By Paul Moruzzi, Program Manager
When developing a new innovative product, looking for perfection can oftentimes hinder your ability to introduce the product to market. Industrial designers can continue tweaking concepts, engineering teams can continue to find improvements past basic functionality, and marketing teams can get caught up comparing a new concept to unrelated products already on the market.
This pertains specifically to newly developed technologies that do not have direct competition in the field. It is critical to get new, innovative products into real customers’ hands for true evaluation, rather than wait to achieve “perfection”. New concepts may have flaws or problems – that is OK! Early adopters typically understand that there are bumps in the road when jumping in on the first wave of new product testing. These customers can become your best resource for transparent feedback, and it is important to openly accept and evaluate their comments.
It can be dangerous for smaller startup businesses to compare the look and feel of their new and innovative product to other products that have been on the market and iterated for years. The issue is not when comparing to the same family of products (as there are likely few equivalents), but comparing their product to ones in other markets with different customer expectations. One recurrent example is comparing the user experience to that of a cell phone, which may not enhance your ability to get your products out the door.
Cell phone companies make millions of devices and invest heavily in research to drive look and feel items that have not been done previously. Coupled with this research, these companies are willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to develop techniques to get the look and feel they desire. They innovate with each new generation, spending significant capital to develop infrastructure, which allows them to produce their devices at a price consumers will pay.
This can be a challenge when you apply the same thinking to a piece of capital equipment that you may make at volumes of 100 or 1,000 per year. Trying to achieve these features without spending the capital needed to develop new processes can greatly delay product introduction. The result of these delays may be that another competitor comes out with a similar product, making it harder to gain a share of the market.
Delivering products to market quickly, collecting real-world feedback, and then planning on incremental releases can be one of the best ways for your product to succeed. Columbia Tech provides world-class product development, manufacturing, global fulfillment, and aftermarket services, acting as an extension of your team and allowing you to get your product to market quicker and more cost-effectively than your competitors.