Inspiration has struck. You’ve identified not just a need within your market, but an idea for an innovative, IOT-driven solution that has the potential to benefit both your customers and your company.
So what comes next? Do you file a patent? Hop on the first jet to China to start consulting with prospective manufacturing partners?
Although it may be fun to start brainstorming branding or putting together prototypes, a solid IOT development process begins with an assessment of two key factors: technical and commercial feasibility.
Determining Technical Feasibility
The goal of determining an idea’s technical feasibility is simple: can the product be made?
Of course, actually answering this question is much more challenging. Determining whether or not an idea is feasible from a technical standpoint requires that you first define its desired performance attributes. What specifically does the product need to do? Every individual feature adds technical complexity, which is why it’s worth considering which features are truly critical and which might be saved for future releases or product line extensions.
The answers to these questions will inform the selection of your product’s key technology, though your starting point will vary. Are you trying to integrate existing IOT technology into one of your current products? If not – if you’ll be building a new, bespoke product from the ground up – which technology stack components will be required, and how will the architecture be structured?
Determining technical feasibility begins with this type of ideation, but then progresses through stages of prototyping, user testing, product documentation and engineering sample creation before manufacturing at scale can begin.
Evaluating Commercial Feasibility
Technical considerations are only half the battle. Commercial feasibility asks, “can the product be sold?”
Again, there are many variables that must be taken into consideration, including the way the solution needs to be priced in order to be profitable, relative to the price point your market will support. If your IOT wearable must be priced at $250 to sustainably turn a profit, while competitors are priced at $50, you’ll face a hard road towards commercial success – even if your idea is technically feasible.
Other questions to ask at this stage include:
- Is there measurable demand for the type of product I plan to create?
- What will it cost to reach my target customers?
- Which distribution channels will be most appropriate for my product, and how easily can I access them?
- Does the product have long-term sales or recurring revenue potential that’ll offset initial development costs?
- Are there any potential legal issues, regulatory challenges or other risks that could negatively impact my ability to sell my product?
Questions like these become even more critical if you’ll be raising funds for your IOT solution (rather than financing its development yourself). You can expect that an investor will examine every aspect of your commercial objectives before handing over any of their hard-earned capital.
Finding an IOT Development Partner
If you’ve never waded into the waters of IOT development before, you may find some of these questions to be impossible to answer. If you aren’t an engineer, for example, you may have no idea what the term “full stack” means – let alone how to apply it to the planning process for your idea.
That doesn’t mean you should give up on your IOT dreams. It just means that you need a partner who can guide you through the process. At LX Group, we offer a range of Fast Start and Launch Pad Workshops – ranging from initial idea validation sessions to immersive workshops that tap into our broad technical and commercial expertise – that are appropriate for startups, SMEs and large enterprises like Actron, Telstra and Vodafone.
Taking the Next Steps
There’s nothing like the excitement of a new idea. If you’ve got an IOT idea that ticks all the boxes of technical and commercial feasibility, know that the road from idea to execution can be a long, but exciting one.
To learn more about how LX Group can support you on this path, book a free, confidential call with our team or call +61 2 9209 4133.