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First Stages of Product Development

Learn how to position yourself for success when you want to develop a new product or idea.

This month we’re going to veer off from the standard niche custom Android article to focus on a more general topic about product development.  The theme covered here still applies to people wanting to make a custom Android product.

Here’s a summary of the article if you want to make this a quick read.  For the best product development results, start by going to the right place.  Continue reading to understand the logic behind this statement.

A finished product is like a dish on the menu in a restaurant.  Assume the chef created the dish, rather than it coming from a recipe that’s been passed down.  Here is a likely scenario of how the dish arrived to its final state:

  1. Chef envisions a new dish, including a rough concept of ingredients, appearance, and taste.
  2. Chef sources multiple varieties of each ingredient from different suppliers.
  3. Using different ingredient options, the chef makes a sample dish to taste test the outcome.
  4. After going through several iterations of samples, testing different ingredients, different combinations, and different quantities, the chef chooses the best outcome.
  5. Unlike making one-off samples, making a dish for clients takes an organized plan. The plan will outline preparation of ingredients, how much to use of each ingredient, how long to cook, and a division of responsibility.
  6. Once there are a few sous-chefs trained on how to make the dish and the dish gets added to the menu for clients to buy.

Introducing a new dish to the menu comes at the end of a long development process.  Key elements of the development process include creativity, access to resources, testing, and documentation/standardization.  Manufacturing isn’t included in this list for a few reasons.  FIrstly not all innovations require manufacturing.  Secondly, as long as the manufacturing procedure is correct and documentation clear, manufacturing is mobile.

Often related to the environment, certain areas around the world have built unique competencies.  For example towns along the Portuguese coast, where there are big waves and cheap places to stay, have a concentration of surfers.  For someone who wants to make a new surfing related product, a surfing town brings them closer to creative ideas and people who can help with testing.  A new idea about efficient heating could be explored in Germany or northern Europe where it’s cold and there are already people working in this space.

There are countless kinds of inventions.  Creating new Custom Android devices requires specific competencies.  Electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, and software engineering are expertises that go into developing any Android device.  Having teams of engineers, electronics and case manufacturers, and supply chain resources nearby provides fertile ground for creating custom Android products.  Over the past 30+ years Shenzhen has created the perfect base for custom Android development (and almost all electronics development).

Innovations in agriculture could come from new ideas related to chemistry, farming processes, or biology.  To develop something in agriculture it would make sense to move near a university with an agriculture department or farms where the invention could be tested and refined.

These are only a few rudimentary examples.  Product development, or innovation in general, is extremely broad.  From electronics to medicine to soft goods to psychology to endless other fields, innovating in close proximity to creativity, resources, and competency gives a project the best chance to succeed.

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Expert insights from the frontline of Android manufacturing.