Develop a Better Electronic Product Faster, Cheaper, and with Less Risk!

Entrepreneurs, Startups, Makers, Inventors, and Small Companies


Are you focusing entirely on getting a production-quality prototype as fast as possible that you can then present to potential investors, partners and customers?

You may think that creating a prototype of your product should be your number one priority. However, by doing so you are neglecting the big picture.

It can take six months to a year (or more) to get a production-quality prototype. Once you have your prototype, then you may finally look up hoping to see the big picture.

But by then it is too late.

You may look up to realize you’ve developed a product that can’t be manufactured and sold at a profit. Or you may realize your financial plan was unrealistic, so you are out of money and unable to proceed any further. Or you realize you’ve developed a product no one actually wants because it's just too expensive.

You may have made the mistake of developing a product that can’t be easily manufactured. Or you realize development took much longer than anticipated and the market for your product has changed or even disappeared.  Or you discover that investors want more than just a prototype, they want a company with a realistic plan.

The list can go on and on…

You can avoid all of these mistakes if you start your development process with something called a preliminary design.

A preliminary design focuses solely on the decisions that impact the big picture for your product. This includes your product’s performance, features, cost, profit margin, development feasibility and manufacturability. 

A preliminary design ignores any details that don’t impact the big picture for your product. You should worry about those later.

A preliminary design begins with a system-level design that defines the architecture, critical components, modules, and interfaces for a product to meet the specified requirements.

A system design is all about the big picture. On the other hand, a schematic design and PCB design are all about the fine details, so those steps should come later.

After completion of the system-level design you can now accurately estimate all of the costs required to launch your product. This includes the cost to develop, prototype, program, certify, scale, and most importantly the cost to manufacture your product.

Knowing these costs ahead of time will allow you to plan the best strategy forward.

When successful companies like Apple or Samsung are introducing new products do they just dive right into creating a prototype? Of course, not. 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 where we discuss the Predictable Hardware Report in-depth.

Predictable Hardware Report

Preliminary 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 three versions:

Basic - Provides estimates for development, prototyping, and scaling costs only.  No actual development work is included with this version.

Standard - Everything in the Basic version plus you get a preliminary product design with selection of all critical components, manufacturing cost estimates, an accurate timeline forecast, and 14 days of private consulting time.  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 block diagram of the electronics, and 60 days of private consulting time.

NOTE: The Standard and Premium versions are by far the most popular.  The Basic version provides an entry point for those on more limited budgets.  In almost all cases we highly recommend the Standard or Premium versions.




Engineering review

We perform an engineering review of your product in order to determine the development, scaling, and manufacturing complexity.

Development costs

Accurate estimates of the cost to develop and prototype the electronics, software, enclosure, and retail packaging.

Scaling costs

Accurate cost estimates for certification of the electronics (FCC, UL, CE, RoHS), setting up manufacturing, and other scaling costs (patents, liability insurance, factory auditing).

Timeline of major milestones

Detailed estimate of how long it will take to get your product to market.

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.

Preliminary product design ("pre-design")

We "pre-design" your product which means we design it enough to be able to accurately estimate the manufacturing cost.

Selection of major electronic components

We select all the major electronic components for your product in order to estimate the manufacturing cost.

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.

Recommended developers, suppliers & manufacturers

We recommend the best developers, suppliers, and manufacturers for 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.

Private consulting

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.

7 days

14 days

60 days

Introductory phone consultation

Introductory phone consultation to discuss your product before your report is started. (20 minutes)

Post phone consultation

Phone consultation after the report is completed to discuss your results. (30 minutes)

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.

Detailed engineering analysis

Written engineering analysis that includes details on the component selections, suggested alternative technologies, thoughts to improve the product, general advice, and more.

Report price

For the Standard and Premium versions the exact cost depends on the product. After we receive your product details we will confirm the exact price before purchasing.









"The hardware report is an excellent investment to launch a successful hardware product."

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.

Joseph Anoop Founder, Magnima

"Makes a very unpredictable area for startups VERY predictable. Absolutely what we needed at this early stage."

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!

Scott B. Peterson Founder,, Inc.


"Gave me the visibility into every part of the product cycle and helped me make key product decisions."

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.

Steve August Founder, Poinyent

Send me more information and a sample report. 

100% Money Back Guarantee

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far along do I need to be with my product?  What information do I need to provide?

All you need is a product concept.   No previous development or prototype is required.  We'll just need details on all of the various functions your product will implement and its intended purpose.


Can I ask questions about my report?

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.

Can we talk on the phone?

The Standard and Premium versions of this report both include an introductory phone consultation.  The Premium version also includes a second phone consultation after the report has been completed.

Will my report include a cost breakdown for every feature?

Yes, the Standard and Premium versions include a cost breakdown for each product feature.  This allows you to determine the best set of features for your product.

What happens after the report is completed?

As part of the Standard and Premium reports, I 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 (system-level) 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 Standard and Premium report versions also come 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.

I don't live in the U.S. so is this report still applicable to me?

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. 

What file format is the report?

The report will be provided as a Microsoft Excel file.  Other file formats may be available upon request.

Do I need to first create a Proof-of-Concept (POC) prototype?

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.

Is a working prototype included with the report?  What about a schematic diagram and PCB layout?

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.

What if my product is impossible to develop or manufacture?

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.

I've already picked the engineer or firm I want to design my product, why should I get this report?

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.

What type of products qualify for this report?

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.

What does it mean to "pre-design" my product?

A preliminary design (or "pre-design") means to design the product with just enough detail to answer some important questions, but without worrying yet about the tiny details that don’t have a big impact.  For this report, a pre-design means developing the system-level design, selecting all of the critical components, and estimating all of the costs.  For more information see this article.

How can you calculate the production cost before the product is fully developed?

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.

If I'm not happy with the report can I get a refund?

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.

How long does it take to complete the report?

The Basic version takes about 2 weeks to complete.  The Standard and Premium versions take about 3-4 weeks to complete.

How accurate are the estimates?

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.

Can't I just get free cost estimates by requesting quotes from product design firms?

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.

Is the information I share kept strictly confidential?  Do you sign an NDA?

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.

Can I use the Predictable Designs name in my investor materials?

Yes, if you purchase the Standard or Premium version of the report.  Then you may say that your product has been certified by Predictable Designs.  This will increase your chance of getting outside funding.

Shouldn't I instead work with a local designer?

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.

Can I upgrade to a higher report version later?

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

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