- All consistently successful physical product companies follow similar paths to product launch. They may all have different names for each step, but goals of each step are the same.
- Great companies do as much work before launch as they can minimizing risk by controlling variables and costs. Inexperienced Crowdfunders don’t. The result is often a Manufacturing Death Spiral.
- Small-scale prototypes are often not fleshed out enough for mass production. Small changes in part design that you probably haven’t considered can greatly affect production and assembly costs.
- As a Product Creator, you have to know your customer and their needs well enough to be able to decide whether you can sacrifice a feature or tweak the design to save money on production without affecting your customer’s experience too much. Sometimes you will have to take a stand.
- It is not a good idea to let your manufacturer make these final design changes for you. You want to keep your design under your control. If you let the manufacturer have the final files, and you have a falling out, you will be hard pressed to get those files back.
About This Episode
Most Project Creators, and Product Creators specifically, have crowdfunding backwards.
They think, “Money first, product second.” (M-F-P-S)
It makes sense.
If you are looking at a low bank account, and don’t have experiencing raising angel or VC money or don’t want to sell ownership of your idea, then Crowdfunding sounds like a Pot of Gold at the end of a rainbow.
And while M-F-P-S CAN work, the failure rate is SUPER high.
That’s because there are two major ways a campaign can fail:
1- Project Creators don’t truly understand the problem they are solving and haven’t actually hit “Product Market Fit”, so the campaign fails at launch. Note: building a pre-launch audience (my favorite topic as regular listeners will note) is easy once you have hit Product Market fit, and nearly impossible if you don’t.
2- Project Creators have achieved Product Market fit, but their “Product” is in reality only an “Idea”. They don’t understand the manufacturing process and they haven’t fleshed out their true manufacturing costs. Once they raise a ton of money, they quickly find out that they are LOSING money on each order.
So you have to get as much of the manufacturing and marketing legwork out of the way BEFORE your launch as you possibly can.
So how do you do that?
Enter Filip Valica.
Filip Valica is a mechanical engineer and experienced product developer. He has worked for mom and pop shops as well as large companies like IBM.
He has brought a number of products to market and worked on all parts of the value chain, all with experienced companies.
What Filip noticed was that the systems and processes experienced companies use to minimize risk in a traditional product launch were nearly identical between companies.
After reviewing his DIY Product Development Flow Chart (see link below!) I knew his processes, when executed in parallel to my Product Launch Checklist, can drastically increase your chances of success!
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the interplay between marketing, design, and manufacturing.
I learned a bunch in this interview and I know you will too.