There’s a valley of death for hardware startups. Ironically, it occurs when companies start selling their product. Bolt blog
Manufacturing hardware is hard(-ish), but your journey does not end there. Hitting the market with your first batch does not automatically build a business and solve all of your problems. As the blog post mentions, there are quite a few problems for hardware creators after they enter the market, like the fact that the economies of scale are not working yet, so you cannot get your manufacturing price down. If you raise the product price, the customer acquisition becomes even harder. And there is a question of getting your next financing round for further production. The article provides great advice of how to go around these issues and we want to add few more things you can do to go through these hurdles and come out successfully:
- Find solutions to reduce the cost during the whole product development process. So now as we have established, your first batch will not be the big relief moment for your company. Thus, it is best to find more affordable resources available for creators, like:
- MediaTek’s free IoT cloud services to test your product functionality.
- CECport free engineering consulting for component sourcing related issues.
- Litepoint RF consulting for the design verification of wireless products, which usually is very costly.
- Flex free electrical engineering design consulting services.
- Linkers program for finding suppliers in Japan..
- Get into more markets to reduce your manufacturing Cost-per-Unit. Currently you are probably planning to release your product into North American and/or European markets. You can scale your production (it applies for the first and for your future batches as well) by finding retail partners in additional target markets. Currently on HWTrek we have these programs for China’s market:
- Make deals with E-tailers beforehand. More on more online markets have special services for hardware gadgets with specialized promotions. Some of them to check out:
- Bolt: The Hardware Startup Valley of Death
- An Investor’s Guide to Hardware Startups: Competitive Positioning
- Bringing a Hardware Product to Market