If you have a revolutionary technology or product idea that you want to sell, you sometimes want it to be on the market fast. This is especially when you have competitors who are also hoping to break into the same market. In the past, this would be impossible. But modern technology can allow for rapid prototyping and development like never before. If you want your product to be a reality within a year or even a few months, here are some tips you should keep in mind.
Before anything else, you need to be sure that there will be a market for your product. Rapid development can be stressful and expensive. You do not want to go through all that and get no interest from the market at large. Have a concept about the product on your desk and be ready to show it to investors and potential customers. Even better if you have a working prototype. Their initial reaction will decide whether it is worth it to go through all the effort.
Build a Team
The days of the lone inventor are long over. This is very noticeable when you plan on doing some rapid product development. For this to happen in your company, you need a team that will handle the job. Your company will still need to run so limiting it to a specific team ensures that your operations do not slow down.
As for the team, you need to have various team members that each perform their job and focus on one part of the product. When you hire people for your team, always try to get the best. Having a lot of people on the team might make it seem easier but you need some real experience and intelligence to get the development going. Your initial prototype should give you an idea of what sort of experts you need on the team. For example, a medical product will require a doctor if you want it to be effective.
A project manager will also be necessary to ensure that the team stays focused on the job. Team projects usually develop friction between members so the manager is also there to ensure that everyone is working well with each other. It is even better if your product development team has done this before. This means that they know what to expect.
Outsourcing Is Your Friend
Your team may not be able to do everything. While your team may have the experts to get it working, there are other aspects of the product that also need attention. This includes product design, marketing, and more. This is where outsourcing comes in. For example, there are design consultancy companies that specialize in making a product attractive on the store shelves. While your team focuses on making your concept workable, you can have an outside team working in marketing it and helping it catch people’s eyes.
Start Prototyping and Testing Early
You must have a prototype of your product as early as possible. Once you do, testing is an essential part of making it ready for the market. The earlier you do this, the faster you can identify what changes you have to make in your product. For example, legendary computer game designer Sid Meier started all of his legendary game designs with a bare-bones design to see whether his idea was fun or not. His constant prototyping and playtesting is legendary. It is hard to argue with the results though since he has made hit after hit.
In the same way, you should keep on testing your prototype to see whether it achieves the goals that you want. Some questions that you should be asking are whether the product can offer features that the customer needs and whether it will be affordable to produce.
Keep Investors Informed
If you have investors in your company, you likely showed them an early prototype of your product. You should make it a habit to inform them of any developments with your design and what your projections are for the product. This ensures that they are happy and will keep the money flowing for product development.
Get The Manufacturing Ready Early
Once you get the final prototype, your manufacturing team should be ready. For that to happen, you need to inform them of development and what tweaks and changes that they have to make. With the right updates, they can be mass-producing your product in no time.
Rapid development is a difficult thing to do. It will require a massive team effort but it can be worth it. When your product hits the shelves in only a few months, you will be ready to beat the competition.