5 Tips to Become the Best Hardware Innovator in the Business

by | Mar 10, 2020

Impossible doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Everything was impossible at some point until a new approach came along to change the way we look at things. This is exactly the reason why hardware is so difficult to innovate and develop. To create something entirely new, it requires you to actually innovate in a way that’s never been done before. Figuring that out is tough, and is the reason why so many hardware innovation ventures end in failure. Kurt Dammermann provides us with five tips that hardware innovators should follow to ensure success.

1. Don’t ever pretend that hardware is anything like software.
Hardware development requires real resources which translates to a whole lot of money. You can’t just tweak a line of code or iterate thousands of times to converge on the right answer.

2. Get everybody in on the process.
When you invite everyone in your organization to understand what is going to be happening with new hardware development, teams outside of design will realize how the process will impact them, and they can align the steps they need to take early on.

3. Understand that complete concepts are valuable, ideas… not so much.
A general idea doesn’t properly communicate the scope of a project to every team involved. A well thought out concept with real specifications leads to a quicker development process because it helps teams formulate an actual plan, rather than trying to speculate on what your vague idea might require them to do.

4. Engage in risk-analysis
Hardware innovation can be costly, so it is vital to have a goal, know the risks involved in attaining that goal, and do diligent research on how your piece of hardware will fit in the market. And whatever you do, don’t go down a path of redeveloping something that is already out there; taking a leap of faith is an absolute necessity when it comes to creating something completely new.

5. Commit 100%.
Of course, it is nerve-wracking to contemplate months of development and the possibility that it could all be for naught. However, a hardware innovation venture is almost guaranteed to fail if your organization is not fully committed. Commitment ultimately translates to a much faster development process and also better deals with suppliers.

There is a lot about hardware innovation that makes it seem impossible to actually succeed. But despite the risks being so high, the rewards can be even higher. Realizing what you are getting into and making good decisions early on in the development process is what a truly successful hardware innovator is best at, and unlike the physical hardware, that formula can be replicated again and again.
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