Let’s move on to the step that everybody loves. This is the product fun step. Number four is to Prototype It, design, develop it, do all of those fun things that most people like. This is where we iterate. This is where we dial in all the specific details of what that final product is in every single way from the function of the product, to the look and feel the product, the materials, the colors, the packaging. You’ve got to get this all completely defined and have no unknowns. Nothing left to chance or afterthoughts. Tom already has done an Office Hours on prototyping and some of the different methods that we use and that are available to do. This is where we’re talking about also the refinement of it. I don’t want anyone to think that we waited this long to design things. Design happens all along the way because all of this information is informing design. For us, this is refining the product, it’s refining what we want. When we hit this stage, we have enough information to do final prototypes, to do functional prototypes, to do anything that requires investment in cost. If you have to pay for something, this is the time we wait to pay for it because we’ve gotten enough information along the way.
We might have done some drawings ahead of time, maybe some 3D print models because we haven’t had a 3D printer here. We certainly probably done renderings to do some side-by-side comparisons and get some market feedback, but we’ve probably not dialed in the full prototype with all the things that we’ve learned in the product and the features until this stage. The other thing that we do at this stage is what we call development. It’s designing, but development is also refining what is going to be the criteria for how this is made, what is going to be the quotation specification, what might be the quality requirements we have, the critical factors like all of those things we outlined because we want to be clear when we go to our manufacturer to get the quotations and the information, what we are expecting. Sometimes, prior to this stage you might have had two different kinds of samples. You might have had more of an appearance sample that looks the way you want it to in production and have then a functional prototype that doesn’t look like it will, but actually works. This is the time where you got to bring those things together. Make one final sample that you can absolutely confirm. This is what it’s supposed to be. Sometimes, that can be done prior to manufacturing. Sometimes, it’s the very first piece manufactured after things you tooled. That depends on the product and the materials and the situation.