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Getting stuff made: Case Studies


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At MIT we are taught to be innovative and inventive. We create novel engineering designs that will change the world. It can be challenging, though, to know when and how to prototype a concept in the early phases of development. But engineering designs will only have impact if they solve a real customer problem, and make it all the way through the product development process on to mass production, and into the hands of the customers with the need. In this talk, we will use two case studies to walk through the product development cycle from idea to prototype and manufacturing to obsolescence, including customer development and lean startup techniques to increase your chances for success.

Published in: Engineering
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Getting stuff made: Case Studies

  1. 1. SPEAKER SERIES Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship & Makerworks Getting Stuff Made: Two case studies Elaine Chen Spring 2016
  2. 2. Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship • Founded in 1990 by Professor Ed Roberts • For all 5 schools of MIT plus Whitaker College • 2011 – Supercharged with Gift from Martin Trust (SM ’58) • Develop, coordinate and integrate a decentralized innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem at MIT 2
  3. 3. Stuff I’ve helped people make
  4. 4. It takes a village, with some vaporware, foam, plastic, metal, PCBAs, cable harnesses, software, sweat and blood
  5. 5. There is order to the madness
  6. 6. Case Study 1: The Zeemote ($6.50 FOB HK)
  7. 7. Case Study 2: The Zeo Sleep Monitor
  8. 8. Case Study 3: Baxter (BOM Cost: Slightly more than $6.50, Made In USA)
  9. 9. One size doesn’t fit all. Apply common sense. <0.25lb $6.50 FOB HK Zeemote
  10. 10. Key takeaways • Making simple board-in-box things – 6-9m with a good spec – Low process innovation needed – low risk – With adequate volume (25k/y+) Asia makes sense • Making complicated things with moving parts – 18-36m with a good spec – Final product performance is 70% design, 30% process – Expect engineering team to live at CMs for months to get it right – For most high value, high complexity, low volume products, it is much easier to start by manufacturing near the R&D Center then reconsider the right shoring decision as the product matures and the business scales • By the way: None of this matters if you got the problem / needs wrong. Get out of the building and do primary market research!
  11. 11. To Learn More: Check out the Product Development and Manufacturing sections of the Trust Center FAQ
  12. 12. Connect with us Learn more at Email to engage an EIR on your startup 20
  13. 13. Thank you 4/7/2016 21 @chenelaine