First Step to Creating a Great Product

A Requirements Document (RD) is the first step to creating a great product. Because it is the first step, an RD has the greatest leverage of all product development activities. A small error in the direction at this stage can make a big difference in where the product ultimately ends up. Good is the enemy… Read More

You Don’t Need A Prototype

We often get calls asking if we can design a prototype, or have we ever worked with the X Y Z technology? After a few probing questions, what we learn is that this company needs a product developed, not a prototype designed—at least not yet. Developing a product is different than designing a product or… 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

Employee vs. Contractor vs. Company

The most common inquiry we get from startups is “when do I use a company versus a contractor, versus an employee?” Our research has concluded that getting this question right correlates with startup success, and getting it wrong often leads to startup failure. So, what is the right answer?       Employee: – The… Read More

Speeding Up Product Development

Does it ever seem like the last 10% of the project takes 90% of the time? If you have had this experience, you are not alone. It happens all too frequently when trying to develop technology products in a small company. Managing a project with several different engineers, all with their unique areas of expertise… 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 a 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… 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

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