Design Cost and complexity

4- Budget: You may be 33% of the way when you think you are done

Having a prototype that works and doing the transition to the next step, which is your Engineering Validation and Test (EVT) unit, represents a lot of work, time, and money invested in your new product. Now that you have it on hand, you may think that the journey is over.  An EVT unit validates that your product meets all the specifications. It will look like a real product and should convince your investors, partners or customers that your product works and meets their needs.

Be careful though, as it is NOT yet a finished product. This validated design is likely to be only 1/3 of the way to the completed product. The other 2/3 resides in the production (tooling, testing, final qualification, and certification) and its commercialisation. Some would even argue that the commercialisation phases are among the most important cost barriers as you need to develop the branding (hopefully the earlier phases included some of that as part of the product design), market awareness, distribution, and sales channels, among other things.

You may be among the lucky ones who had a successful crowdfunding campaign, so you already have some of the visibility established. In that case, you may now have pressure to deliver what you promised. Hopefully, what you promised follows the laws of physics…

Did you consider qualification, certifications, or marketing in your analysis to put a new product on the market?

What can be done?

The good news is that you do not need to have 100% of the budget ready before beginning your product development. In fact, having a tangible prototype with a good look and feel and strong market demand can help raise a lot of funds, much more than with only a fancy presentation.

Do not fear this step, in the technology world calls it “crossing the chasm”. The only thing you can truly do to ease this transition, is to be surrounded by the right people and partners and be mindful of all the steps that exist, and which cannot be avoided. Facing reality is the only way out of this complex process.

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