Outsource or Not?

To outsource, or not to outsource, that is the question – or is it? For small companies, the answer is generally to do some of both. How do you know what to send out and what to keep in house? Here are a few things to think about. Like many other business decisions, the choice… Read More

Prototype to Production Process

The prototype is all done and it seems to work well. Now, how do you get the prototype manufactured reliably and at a reasonable cost? If you’re like a lot of small companies, this is not something you do all the time. Finish Line has done more than one thousand projects for more than 300… Read More

Small Company Product Development Cost Reduction

Small companies in niche markets know they can design better products, but can they sell enough of their products to pay back their investment? When unit volumes are low, the cost of developing the product can sometimes exceed the manufacturing cost. Here are a few tips for reducing product development cost in a small company:… Read More

Product Development and Company Culture

We have a lot of interactions with CMs (Contract Manufacturers). These companies are amazing—they can do ten thousand things and not make a single mistake. Their business must work this way to stay competitive. Product development, on the other hand, is different. In product development, you are lucky if you do 10 things and get… Read More

Product Development Path to Success

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any direction will do.” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland We are often brought in to help with troubled product development projects that are not progressing as expected. You might expect that the reason for the lack of success would be because of the team’s poor technical skills and… Read More

How to Destroy a Startup

I never met a startup that was not positive they would succeed.  Indeed, overconfidence is a necessary talent for becoming an entrepreneur; if only it was sufficient one as well we would not see 95% of startups fail. All entrepreneurs believe in themselves and their company; but in far too many cases, these same entrepreneurs… Read More

Different Ways to Pay for Product Development

There are many more ways to pay for product development than you may realize, including not paying for it at all. What is right for your situation will depend on your exact circumstances. You may wish to review the following before starting your next product development project. 1. Employees: Most of us are familiar with… Read More

Small Business Product Development

What’s the most common complaint managers of small businesses have about product development projects: it always costs too much and takes too long. Albert Einstein once said: “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them”. If you want to reduce product development time and money, then you are almost… Read More

If you Ignore it, it will go away

Sometimes it is just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. Ignoring product development will result in your business going away. This may seem like an obvious statement, but it happens much more often to small companies than it should and let me try to explain… Read More