When it comes to developing new products in the IoT sphere, it’s safe to assume mediocre just won’t do. Any IoT product with a ‘eureka’ moment behind it warrants quality that is top-notch, no compromising there. What often hinders said moments transitioning from ideas to actual products is the investment that goes into developing something that satisfies the core need of what it seeks to establish. This is of particular importance when working on a tight-budget. Saving during the prototype development stage is a great practice here, with a promise of bountiful rewards in the long-run. Here’s a few ways you can make your way around the hurdle of expensive development with sophisticated and smart saving opportunities.
- Take the term ‘best-of-waste’ and DIY to the next level; make use of everyday objects found at home to develop a raw prototype. A simple preliminary step before taking your prototype blueprint to a 3-D printer that ensures you don’t need to revisit the drawing board repeatedly, since you’re working right next to it! In short, make your prototype fool-proof in your eyes before taking it to the next level. Over and above the obvious fool-proofing, this also enables you to assess whether you need to further tweak your prototype to better suit the end-goal it seeks to achieve.
- Design is everything, including savings! Remember, 70% of manufacturing costs of a product are determined through the decision making that goes behind the design. Optimize your design such that you minimize the need of having to tinker with it repeatedly to achieve the ideal prototype. Alterations do add to your costs, so the more time you spend on optimizing the design at the first instance, the closer you are to developing the most cost-efficient product.
- Source smart, save smart is the next mantra for savings on development. Devote time on sourcing the best pieces to assemble your product in the most cost-efficient manner. Consider all possible alternatives, including sourcing different parts from different suppliers, channeling funds into assembly, manufacturing overseas in emerging markets and such. Seek advice of peers and discover how they source their materials and pick up the best from a wide array of cost-saving sourcing options.
- Product testing is arguably the pick of the lot when it comes to optimizing costs even further during development phase. Opt for the classic alpha/beta tests where peers test your product (on grounds of anonymity of course) and provide you with constructive feedback on how you could enhance and improve the quality of the product. Incentivize the test-phase and encourage enthusiasts to partake in this process. This ensures you not only get the richest and most relevantly diverse spectrum of feedback, but also ensures you save big on costs. In the long run, while advertising and branding are a must, the word-of-mouth branding your testers undertake on your behalf would duplicate high returns as well, assuming of course the product is worth talking about!
In a nutshell, it’s safe to say that efficient cost-management and techniques to spend less and save more will have long-run benefits. Costs you save at the drawing-board stage of product development might be better invested elsewhere in the product life-cycle phase. Every penny counts in the sphere of development and hopefully, these techniques will reap rewards in much more than pennies for you in the grand scheme of things.