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Advice for Startups (Part 1)

One of the first questions a startup must consider is this: What is the special value of the product that you're looking to build? Read our advice for startups to find out.


When starting a company, good advice early on can be the difference between success and failure.

You can get a lot of valuable everyday wisdom from those who have gone before you and those who have already built a strong knowledge base in the areas that you may not be as familiar with.

This is the first of a two part newsletter/blog to give you advice, suggestions and some useful information to help you with your start up.

The first step is the idea for a product that serves a need. What is the product that you are looking to build?

It is important to identify what your product will be, where its key values will lie and defining what will be unique about your product.

When considering the design of a new product there is often the desire to fit in as many features and functions as possible like a Swiss army knife.

Sometimes less is more, especially when developing a product from scratch. More features often not only make your product unnecessarily complicated to use, but slower to develop.

One approach would be to identify all the feature options available and then strip it back leaving your product with the essential features and the features that will make your product unique.

This significantly increases your chances of a smoother and quicker development, with more ‘buy in’ from your development team.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way of carrying out some market research we recommend looking at customer reviews of existing products and forums that might relate to your product. This can help you identify the features to include (or not) in your product.

Reviewing this information can be an effective way to discover what people want/find important, what problems they find with existing products or what they like about them and where there may be a gap/opening in the market.

Making price point your main objective and trying to find the cheapest manufacturer and suppliers out there may not always transpire as you envisage.

Looking beyond the price to attain a competent manufacturing and support team saves you and your start-up time, money and headaches.

Most importantly getting the product done well and quickly earns you credibility among investors, customers and allows you to build up volume – accomplishing this has a high intangible value.

Choosing the wrong supply partner can bring about numerous difficulties down the line. Great ideas + wrong execution = waste of great idea. Similarly cheap and low volumes will kill your momentum.

However, with the right mentality and the right product your start-up may blossom. Your goal as a hardware start-up is to quickly separate yourself from the herd of people with a ‘great idea’ into the club of those who have ’got a product’

End of part 1

Next month, part 2 will look at where you can get your product manufactured and your options in managing your resources.

By Garry from Hatch

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