As a CEO, you have been accumulating experience and knowledge from the market. You have analyzed your competitors, the different products that are traded and how they help consumers to solve a need. Suddenly, you come up with a disruptive business project. Then, you start looking for rapid prototyping services to test your idea and make it profitable. Where should you start?
In this article, you will find out how it works and what are the pros and cons of rapid prototyping.
Product design and rapid prototyping
Rapid prototyping companies know you can’t wait too long to introduce your product or technology into the market. So, making a product design and a rapid prototype in a short time is a life or death situation, in other words, time is money.
We are in the information era, and that means anyone in the world could imagine the same idea you sketched in your office or at home last night. Why could that happen?
Because of globalization, people around the world are quickly getting exposed to almost the same technologies, products, and services as you do in your city. Also, it’s a new world where the same problems arise, and with that, the same solutions are needed.
Your sketch or design looks great, but it would look better if it were real. That’s why we suggest you get rapid prototyping, whether you are in San Diego, New York, San Francisco, or any other place, you need to test your project and see how viable it is (financially, market adoption velocity and its life cycle).
What about electronics in rapid prototyping?
A new device probably needs electronic components, so you also have to consider these tools into your design. If you haven’t, don’t worry.
A specialized company in rapid electronic prototyping can provide you with the proper designs to meet the requirements of your product. They can develop a quick design to get an initial insight into how it may perform. However, if the design you have in mind is difficult to build, considering the distribution of the circuits, buttons and mold, the company could do some reverse engineering in the process of rapid prototyping.
How does reverse engineering work?
Usually, the prototyping process starts when the entrepreneur shares the idea or requirements for the business idea with the company. A quick design is made to test the concept. Then comes the prototype construction. Potential customers will use it to see how it performs and then get feedback. The prototype will be improved and tested again until the feedback and performance are positive. Finally, the entrepreneur could start producing the final version of the prototype for the market.
But what happens when the initial concept doesn’t work? Does this mean the prototyping and rapid application development process will fail? No, the solution here is reverse engineering. That is, to deconstruct the initial design the entrepreneur proposed to extract its primary purpose. Only good prototyping companies have the best engineers to carry out that task.
From that point, the engineers will work on a new design that fits the possibilities of electronics and that approaches the most the initial concept of the entrepreneur. Application development is also important in the prototyping process, since it will control data or measure the functionality of the product.
Cons of rapid prototyping
Rapid prototyping services may benefit you and give you a quick outcome to test your business idea. However, there are also some cons you must consider:
Poor analysis – We have to consider the negative scenarios where the prototype may be functional, but not according to the initial concept the entrepreneur wanted to build. Some specifications may be left off the table (that can be game changers in the final product), not because of incompetence, but because of the short time to develop the idea for the market.
Prototype looked better – The entrepreneur may perceive the prototype as a closer version of his idea than the final product in the mass production. This could happen because he spent more time using the prototype than the final product.
Running is not always the best option – Rapid prototyping helps CEOs and entrepreneurs develop a business idea in a short time. However, there is a chance waiting a little longer can improve your product. We know the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a winning insight for a new service or product. But think about this, is the market ready for your product? Will they accept it? Is it the right time?
Pros of rapid prototyping
Estimation of costs and possible risks – Once you have a viable prototype, you can identify how much it will cost to you to go live in the market. How much budget you will need to produce it massively, and the financial risks you are taking by doing so.
User feedback saves money – When your potential customers use your prototype, they will give you positive or negative feedback. This will help you make corrections and adjustments before launching your final product. On the other hand, launching a product without considering feedback may cost you a lot, not only money, but authority in the market.
Crowdfunding – Do you have a functional prototype but not the budget to produce it? The answer may be crowdfunding. There are several online places (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, among others) where you could show your prototype to get funding from investors around the world.
Patenting – Once you have a prototype of your idea, you could get the patent and protect your invention. You will be the only startup or company able to sell it around the world and make profits.
Market research – Rapid prototyping can help you discard quickly a business idea the market doesn’t need. Users will tell whether your idea will be accepted or not.
Rapid growth – Once your prototype has been tested and improved, you will enter the market with a high-quality product that will attract early adopters of new technology. Other companies that try to follow you won’t get the same financial results as you, because you were the first to enter the market.
We expect you to have a better understanding of rapid prototyping by the end of this article. Remember to consider the pros and cons and decide according to the idea you may think to develop. Like somebody said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”