Most people know that starting a business is risky. You have to move fast because cash-flow is king. Therefore, everyday that I have to wait on something is another day that revenue isn’t coming in.
Right now, I still have a bottleneck with product designs. Unfortunately, a large part of this delay has been to my own ignorance and lack of talents.
Back in my old career in IT, if you wanted new software or even a website developed, you provided the designers with a Word document that outlined the business requirements, functional requirements, and what technical specifications you knew.
For my product designs, I first sent a 4-page word document on 8 May to a Brisbane prototype design company I had been talking to earlier. They got back to me a few days later, and we discussed it over the phone.
Much to my dismay, the owner of the company didn’t appear to understand it and said it would take upwards of $10k just to design it because of all of the research involved. I understood at that moment that I must not have communicated very well because I had already done a huge amount of the research. What to do?
I stood back and finally realised that product designers generally deal with pictures, not words. So, the designer couldn’t understand the complex requirements I sent him because it was different than what he was used to in his business. This is a bit of a problem when I can’t draw.
I realised then that I needed more help and begged friend to get involved who was way more mechanically oriented than I was. After discussing my ideas, he talked about channel connectors and earth-grounded magnets which were more likely to be the terms that a product designer would understand. He even sketched out a few of the more technical components.
The next day, I was planning to somehow redraw these ideas into a more structured format for my Brisbane designer, and was procrastinating on what seemed like a mammoth task. Fortunately for me, I randomly told another friend in passing about the challenges with designing a new product from scratch, and he recommended an university student that had done some work for him.
A week later, and we are almost done with converting my easiest product idea into CAD. It still took longer than I had anticipated to get this simpler design done, but at least we’re almost there.
Now, I can only hope that the Brisbane company is happy to work in this manner to develop the prototype as they normally make at least part of their income through the design process itself. Fingers crossed. Otherwise I have to find another company which will take more time.