Jeff Hebert

[Download] Mastering Hardware Product Development: 8 Levers for Optimizing Your Product's Cost, Schedule, and Quality


“How long will it take?”

“How much will it cost?”

These are the first two questions most prospective Synapse clients ask when they approach us to develop their hardware product concept. The conversation often evolves to “what is possible within this budget and timeframe?” We understand it’s nearly impossible to escape answering these questions as part of the business plan to justify a significant product development investment.

A challenge for Synapse in answering accurately is that most of the products we help clients create are innovative—the first of their kind. In novel development programs, the lines between research and development are blurred and it’s likely that both the concept and the solution will undergo significant iteration along the way. Needless to say, providing good estimates of cost and duration up front is not easy. Underestimation risks leaving clients without enough budget to realize their ambition. Overestimation risks clients perceiving us as conservative or expensive.

To better estimate for clients, we’ve done what any engineer would do—we built a case study database and ran some numbers! Our goal in doing so was to understand the variables impacting development scope so we could provide our clients with not only more accurate estimates, but also an understanding of the levers they can utilize to work within target budgets and schedules. Here are the categories that emerged, based on our nearly 20-year history of hardware development consulting for hundreds of clients and products:

1. Clarity of the Product Purpose
2. Maturity of the Underlying Technology(TRL)
3. Magnitude and Complexity of the Product Ecosystem
4. Quality, Performance, and Compliance Requirements
5. Product Cost Optimization
6. Build and Launch Volumes
7. Development Budget and Schedule Constraints
8. Risk Tolerance

Download the ebook to dive further into each category—we hope this knowledge will help veteran product companies and hardware startups alike! 

Download the Ebook!

Oops! Something went wrong! Please try again!

See what else is new...

September 7, 2021

Data Resilience: How to Enable AI for the Real World

Delivering on AI’s potential starts with the data. Learn how to spot and address data quality challenges with this survey of the industry & research landscape on the role of data in machine learning-powered applications with real-world deployments.

July 12, 2021

Modularity: The Greatest Product Design Step Towards a Circular Economy

Allan Engelhardt discusses the significant benefits of modular product design as he walks through 4 loops applicable to consumer products when considering a circular economy.

See what else is new...

July 27, 2021

Outsourcing Engineering: 7 Questions to Snag the Perfect Product Development Partner

Choosing the right engineering partner is not a simple task of rapid-fire Q&A to fill in a decision matrix. It’s about making a long-term match that will accelerate your product development process. Whether still in the stages of early development or seeking a course correction from the path already traveled, it’s imperative to ask the kinds of questions that will bring the right players to the game.

October 19, 2020

The ME Team Goes Virtual: 4 Ways We’ve Tackled the Challenge of Making Things in a Virtual World

The mechanical engineering team at Synapse has gotten creative in finding solutions for working together remotely. Following Ann Torres’ (our VP of Engineering in San Francisco) great discussion with Fictiv and Cooper Perkins on How to build a Physical Product in the Virtual New World, our team tackled some of the same challenges and developed solutions of our own.

July 29, 2020

Has VR Improved Enough for the Mainstream?

With major improvements happening in virtual reality technology and many companies operating remotely in the face of unprecedented health and safety concerns, is COVID the perfect time for VR to finally go mainstream?