There are fundamentally different factors that affect scaling hardware vs. software. In hardware there are tolerances, batches, inventory, lead-times, capital expenses and many other factors to deal with. Many entrepreneurs have not worked at established hardware companies, and in turn do not have as much specific experience or visibility to the challenges and processes. Of course this lack of experience in one area brings a wealth of opportunity in the form of fresh thinking. It is critical to have a strong working knowledge of:
- Fundamental financials of production (COGS, Tooling, Manufacturing costs)
- Factory Selection and Management
- Schedule and Project Management
- Manufacturing Network
- Factory Communications
One of the most significant recent innovations that is helping hardware entrepreneurs is crowdfunding, making it possible for an entrepreneur to test the market with a prototype before getting as deeply involved with the details of scaling. Even though it is much easier to get to a functional prototype, manufacturing at scale is complex and it is still critical to understand the the items listed above. Otherwise, you may get funded and be unable to deliver on the promise.
At the end of the day? Hardware is still hard.
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