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

The True Cost of a Full-Time Engineer

Got a call from an engineering friend of mine. He just moved to a new city for a new job. He writes firmware for a small company. Reason for the call? He is bored and wondered if we had any projects he could work on. Good engineers love their jobs and hate just sitting around…. 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

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

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

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