It’s taken months of preparation and planning but the time has come for Square 1 to officially open its doors! We started this company to provide best in class design and manufacturing solutions to a customer segment we feel is being underserved. That’s not to say there is no competition in this space but rather that the current players who offer US based solutions are lacking in one or both areas of our core services, product design and product manufacturing.
Ask me to find you a product design firm to bring your product idea from concept to reality and I could name you a handful who can get the job done in certain circumstances. Where you may start to encounter issues with these firms is in their ability to tackle complex electronics, regulatory hurdles and the fact that practically none of the US firms will do production of your product in-house (most do prototyping domestically and then off-shore the production to Asia or other low labor markets).
As an example, let’s assume you have a new product idea for a consumer electronic which utilizes many technologies including; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, lithium ion rechargeable battery and wireless charging among others. Your product also requires pre-market safety testing as you are planning to sell this product initially in the North America.
Several of the US based firms do not have the engineering capabilities to effectively tackle a project like this and instead are more focused on simpler products and the initial phases of development. The early stage work is primarily brainstorming different concepts and physical requirements for your product and then conducting preliminary bench testing and prototyping of devices that have limited functionality and utilize off-the-shelf electronics which are not practical for the end product.
This is of course a necessary and critical part of the process, but if during this period, you don’t have an extra focus on other factors such as the regulatory pathway, production cost and component availability then you are headed for a setback. You may get snagged in third party safety and performance testing, due to your design not being robust enough to pass, or its missing key safety features based on its technologies. Worse off, you’ve cleared qualification testing and come to find that there is no stock of critical electronic components to support your production launch and now you’ve invested substantial capital in your product idea and are facing long delays or redesign.
To summarize the point, most of the US based product design firms focus heavily on early phase services (e.g., ideation, proof of concept and rapid prototyping) but less on the next phases which include robust design validation, pilot production, supply chain management and regulatory approval. If you are looking for a quick proof of concept and some limited function prototypes then several of these firms could be a good option for you.
That being said, if you are looking beyond some early prototypes and are envisioning running full scale operations and taking your product idea into a full-time endeavor then I would implore you to work with a company such as Square 1. We will shepherd your product idea through the complex design and development process including commercialization and US based manufacturing and technical support.
Taking this full lifecycle approach is key to building a profitable company since it mitigates product launch stage setbacks (which cost substantial time and money) and tethers you to a firm who can seamlessly handle future generations of your design. This will ensure your new products are more effective and evolving to meet customer needs along with shorter paths to market since we will be building on a foundation of real-world product knowledge and user experiences.
We truly believe in our slogan “When you want it done right, start on Square 1” and hope you will contact us for all your product design and manufacturing needs to find out what makes us different!