, but they don’t cover mundane things like project management, cross functional team leadership, or dealing with contract manufacturers. What literature that exists often cover antiquated processes that are slow and cumbersome and are not well matched to the fast paced world of hardware startups.
This inspired me to write a blog post on the topic, which eventually turned into an eBook covering how to bring products from idea to mass production and beyond.
My eBook is now available for beta distribution. You can read the first chapter here. If you are intrigued, you can sign up here to get a download link for the entire document. It’s not perfect, the writing isn’t the best, but I feel that it is important to get the content out there quickly to serve new hardware startup teams doing it for the first time. I hope that this content will save somebody time and money, somewhere, somehow.
This eBook is an MVP, and I would very much welcome your help in my quest to create a useful resource for hardware product teams. Please email any thoughts, comments and suggestions to ebook (at) conceptspring (dot) com. Thank you in advance for your time.