Prototype to Product: A Practical Guide for Getting to Market


Product development is the magic that turns circuitry, software, and materials into a product, but moving efficiently from concept to manufactured product is a complex process with many potential pitfalls. This practical guide pulls back the curtain to reveal what happens—or should happen—when you take a product from prototype to production.

For makers looking to go pro or product development team members keen to understand the process, author Alan Cohen tracks the development of an intelligent electronic device to explain the strategies and tactics necessary to transform an abstract idea into a successful product that people want to use.

  • Learn 11 deadly sins that kill product development projects
  • Get an overview of how electronic products are manufactured
  • Determine whether your idea has a good chance of being profitable
  • Narrow down the product’s functionality and associated costs
  • Generate requirements that describe the final product’s details
  • Select your processor, operating system, and power sources
  • Learn how to comply with safety regulations and standards
  • Dive into development—from rapid prototyping to manufacturing

Alan Cohen, a veteran systems and software engineering manager and lifelong technophile, specializes in leading the development of medical devices and other high-reliability products. His passion is to work with engineers and other stakeholders to forge innovative technologies into successful products.

Prototype to Product: A Practical Guide for Getting to Market | Alan Cohen | Alan Cohen

Prototype to Product: A Practical Guide for Getting to Market | Alan Cohen | Alan Cohen

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The 11 Deadly Sins of Product Development

  1. The Fundamental Principle of Product Development
  2. The Vice of Laziness
    1. Deadly Sin #1: Putting Off “Serious” Testing Until the End of Development
  3. The Vice of Assumption
    1. Deadly Sin #2: Assuming That We Know What Users Want in a Product
    2. Deadly Sin #3: Assuming That Users Know What They Want in a Product
  4. The Vice of Fuzziness
    1. Deadly Sin #4: Lack of Comprehensive Requirements
    2. Deadly Sin #5: Lack of a Good Project Plan
    3. Deadly Sin #6: Not Assigning Responsibility

Chapter 2: Development Process Overview

  1. Don’t Panic!
  2. Product Development Life Cycle Overview
  3. A Great Idea
  4. Preliminary Planning: Does This Make Sense?
    1. Ballparking
    2. Setting Stakeholder Ground Rules
  5. First Reality Check
  6. Detailed Product Definition, a.k.a. Surprise Management
    1. Product Design
    2. Technical Risk Reduction
  7. Second Reality Check: Go or No Go?

Chapter 3: How Electronic Products Are Manufactured

Building Circuits: PCB Assembly

  1. PCB Assembly: Solder Paste Application
  2. PCB Assembly: Placing Components
  3. PCB Assembly: Reflow
  4. PCB Assembly: Optical Inspection
  5. PCB Assembly: Hand Soldering and Assembly
  6. PCB Assembly: Cleaning
  7. PCB Assembly: Depaneling





Written by Venkadesh Narayanan

Venkadesh is a Mechanical Engineer and an MBA with 30 years of experience in the domains of supply chain management, business analysis, new product development, business plan and standard operating procedures. He is currently working as Principal Consultant at Fhyzics Business Consultants. He is also serving as President, PDMA-India (an Indian affiliate of PDMA, USA) and Recognised Instructor of APICS, USA and CIPS, UK. He is a former member of Indian Civil Services (IRAS). Fhyzics offers consulting, certification, and executive development programs in the domains of supply chain management, business analysis and new product development.

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