Why do some hardware products fail? There are a range of mistakes done by hardware businesses that result in product failure. In this article, we will discuss the most common technical mistakes done at the early stages of hardware product manufacturing, and ways to avoid them.
One of the most common reasons for product failure is an underestimation of product development. Naturally, it is difficult to estimate the costs and time required for product design and manufacturing since uncertainty and challenges occur regularly. Thus, keep in mind that the development of new products almost always takes longer than anticipated.
Mass manufacturing underestimation
Another common technical mistake is the underestimation of the complexity of scaling the product from a prototype to mass manufacturing. Indeed, the scaling process requires costs and time, so professionals recommend to bear in mind manufacturing at the earliest stages of hardware development. If you think about how to manufacture your product at these early stages, it will be much easier to do it when it comes to the actual manufacturing. The most vivid illustration of this mistake is enclosure design and mass production. It is easy to create plastic prototypes for a product with the use of 3D printing, but manufacturing this product requires completely different technologies. So, in the cases when entrepreneurs do not consider this difference, mass production of their product turns out to be const- and time-consuming.
Excessive complexity of a product
Entrepreneurs often are willing to create a ‘perfect’ product that will encompass numerous functions and have every possible feature. Creating such a complex product, businesses believe that it will fulfill various needs of consumers and, thus, will be more popular among them. However, creating a perfect product is a bad idea. For one thing, you don’t have unlimited time. For another thing, you also do not have unlimited costs. So, it is unlikely that your product will be perfect (as well as it is unlikely that this perfect product is needed).
In order to avoid this mistake, professionals in electronic design recommend beginning with the simplest version of your product. Instead of adding a long list of features, focus on the core features of your product. You can even use a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) strategy. By doing so, you will get feedback on your product from real customers and, further, use it to improve your product. Another way to avoid the excessive complexity of a product is the estimation of every feature. When you estimate costs and time for each feature you want to include in your product, you can realize that some of these features are needless. Thus, you will make a better decision on features that are really necessary for your product. Also, in order to estimate the product, you can hire an experienced company. Applying to professionals increases the chances for your product’s success.
Finally, the last but not least reason for hardware product failure is giving customers promises that cannot be fulfilled. Even in cases when your product is expected to be finished soon, do not promise anything until it’s ready. Remember that the product development process is full of uncertainties and unexpected challenges. At the same time, it can be useful to inform customers about your progress. Still, do not make any promises in order to avoid consumers’ disappointment.
So, as you see, there are numerous technological mistakes of hardware product entrepreneurs that you can learn from. Naturally, this list of reasons for failure is not exhaustive. You should analyze the failures of other companies constantly, thus learning from them. Still, keeping in mind these common mistakes, you can easily avoid them and create a successful hardware product.