Product innovation within a well-established product design company can be challenging. Corporate politics, burdensome development processes, and competing priorities can suppress engineering creativity and limit the acceptance of new ideas. Corporations that are more successful at innovation tend to be smaller companies where bureaucracy and competing priorities don’t create road-blocks to creativity and invention. One option for corporations that are struggling to gain a leading edge in product design and engineering is to outsource innovation to a product development consulting firm.
When looking to develop a cutting-edge product, you are bound to encounter new, unproven technologies with the potential to turn your product into a serious revenue source. Incorporating these new technologies is a risky venture, but with thorough analysis and diligence you can mitigate these risks on your way to a successful product launch.
I was recently listening to a discussion about the difference between technology development and product development and why it’s so important to clearly understand. Lots of people fail to recognize the distinction and it costs them a lot of R&D dollars. Here’s one simple way to think about it.
The Technology Alliance recently hosted a talk entitled, “Sustainable Growth in Solar Power? New Materials Discovery and our Energy Future.” During the talk David Ginger, the Associate Director of the Clean Energy Institute, spoke about the primary challenges and exciting opportunities for renewable energy and, in particular, for solar power.
In a recent work session the question of how to control scope creep in product development came up. It was an interesting discussion and I was struck by how the causes could be described in a pretty simple way. That’s not to say controlling scope creep is simple, but knowing the source may be a place to start. Here are three to be aware of:
Recently people have been talking about the natural evolution of consumer wearables to include “medical grade” wearables and “ther-ables.” This conversation is happening as companies are thinking about how to broaden their markets, differentiate their offerings and improve value propositions. Many of the companies considering the jump to medical grade are currently selling products into the consumer fitness-tracking market. This market is lead by companies like Fitbit (2015, $1.8B revenue, 21.4M units sold) and players in the space are beginning view healthcare as an attractive adjacent market.
In the competitive landscape of medical devices and the advantages to being first to the market, many are tempted to move into product development at a rapid pace. Moving into product development quickly is full of risks, particularly in the medical technology space where development is heavily regulated and process driven. There are five elements of product development that you must thoroughly understand prior to entering formal medical device development to reduce risk. Missteps here will certainly cost you time and money and might even doom your product altogether.
Life Science Washington (formerly the WBBA) recently hosted an event called “So You Want to Build an App?” where researchers and technology leaders shared their experiences with developing mobile apps aimed at improving health. The participants are all working on innovative ways to improve delivery of care and increase patient engagement.