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

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

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

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

5 Signs Your Team is Dysfunctional

It is no secret that a functional team will always outperform a dysfunctional one. Any sports fan will tell you the coach’s ability to get the team to work together as a team will always outperform a group of dysfunctional superstars. But, how do you tell if your team is dysfunctional? Look for these 5… 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

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

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