Commercialization and Product Development Risks

Michael Keer

Michael Keer has over 30 years of high technology New Product Introduction experience in development and manufacturing. As founder of the Product Realization Group (PRG), Michael created a solutions based team of consultants that help companies make the leap from concept to full market scale. Michael received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Masters in Manufacturing Engineering from Northwestern University.

Wayne Miller

Wayne Miller is a seasoned executive with decades of experience designing and manufacturing products in the robotics, clean-tech, semiconductor, and consumer industries. Wayne specializes in designing products for scale, cost reduction, and new product introduction.

This Ask The Expert Live session provided a comprehensive overview of the risks involved in product development and commercialization, presented by myself and Wayne Miller, both of us have over 30 years of experience in the field. The discussion highlighted various risks, including funding, market, technology, development, and regulatory risks, using examples like the Scully Helmet, Pebble, and Boeing to illustrate the catastrophic impacts of underestimating these risks on businesses.

The primary focus was on the critical importance of mitigating these risks early in the development process to ensure business success. I discussed several case studies, emphasizing the consequences of neglecting various risks, such as funding constraints leading to the collapse of promising startups, market competition from giants like Apple and Samsung causing innovative ideas like Pebble to fail, and technological advancements outpacing company innovations, leading to their downfall.

Wayne contributed valuable insights into how structured development processes and proactive investment in product verification and reliability testing can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership and mitigate risks associated with field failures. He stressed the importance of having a good team and the right systems in place for successful product commercialization.

The speakers also addressed operations risk, emphasizing the need for proper documentation, revision control, and the selection of suppliers and manufacturing strategies that align with the development stage and business scalability. Additionally, the discussion touched upon the increasing importance of building a resilient and sustainable supply chain amidst geopolitical and environmental risks.

The session concluded with an open Q&A, allowing attendees to delve deeper into specific concerns regarding risk mitigation in product commercialization. Wayne and I shared final thoughts on the significance of understanding regulatory requirements and the benefits of early engagement and testing to navigate the complex landscape of product development successfully.

Watch the conversation here! 



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