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Ideation to Distribution—Expert Q&A

How do you successfully take your idea to market? Even large companies that have been household names for more than a decade experience difficulty getting their new products to consumers as fast as desired—that makes the market incredibly intimidating for start-ups still working on their first prototypes. At HardwareCon3 this year, FATHOM Co-Founder and Principal Rich Stump participated as a panel member to discuss the challenges and possibilities when developing and distributing a new product. For the full scoop from this panel, take some time to view the video below.

Moderated by Bob Christopher, the conversation also includes insights from Brady Forrest, Vice President of Highway 1, and Sandeep Sood, CEO of Monsoon. Stump and his fellow hardware experts cover topics such as:

  • Efficient approaches to crowdfunding and pre-order campaigns
  • The pros and cons of distributing direct-to-customer vs. retail
  • First steps when developing products for consumers
  • Designing for margins
  • How to think beyond the initial 18 months
  • The importance of prototyping

“We see companies that don’t build enough prototypes, more so than companies that build too much,” said Stump. “But then there’s the catch-22—at some point, the design needs to freeze. You need to move on… A lot of the founders I see are so detail-oriented that they want the product 100% dead-on, and they’re not getting to manufacturing.”

Forrest also elaborated on the disadvantages of spending too much time on prototyping—development costs can quickly increase, and the company runs the risk of missing its target market by waiting too long. To learn about companies FATHOM has advised through the product development process, check out our work with The Coolest Cooler, Headphones for Monster, and Atom by Siva Cycle, just to name a few.

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