Building a prototype for a technological product isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do, especially if you’ve never done it before. Most people who undertake this type of project are currently studying in a tech-related field or have already obtained an advanced degree. However, there have also been many cases of self-taught entrepreneurs inventing and building their own tech prototypes, apps, and devices, without any formal education. Whether you’re a credentialed pro or a do-it-yourselfer, here are three factors you’ll definitely need to keep in mind
1. Testing & Troubleshooting
Building a prototype that works one time or in one specific way might feel like a success but it’s really just the beginning of the process. Once your prototype is working, or some of the components have already been assembled successfully, it’s time to start gradually testing performance and reliability as you go along. That way, your official prototype will have fewer flaws and a more refined overall design. There are many advanced topics to explore within the realm of prototype testing. For example, if you’re working with a printed circuit board (PCB), you may want to read this guide on Altium test points.
2. Material Costs & Safety
Of course, you can’t even order the components you need to get started with the project without factoring in the cost of materials. There are usually a wide range of pricing options available for each material type, so conducting a thorough comparison to choose an ideal supplier is an advisable move because it could save you tons of money and hassle in the long run. Likewise, it’s important to thoroughly understand the safety guidelines for the materials you’re working with in relation to issues like flammability, proper electrical usage, and best practices for working with sensitive or potentially hazardous materials.
Marketability is defined as the ability of a product, service, or brand to have an impact and make sales within its market. There are some great inventions that aren’t household products because the demand simply isn’t there to make them highly marketable products. For example, there are numerous flying car projects in development, but despite the fact that people have been asking about flying cars for decades, they still aren’t commonly sold because this form of futuristic personal transportation isn’t established enough to be considered widely marketable.
Be Prepared for Ongoing Development
Finally, it’s important to note that the prototype phase is really only the beginning of your design and development efforts, as you will eventually need to fix issues, provide updates, and release new versions of your product. Thus, be prepared for the ongoing process of addressing problems and maintaining innovation for the sake of staying competitive. Most product inventors take the approach of hiring a team to handle ongoing development needs beyond the initial product launch. However, while you may be tempted to take a completely hands-off approach, it’s best to keep some form of creative or administrative involvement in the product development aspect of your company’s brand maintenance efforts.