Brian Marick, a professional software testing consultant, said, “Testing a product is a learning process.” What does this mean? It is necessary to test the feasibility of your invention with the help of prototype manufacturers. If you don’t do this, you may cause your project to fail.
You have been spending hours, days and weeks at different meetings. These have allowed you to get excited about each feature and component your invention is receiving. Thanks to the help of creative engineers, you are contemplating the birth of a wonderful idea that came from your mind.
Also, you spent money to get each circuit, chip, and button necessary to assemble your prototype. And that’s not all, you hired the hands of the best human talent to work on your project. What’s next? You need to start testing. But how and with whom?
You need to do research on prototype manufacturing companies that can build your device. Sometimes the company that helped you build your prototype has the capacity to manufacture it. However, if that company cannot do it, make sure to work with a reliable prototyping company that protects your intellectual property. Ask them to give you the source files and guidelines of your prototype, and then, you will be able to look for a manufacturing company that can make many replicas of your device.
Why do you need prototype manufacturers?
Manufacturers that make prototypes are the key to build several replicas of your device. Getting copies of your product and putting them to work with different clients will provide a lot of data related to potential failures, performance, and quality. You may wonder, do I need to order 1.000 units? What happens if the prototypes fail?
Well, that’s the point. You need to have several units of your product to test how it will perform under different circumstances. However, you don’t need 1.000 units to do so. Usually, the product prototype manufacturing can go from 50 units to 700 units. That’s why we recommend you to look for a prototype manufacturing near you that can meet your needs, or a company that offers you the best service, no matter where it is located.
As a startup, you don’t need to invest a lot in manufacturing thousands of units. Pick the right number of prototypes you need to order and ask your potential clients to test it. Consider your budget, how many units may provide reliable information and how much time you have to get enough data.
Test the manufactured prototypes and learn
You already have some letters of intention or deals to start with pilots. Choose a small group of people or companies that may be interested in using your invention. Remember this won’t be the final version of your product, you are using low-cost materials assembled by companies that allow you to create many replicas.
If you don’t test your idea or invention, you won’t learn what’s wrong, what works out and what can be improved. See it as training sessions a soccer player must attend before the regular season starts. The soccer player identifies his weaknesses during the training sessions and works on them to be better.
Here, the soccer player is your invention, and the training sessions are the potential clients that will use it. The only difference compared to a final product is, they know it can fail at any moment. Since it is a prototype.
Would you risk your brand authority, money and credibility launching a deficient product that will fail in the first week of use? Good entrepreneurs know many risks are taken during sales, marketing and alliances; however, this is not a risk worth taking.
When you have tens or hundreds of prototypes being evaluated. You gain better insights about your invention. You would learn if the materials you chose are appropriate. If the design is user-friendly. Performance in time. Efficiency and effectiveness of your product. If the product solves the problems it is built for.
When you consider these aspects. You can identify potential improvements that are necessary for the prototype. If you have many doubts about the functionality or you got many errors during the testing time, the best option is to modify the prototype.
Go back to the lab and talk with the engineers, analyze all the information. Then, ask the prototype manufacturer company to build more replicas.
How does prototype manufacturing help you?
How many times will you need to test your invention to confirm its feasibility? It depends on you. We know the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) allows to offer basic features to the market. But even the basic version of a device needs to be high-quality and high-performance.
Remember the first iPhone? It was a simple version compared to the ones that are nowadays in the market. However, at that moment, the iPhone met the needs of the customers. People could trust the phone to do its job, and everyone was ok with that.
You know your product and what you want to achieve with it. So, after a proper testing time, and once you have excellent results of usability and client feedback, you may advance to the definitive version of your invention (since you are sure about its feasibility, costs and performance), ordering a mass production for the market.
We hope you liked this article and understood why it is necessary to manufacture prototypes of your invention. It’s better to be prepared before entering the market.