Last updated: July 2018
Entrepreneurs, Startups, Inventors, and Small Companies
When bringing a new hardware product to market you may think a patent and a prototype should be your first priorities.
But, patents and prototypes (production-quality, not just proof-of-concept) are expensive and take a long time to complete.
The problem with this strategy is that you may one day discover you’ve spent all this time and money on a product idea that cannot be affordably developed, or feasibly manufactured, or most importantly, sold at a profit.
A smarter strategy begins with a preliminary production design that focuses on your product’s performance, features, architecture, critical components, cost, profit margin, development feasibility and manufacturability.
A preliminary production design allows you to accurately estimate all of the costs required to launch the product. This includes the cost to develop, prototype, program, certify, scale, and manufacture the product.
Is it feasible to develop? Can I afford to develop it? How long will it take to develop? Can it be mass manufactured? Can it be sold at a profit? Those are questions that you need to answer before a patent or a prototype.
When successful companies like Apple or Samsung are introducing new products do they just dive right into getting a patent and creating a prototype?
No. They first have a plan. They first look at the big picture.
That is the purpose of the Predictable Hardware Report.
Watch this video interview with Chris Gammell of Supplyframe.com where we discuss the Predictable Hardware Report in-depth.
Preliminary production design and detailed cost analysis for your new electronic hardware product. All that is required is a detailed product description.
The Predictable Hardware Report is available in two versions:
Standard - You get a preliminary production design, selection of all critical components, manufacturing cost estimates, an accurate timeline forecast, and 14 days of private consulting time. Plus you get estimates for the development (hardware & software), prototyping, and scaling costs. You also get recommendations for developers, suppliers, and manufacturers.
Premium - Everything in the Standard version plus you get a written engineering analysis of your product, a post-report phone consultation, and 60 days of private consulting time.
Preliminary production design
We develop a preliminary production design of your product allowing us to identify any technical complexities and to accurately estimate all of the costs.
Manufacturing cost (Cost of Goods Sold - COGS)
Accurate estimate of the manufacturing cost for your product. Includes the electronic component costs, assembled PCB, enclosure, mechanical parts, product assembly, quality testing, scrap, returns, logistics, and duties.
Manufacturing cost by product feature
Knowing the cost for each feature allows you to select the most cost effective feature set for your product.
Selection of major electronic components
We select all the major electronic components for your product in order to estimate the manufacturing cost.
Block diagram design of the electronics
Detailed high-level design of your product's electronics showing all of the critical components and how they interface.
We perform an engineering review of your product in order to determine the development, scaling, and manufacturing complexity.
Electronics development costs
Estimates of the cost to develop and prototype the electronics.
Software development costs
Estimates of the cost to develop embedded firmware, computer software, and mobile apps.
Enclosure development costs
Estimates for the cost to develop and prototype the enclosure.
Retail package development costs
Estimates for the cost to develop and prototype the retail package.
Cost estimates for certification of the electronics (FCC, UL, CE, RoHS).
Manufacturing setup costs
Estimates for the cost to setup mass manufacturing
Miscellaneous scaling costs
Cost estimates for intellectual property protection (patents, trademarks, and copyrights), factory audit, and product liability insurance.
Timeline of major milestones
Detailed estimate of how long it will take to get your product to market.
Recommended developers, suppliers & manufacturers
We recommend the best developers, suppliers, and manufacturers for your product.
Suggestions on how to lower costs
Specific strategies to reduce development, scaling, and manufacturing costs.
Strategies to reduce development risks
Specific strategies to reduce the risk to develop your product.
Profit and sales price estimations
We provide the suggested retail price and profit margins based on the estimated manufacturing cost.
Certified by Predictable Designs
Include Certified by Predictable Designs on your investor and crowdfunding materials to improve your chance of securing funding.
After the completion of your report you'll be able to ask all the questions you wish via email about the report and how you should best move forward. You can also ask questions while the report is in progress.
Introductory phone consultation
Introductory phone consultation to discuss your product before your report is started. (20 minutes)
Post-report phone consultation
Phone consultation after the report is completed to discuss your results. (30 minutes)
Power use estimations
Estimates for the total power consumption and battery life.
Written engineering analysis
Written engineering analysis that includes details on the component selections, suggested alternative technologies, thoughts to improve the product, general advice, and more.
The price ranges shown cover 90% of products. The cost for exceptionally complex products may be higher. After we receive your product details we will confirm the exact price before purchasing.
Offering the most cost-effective components to build the hardware, the report is an excellent guide to design high-quality hardware for an optimal price. The report also provides break-downs of the cost involved at each stage of product development such as costs for electronics, mechanical enclosures, firmware etc. Gaining accurate cost estimates help with planning to raise the capital needed for the project and also identify cost savings. The report is followed up by an excellent consulting service.
Cost estimates for our hardware needs were perfect and incredibly detailed. Very professionally done and makes it appear that we really did do our homework on the hardware needs of our young startup! Highly recommend as one can spend a small sum of precious capital instead of expensive guessing to arrive at very solid estimates!
Easily paid for itself in both helping me spot areas of product risk and in giving me an education in what it takes to get a hardware product to market. As a hardware product first timer like myself, I needed to understand development and manufacturing costs to know if I should even pursue my idea.
If you are not happy with your report I will give you a full refund. But, I guarantee you will be happy! In fact, I will continue to work with you until you are 100% happy with your report.
All you need is a product concept. No previous development or prototype is required. If you have a Proof-of-Concept (POC) prototype based on a development kit like an Arduino or Raspberry Pi then that's great, but it is not required.
Yes! You get consulting time with me after your report is complete to ask any questions you wish. The amount of consulting time you get depends on which version of the report you purchase.
Yes, both versions of the report include an introductory phone consultation. The Premium version also includes a second phone consultation after the report has been completed.
Yes, the report includes a cost breakdown for each product feature. This allows you to determine the best set of features for your product.
As part of your report, I will recommend the best developers, programmers, suppliers, and manufacturers for your product.
After the report is completed one of the recommended developers will need to be hired to take the report's preliminary production design and turn it into a full schematic diagram. Next, the PCB layout is designed based on the schematic diagram. Once the PCB layout is completed then prototypes can be ordered and tested.
I also offer design review services so I can confirm that your final electronics design (schematic and PCB layout) is good to go before you spend money on prototyping. These services are only available to those that first begin with the Predictable Hardware Report. If you purchase a Premium report you get a $100 discount on design reviews.
The report also comes with private consulting with me (14 days for Standard, 60 days for Premium) so I can continue to help you proceed forward with your product. Once the included consulting time has expired you have the option to purchase additional private consulting with me. This allows me to continue to be a long-term member of your team.
Yes, definitely. I've worked hard to make the report applicable regardless of your location. The report primarily assumes that full production will be done in China not in the U.S.
The report will be provided as a Microsoft Excel file. Other file formats may be available upon request.
The simple answer is no. A Proof-of-Concept (POC) prototype serves one purpose: to prove the concept to yourself and potential users. Some products are best served by starting with a POC prototype, while in other cases a POC will provide no valuable information. It really depends if your general product concept has any big, unresolved questions.
The decision whether or not to begin with a POC prototype also depends on your skills. If you're a maker or electronics enthusiast and you have the skills to create your own POC prototype then by all means go for it.
But if you don't have the skills to create a POC prototype, and your product has no big questions in regards to the overall concept, then you are likely better off skipping the POC and focusing on the production version of your product. Keep in mind that large tech companies almost never develop POC prototypes because they usually just increase the time to market.
No, the report does not include the creation of the schematic, PCB layout, or actual prototype. One of the purposes of the report is to help you understand the costs required to develop a production-quality prototype.
This report focuses on the system-level design which is the precursor to the schematic diagram. As part of your report I will recommend various developers who can take your report and create a schematic diagram, PCB layout and then a working prototype.
It's extremely rare for a product idea to be completely impossible. Just about anything is possible if you have enough money, time, skills, and motivation.
But, before you actually purchase the report we will review your product specifications at no cost and tell you if your product is impossible to develop or manufacture.
On the other hand, determining whether or not your product is realistic or affordable to develop is one of the many questions this report will answer for you.
Regardless of who designs your product this report will prove its value. To my knowledge, no other design firm offers anything like this report. Sure, they'll tell you their fee, but that's probably it. Like most designers they'll be happy to jump right into designing your product without looking at the big picture first.
This report helps you before you begin full development, and independently of who ultimately designs your product.
If your product requires electronics then it very likely qualifies for this report. There are only rare exceptions that don't qualify. For example, exceptionally complex products may not be within the scope of this service. Before purchasing the report we will review your product specifications at no cost and let you know if your product doesn't qualify.
We start by selecting the critical electronic components. Then we are able to calculate the cost of the fully assembled Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Next, we estimate the enclosure cost based on the type of material used, the volume of material required, and the number of cavities in the injection molds.
Finally, we add in the cost of any mechanical parts, product assembly, quality testing, scrap, returns, logistics, and duties.
Yes, if you are not happy I will give you a full refund within 14 days of the completion of your report. This gives you sufficient time to review your report. However, each report is fully custom and they take considerable time to prepare, so please don't abuse this good will. That being said, you WILL be happy! In fact, I will continue to work with you until you are 100% happy with your report.
The reports take 3-4 weeks to complete. Expedited service is available for an additional fee. Contact us for details.
The consulting time (14 days for Standard, 60 days for Premium) begins once the report is completed. However, you are welcome to also ask questions while the report is in progress.
They are estimates based on my decades of experience developing and manufacturing electronic products. I use a wide variety of sources to provide accurate estimates.
Absolutely not. Design firms may give you a quote for the development fees but not the scaling costs. And definitely not the manufacturing cost which is the core of this report. The manufacturing cost takes days of engineering work to calculate accurately. Also most designers bill on an open-ended hourly basis and many will give you an unrealistically low estimate on the development costs. Your final development cost may be 2-5x higher than their original estimate.
Yes! Before sharing your product details we will sign an NDA to protect all proprietary information that you share with us. Everything you share with us will be kept strictly confidential and you always retain full ownership.
Yes, you may say that your product has been certified by Predictable Designs. This will increase your chance of getting outside funding.
We work with entrepreneurs all around the world including the U.S., Canada, the UK, India, Brazil, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and more. You can't hire the best if you limit yourself to only local designers.
No other design firm offers anything like the Predictable Hardware Report. Regardless of who ultimately designs your product this report will prove its value.
Yes, and you will only pay the difference between the new version and the version you previously purchased.
Predictable Hardware Report is a trademark of Predictable Designs LLC
Copyright 2018 by Predictable Designs LLC