Any successful startup knows that the great product concept is the tip of the iceberg. It takes diligent research, enthusiasm for the concept, and the energy to evangelize the concept to find the investors that can finance the project. Often, that time, effort and energy risk being wasted in the face of a failing development project. Companies that succeed are able to spot the signs that the project is at risk and are willing to adjust mid-course to keep the project on track while mitigating risk.
When looking at your own development project, if you are able to answer yes to any of the questions below, you may be at risk. The sooner you can identify there is a problem, the more rapidly and cost-effectively you can remedy the challenge.
The Partner I selected doesn’t understand my vision for the product. You may have had multiple initial meetings, where the partner nodded and seemed deeply engaged with your concept, but as time has passed, it is becoming clearer that the deliverables you see are not matching your vision.
The Partner seems to be using a lot of Subcontractors. This only creates a risk if the initial pitch from the partner was that they were a 1-stop shop that could take you from concept to manufacture. If you are seeing lots of different business cards, it could mean that the company is out of their depth. This becomes a risk after the project is finished, and the subcontractor disappears, taking his or her knowledge with them.
I haven’t been asked to make too many tradeoffs: With a complex product development project, your concept will go through many iterations during development. Your partner should understand how to balance the constraints of complex product development, such as manufacturing efficiency, regulatory compliance, quality, and cost constraints, and be able to offer thoughtful options. If these discussions have not happened, it could be a red flag that the partner is building to meet their manufacturing requirements, not your concept.
I am struggling to contact the right people at the partner company: Whether it is the CEO, or the engineer working on the design, you need access to the key players on your project to ensure they are aligned with your vision and working toward your goals. If you sense the partner lacks this collaborative philosophy, it’s possible the project is at risk.
You want to see your vision become a product that meets the needs of the market and your commitments to your shareholders and board of directors. Be sure you see the signs of any potential challenges as early as possible, so you can take steps to mitigate project risk as soon as possible.
Resolution has years of experience taking on projects where the initial partner could not deliver a path to completion. We understand what it takes to bring complex products through the development process and partner with the right companies to deliver a depth and breadth of expertise. If you think your project is at risk, contact Resolution today.