Simplifying the Prototype to Market Process

The best resources to enable your IoT idea and bring it to the market

IoT startups and ideas face innumerable challenges breaking into the mainstream market

Top quality ideas deserve top quality production. The transition of any product from an idea to its final physical manifestation is definitely not an easy one. The road IoT startups ride on is often broken and riddled with bumps. Sure, the financial aspect is always the most daunting challenge. Even a simple prototype can set back a startup by $10,000 for just a fully functional prototype.

Money aside however, there are countless other challenges that are even trickier to maneuver around. Sourcing materials from reliable suppliers to finding the best prototype components is a mainstay obstacle in the IoT world. Finding the right mix of quality hardware and timely product gestation for products is never an easy feat. Discovering ideal service providers, obtaining production grade sensors and manufacturing the optimal PCB is another hurdle in the long run. Finally, it would be criminal to not consider the grueling marketing and investment functions that a good product demands.

Finding the right solution mix for the portfolio of problems faced in the IoT process

It should be common knowledge by now; the prototype to market (PTM) process isn’t an easy one. However, it’s just as easy to find the right solutions to the problems faced in the process. With adequate insights, consolidated information and the right guidance, it is possible to simplify the process and minimize the number of obstacles faced for IoT startups. In a nutshell, the hack to a simpler route to a finished product simply lies in being informed and taking smart decisions. So how do you work your way up the PTM ladder from the ground up?

When it comes to hardware sourcing, trust and reliability often play on the mind. Countless startups have been duped into shoddy components in the past. Opt for suppliers such as Robokits (robokits.co.in) or Mouse Electronics to get past this conundrum. It’s also important to account for location with regards to where you source from and where you get your prototype built. For example, opting for Taiwan is an extremely safe and reliable option. However, this means longer than usual gestation periods and escalated costs for prototype building. A riskier, economical and quicker option is the Chinese market. Yet, the odds of quality downgrading and even product ideas being copied are quite high here. Search engines such as Shodan (shodan.io) are dedicated resources for those who venture neck deep into IoT. The world’s first search engine for connected devices, Shodan lets you explore and analyse IoT and gain a comprehensive competitive advantage faster than usually possible. If shedding costs is your goal, you may be tempted into undertaking the process by yourself. There exist several resources to funnel you in the right direction. For basic knowledge, consider investing in an online course on IoT through websites such as Coursera. When going the distance Arduino (arduino.cc) and Raspberry Pi (raspberrypi.org) are excellent resources to learn and make your own prototypes. It’s always useful to have a 3D printer handy. Consider investing on one from a source such as Melting Mints (meltingmints.wordpress.com) or Think3D (think3d.in). The last mile would be procuring investors for your product idea. Experiment with a mix of angel investors, seed and crowd funding to get your idea rolling.

While obstacles are many, there’s no shortage of resources in the IoT ecosystem

All it takes to succeed for IoT startups is access to the best resources and a little bit of luck. With heavy emphasis on cost optimization, ideal sourcing, reliable prototype building and constantly being updated, there’s no hurdle too big to bring any idea into existence. With a little assistance from the sources above and consistent upgrading of knowledge, your IoT startup could be well on course for unprecedented success.

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