On April 27th, Martine Stillman (Synapse Mechanical Engineer Program Lea
The second tip on what it takes to deliver a product in our Kickstarter series zeros in on the product development process, something we here at Synapse know very well-from concept to creation and beyond.
Crowdfunded projects begin with a great idea, often conceived by great product designers. Once the idea is in place, it's a full-on race to get the funding. And then it happens. The Pebble watch hit its Kickstarter goal in two hours, and within six days was the most well-funded project on the platform with more than 60,000 people pledging over $10,000. Suddenly, the small Pebble staff went from planning on building 1,000 smart watches in the Bay Area, to needing to mass-produce and ship 85,000 watches to eager customers.
As with many of these crowdfunded devices, a crash course in product development ensues. For any company in this position, a familiarity with the entire process will go a long way in ensuring a successful product launch. Synapse has broken down the product development into five stages:
Conceive: What's most interesting of these crowdfunded projects is that they are being conceived by individuals and relying on the public to validate the market
Develop: And once they achieve their funding goals, the development process goes into motion - validating the engineering and design, which requires room to tinker and improve
Realize: Production begins and it's important to ensure that the product can be made to scale to demand
Support: "Shipocalypse," as many crowdfunding teams refer to it, fulfilling orders requires more than licking stamps
Retire: It’s the end of the product’s lifecycle. Time to start working on the next version.
In the coming weeks, we will be unveiling a detailed overview of the product development process on our website. But for now, here is a nice visual representation of the five stages, from concept-to-market.