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Right first time vs. fail fast

Right first time is a dangerous myth! For many years it has been thought that inordinate lengths must be used to ensure that a product’s development is right first time, in other words the first prototype satisfies all. This is a road to failed product development. It is wrong-headed, despite having been a maxim for decades.

Right first time is flawed approach because:

  • The market constantly moves and approved specifications (marketing and technical ones) change – even whilst development is underway.
  • The quickest way to learn is to do. It is not suggested that caution is thrown to the wind and scant regard paid to detail, but once a seemingly valid method is identified, the quickest and cheapest way to verify it is to do it as cheaply and quickly as possible.
  • Prototypes are much better than theoretical models – they are real – no assumptions. A CAD package will lie – prototypes generally don’t.
  • Prototypes are cheap: design time isn’t. The biggest threat to any new product development is lost time. One lost day of development is another lost day of sales. 
  • Testing the commercial viability of a product is about getting it in front of investors and potential clients as quickly as possible, and then getting commitment from them. If a prospect will not commit with a requirement for product when faced with a prototype that is presentable and demonstrating of the main function feature, only two things can be the case. The ideas isn’t viable and should be dropped asap, or the wrong people are being addressed.
If you have a development and want to get a product to market, please feel free to Contact the ET.