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

Should I Outsource Product Development?

To outsource or not to outsource? It’s a question that arises again and again in small companies. Why? Because technology is evolving rapidly, and many small companies are struggling to fund the fixed cost of a full-time team with the necessary diversity of skills needed to stay competitive. For years, small companies have been developing… Read More

When to Shut Down that Product Development Project?

“The future ain’t what it used to be.” Yogi Berra Sometimes product development projects do not live up to their initial promise. Knowing when to shut down a project can be an essential ingredient to success. Most new product ideas start with high expectations, but over time, some start to fade. Worse, this process often… 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

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

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

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

How to Diversify Into New Markets

In these challenging times, we see a lot of companies trying to figure out how to enter new markets. Many companies have found their markets have shrunk, or even disappeared. Even companies that have been unaffected are starting to wonder if they should diversify. But exactly how do you enter new markets? If you are… 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

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