How to Develop a Product, Part 1: Niche Market

We often get calls asking if we can design a prototype, or, have you ever worked with the XYZ technology/IC/Software/etc. After a few probing questions, what we learn is that this company really needs a product developed, not a prototype designed—at least not yet. Developing a product is not the same as designing or building… 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

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 that this company need is a product developed, not a prototype designed—at least not yet. Developing a product is different than designing a product or… Read More

How to Get Venture Capitalist to Invest in Your Startup

Some of the myths about raising money are all too familiar. “I just need to be introduced to the right person.” “I will put my idea on one of those crowdfunding platforms.” “Once my prototype is done, everyone will want to fund me.” Or, my favorite, “We will bootstrap with [students/interns/work for stock] people.” Raising… Read More

Ways to Reduce Product Development Cost

Small companies do not have significant sales volumes to offset development cost. They must keep product development budgets reasonable, without sacrificing quality. However, they often have smaller and inefficient teams. They also have less than complete processes and long product life cycles. What should a small company do? Here are the top 3 methods for… Read More

The Three Funding Phases of a Startup

Some of the myths about raising money in a startup are all too familiar. “I just need to be introduced to the right person.” “I will put my idea on one of those crowdfunding platforms.” “Once my prototype is done, everyone will want to fund me.” Or, my favorite, “We will bootstrap with [students/interns/work for… Read More

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 were the product ultimately ends up. Good is the enemy… Read More

Product Development – The Great Unknown

Decision making is fundamental to any professional activity. The study of “decision bias” is a fascinating subject. These studies show that the root cause of most faulty decision making is the wrong assumption. One of the most common faulty assumptions in the product development world is that the development budget and time is an obvious… Read More

The Three Rules

I just finished reading the book “The Three Rules“. This academic team attempted to find “rules” of biz that are ALWAYS true. They found three: Rule #1: Better before Cheaper Rule #2: Revenue before Cost Rule #3: There are no other rules. “Better before Cheaper” means that if you are faced with a choice between… Read More