5 Stages of Product Development
June 2021 | 15 minute read
From ideation to marketing, explore the 5 stages of product development
I am all about the next best thing to hit the market. Being in the product development and prototyping industry, I am always curious to know what new products or enhancements to products are emerging on the scene.
I am not alone, over 4 million people tune in weekly to the entrepreneurship show Shark Tank to see if top business gurus and investors will invest in new and upcoming businesses. We the audience get to learn about new ideas and products hitting the market.
Sometimes these items are complete GENIUS!… Why didn’t I think of that? While other ideas are simply a fad.
You might have even overindulged in the fad… (guilty owner a million fidget spinners and maybe just a few Snuggies, but here we are).
With shows like Shark Tank, we get to see the mastermind behind the idea, but not always the masterminds behind product development.
What are the Stages of Product Development?
Ever wonder how your everyday products were developed or where they were made? Maybe you have wondered how people were able to take an idea and build it into a tangible item.
Let’s explore the 5 stages of product development from designing to selling a product. I will introduce you to my friend Brandon Manusov who owns “My Product Developer”. A unique company built for conception to development to marketing of products. Providing complet end-to-end services from conception to sales.
Plus, I will introduce you to some products that are getting ready to hit the market.
Meet Brandon Manusov
Chief Designer at My Product Developer
Brandon Manusov, Chief Designer at My Product Developer
Where to start? If you have an idea or are enhancing a product, you should start with the very best in the industry. Meet the Chief Design Engineer at “My Product Developer.“
Besides his down-to-earth personality, owner Brandon Manusov is passionate about helping entrepreneurs.
He built his company on three pillars – Products to Solve a Problem – Logistics Manufacturing and Audience (Audience breaks down into 3 subparts based on his client’s needs; branding, marketing, and sales).
Their focus is on small to medium companies with a dedication to developing their products from start to finish and beyond!
His company is currently rebranding from “The CAD Guy” because Brandon realized the true need for companies as he progressed in business. Understanding the need from design to production, to proper marketing strategies, making the new vision for “My Product Developer” a true gem in the product development industry.
I was able to snag some of Brandon’s time to interview him for this article and get his expert insight on product development and some exciting projects he has been working on.
Stage 1. Products to Solve a Problem
Brandon and his team at “My Product Developer” help companies and inventors at all different stages of product development. But his main reason when taking on a project is understanding what is the problem they’re looking to solve.
This means understanding the “Why” behind their project. What makes the project important. And how can this part or item make a difference in things in the market today.
Most interactions will start with a consultation or “discovery” stage, where he can listen and review the idea you have. He may ask questions about the importance of the piece and your “why” behind the idea.
This is how Brandon can connect the latter parts of the processes with product development – logistic manufacturing and Audience– working through this first step of why and what the parts are, gives him an understanding of how to proceed in the most efficient way forward.
First steps with Precise Cast
With our company, Precise Cast Prototypes and Engineering, we work with companies who are looking to expand a product or prototype of a new part.
We can work collectively with companies like My Product Developer or other product developers in the ideation stage by reviewing CAD files (3D models or parts) or similar files to inspect for design flaws or enhancements prior to production.
Brandon and his team thrive in this stage as well. He works with clients through the discovery stage, from sketch ideas- to bring your ideas to life with a CAD model.
Then during the logistics and manufacturing stage, he works with companies like Precise Cast to help manufacture or prototype your parts.
Both of our companies offer services to help through this start-up phase or will work with each other to help design parts for best production practices.
Stage 2. Prototyping
Reflecting back on “My Product Delvoper’s” first pillar in business, “Products to solve a problem,” understanding the problem and best solutions helps Brandon and his team decide on the most efficient prototyping options.
while discussing this topic, Brandon introduced me to an extraordinary project that comes from his client Keyaunna R. Morgan, a rising junior at Howard University, and her up-and-coming invention Flexx Frames.
He gave me some insight into how he was able to help Keyaunna through the first steps of product development and prototyping her invention.
“Keyaunna came to me after talking with several different designers, frustrated that no one would take her project. We spoke for a while about who she was and the “Why” behind her project…Her mission was to make an affordable set of frames that could reuse existing lenses. Her market is the budget college student that wants to look trendy for less. I explained to her that design is a process and that designing something like this might take a few iterations to get right.”
Flexx Frames from Keyunnas R. Morgan
Understanding the reason behind her invention helped Brandon and his team build her prototype to match her mission. This meant they needed to create a stretchable frame design that can stretch and fit with different lenses. They were so pleased with the outcome of the prototype that it is very close to being market-ready.
“Keyaunna is exceptionally young and driven,” Brandon said,” She is using the prototype to raise money to finish development and launch the business. I recommend to her to join an entrepreneurship mentorship program that is helping her grow her entrepreneur path forward.”
Hopefully, one day soon, Precise Cast will get to help Keyaunnas business in manufacturing. As a long-time eyeglass wearer myself, Flexx Frames is a company I will keep my eyes on…literally.
Prototyping For The Future
Another important factor to understand about prototyping is knowing its functionality and the purpose of the prototypes for future use.
Brandon and I spoke about a very exciting project that he had a hand in making for a soon-to-be medical device, “The Dynamic Forceps.” This is a prototype device that is hoping to replace the need for multiple forceps in an operating room. I got to learn about Dr. Albuja Maria and their work on these future forceps.
Dr. Albuja wanted better forceps that can save time in an operating room. The benefit of saved time can reduce complications during surgery and increase recovery time.
The goal was to make a tool that could take the place of about ten tools in function, cutting down on the process for the surgeon to swap between tools. Currently, there are about 30 types of forceps, with 3 sets of each, equaling around 90 sets in a single operating room.
They wanted a dynamic tool that could flip into two positions with a rotating tip. This type of tool would remove the need for the surgeon to release their grip and transfer a tool to the other hand while replacing the need to swap out tools as well.
Brandon and the team at Inworks (department of Anschutz medical campus, a leading research intuition), led by Monika Wittig, PgD Assistant Professor / Associate Director for Inworks Innovation Initiative, got to work on the prototype.
For “The Dynamic Forceps,” the biggest hurdle with prototyping this particular part has been finding the perfect material that can produce very small, thin parts, without losing the strength of the metal. But so far with their relentless exertion and newly created technology, Brandon and his team were able to prototype “The Dynamic Forceps” and start to envision the tool for the market.
They also won the prestigious “If I can’t Fix It Milestone Award for their invention, which is a two-part award from the Lewis Family Award prize committee offered by the University of Colorado Denver
Precise Cast wants to help forward this research and help improve the tool. We are researching and using our expertise in metal castings and machining to find a solution to manufacture these parts for production and be able to get this tool to market.
With this kind of amazing innovation for the medical field, our team at Precise Cast is excited to hopefully become part of the manufacturing of these tools and help make an impact on surgeons and their patients’ lives.
Does Precise Cast offer Prototyping?
We excel in this stage. Offering metal castings and machined parts, we are able to your project from conception to production. We help select the best metals, materials, and prototyping processes to get products to market faster.
We offer rapid prototyping and low volume manufactured metal casts in zinc, aluminum, and magnesium. We also have an in-house CNC machine shop and can machine any materials, including plastic, and our own metal castings
Because we focus so much effort on the prototyping stage, many of our customers use their prototype parts as their production pieces. Talk to our expert engineers to learn more about prototyping.
Stage 3. Logistics Manufacturing –
It’s Alive! It’s Alive!
As Dr. Frankenstein knew all too well that building something can either be a triumph success or a monster of a project.
Working with the right manufacturer is key. Understanding the logistics behind manufacturing is the only way to build your product for success.
This brings us to the second pillar for My Product Developers company; Logistics Manufacturing.
During my interview with Brandon, he gave a great analogy about logistic manufacturing:
“If you were building a boat, you wouldn’t then design the factory to accommodate the size of the boat, or the packaging and shipping. This would be an opposite force causing delays with getting your boat to market as you would have to build everything around the boat. Instead, we look at the logistics of manufacturing…can we make parts detachable? Easier to move? How can we manufacture the parts for efficiency?”
This is incredibly important, and many times overlooked. This is another reason why the first two stages of discovery and prototyping are the main players in the product development process.
Without understanding the logistics of manufacturing you might build a monster of a project that now has to be remade to fix the many obstacles it could face trying to hit the market.
Brandon helps his clients weed out the monster companies who aren’t focused on logistics and directs you to companies, like ours, who can help your project have the most success.
Our goal is to make sure your manufacturing requirements meet the needs of packaging, shipping, and movability.
Working together we can bring your products to life! Without monster consequences.
Precise Casts Manufacturing Processes
We built our company from the ground up around our customer’s most demanding needs. With over 20 years in business, we have developed the most efficient manufacturing processes for aluminum, magnesium, zinc castings, and machined parts, plus pioneered Magnesium prototyping technologies.
Stage 4. Growing Pains- Marketing your product.
Now that you have discovery, prototyping, and logistics manufacturing, now is the time to bring your products to market. This is where My Product Developer’s 3rd pillar of business comes into the picture. Audience.
Audience breaks down into subparts of marketing, branding, and selling the products that have been made.
Brandon and his team want to see your product from conception to completion- to hitting the market. To do this you will need two supportive figures in Marketing and Branding. Like having supportive parents, these two entities want the very best for your product and want to help to put its best foot forward. This is why Brandon works with some of the best marketers and branding strategists to help build the framework for your products and help them take their first steps into the world.
Adding this step as part of your product development strategy gives your products an extra push to succeed in the sea of new things. Working with the best team in this pillar will help you create a scalable business and keep your company growing.
Stage 5. Thinking towards the future
You had me at Hello
Both of our companies are focused on your success. This makes Brandon’s relationship with Precise Cast a tethered rope foundation, intertwining with the very best in discovery, prototyping, and marketing.
Our relationship with our clients is a long-term relationship as well. If Precise Cast is producing your parts, you won’t pay for any worn-out tooling costs to keep producing your items.
We keep a seamless stream of communication open and will be readily available to answer questions and help with design analysis at any time.
Start your prototyping consultation with our team and experience the difference between manufacturing companies that put their customers first.