In this last lesson, I’ll be sharing some valuable final thoughts, tips, and recommendations, including the key rules for success with a new product.
We have covered a lot of material in a short amount of time, and when you see it all laid out it may seem like a Herculean task to get a new hardware product to market. But don’t get overwhelmed.
It’s definitely not easy, but I assure you it is possible, regardless of your skills, education, or location.
Although I’ve already shared with you many of the valuable lessons I learned bringing my own hardware product to market, I want to now quickly summarize some of the key rules for success that I discovered:
Rule #1 – Always minimize your financial risk.
Rule #2 – Don’t rush past product validation.
Rule #3 – Prioritize marketing and networking from day one.
Rule #4 – Don’t be overly secretive. Always get help and feedback from others.
Rule #5 – Focus more on your customers than on your product.
Rule #6 – Simplify your product to the most fundamental features.
Rule #7 – Sell it before you make it (as much as possible).
Rule #8 – Have a long-term vision, but focus on taking small, consistent steps.
My final suggestion
Regardless of where you are in the journey, the most important thing for you to do right now is to connect with others for advice, guidance, and feedback.
Not only do you need connections with advisors, experts, customers, and investors, you also should surround yourself with other like-minded hardware entrepreneurs.
No one understands the challenges you face better than other hardware entrepreneurs. You can learn so much by talking with founders of other hardware startups.
Great things can happen by networking and connecting with others.
For example, an entrepreneur named Fraser recently joined my Hardware Academy platform and shared his product in the community for feedback. This was his first product and he was still at the pre-prototype stage. Fraser’s past experience was in marketing not engineering.
Not only did Fraser get lots of tremendously helpful feedback but he also caught the attention of another member named Elliot who already had a successful hardware company.
He liked Fraser’s product and felt it would be a good addition to his current product line.
After connecting, they struck a mutually beneficial deal. Elliot agreed to manage and fund the development, while Fraser would focus on the marketing. Needless to say Fraser was thrilled!
These type of connections are not typical or easy, but they are possible if you put yourself and your product out there.
Never stop networking yourself and marketing your product!
Most importantly, you need advisors and experts you trust to guide you along the path to market.
You specifically need at least one good advisor (although the more the better) that has actually brought a hardware product to market and built a company around it.
There is no shortage of fantastic engineers, and experts on every topic imaginable. But very few people have ever taken a hardware product all the way from idea to market.
Here are some of the ways to find and connect with advisors, experts, and other hardware entrepreneurs:
Hire experts and advisors – You can always hire experts as needed. But private experts are expensive with many charging $100 to $250 per hour. I personally used to charge up to $200 an hour.
You should also be careful because a lot of the advice you get may be biased due to conflicts of interest.
For instance, if you hire an engineer, they will make more money if they convince you to design a more complex product. Or, if you a hire a patent attorney they will encourage you to get a full patent, otherwise they won’t make any money.
Their financial interests don’t align with yours, and aren’t tied to your success. Always be careful of following the advice of people who have a conflict of interest with your own goals.
Forums, online groups, and social media – There are free forums and online groups you can join, but since they are open to anyone the quality is low, and you don’t know who to trust. Some social media platforms can be good ways to network, especially LinkedIn.
Non-profit organizations – There are non-profit organizations such as SCORE in the United States with retired business executives who want mentor new entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to find anyone with actual hardware startup experience.
Local meetups – Local meetups can be another great way to connect with other hardware entrepreneurs and experts. These are normally only an option for those living in larger cities, and with the pandemic local meetups are not an option anywhere.
Honestly, there has never been a great way for hardware entrepreneurs to connect up with advisors, experts, or other hardware entrepreneurs which is one of the main reasons I created the Hardware Academy. But more on that later…
Hope you have found this course to be helpful! If you have any questions just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you.
Other content you may like:
- Rules for Success I Learned Bringing My Own Hardware Product to Market
- Episode #28: Marketing Lessons Learned with Fraser Vaage, Founder of Snik
- The Importance of Finding Advisors for Your Hardware Startup
- Lesson 3: The Strategic Way to Develop and Sell Your New Electronic Hardware Product
- Episode 30 : How to Execute Quickly with Miguel Hernandez of Palocam