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As you probably know, bringing innovative products to life and creating hardware devices is a complex task. It takes few months to make a perfect market research and analyze a demand for that product. Then it’s time to think how to generate a perfect solution and verify correct operation at the prototyping stage. And of course, it doesn’t happen in a blink of an eye.
A methodology of creating innovative products and services based on deep understanding of the problems and needs of the users is not a short-term process, and it needs a decent construction. Structuring to the process of design thinking let us solve complex problems by understanding users’ needs. What’s more, it allows re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, creating ideas in brainstorming sessions and adopting a hands-on approach to prototyping and testing. In other words, this structure lets us define our 5 golden rules of creating products desired by users, technologically feasible and economically justified. So how to design a great hardware for a product?
Creating a product - step by step
- Empathize. Innovation starts with empathy
New solutions are created mainly for people. That’s why the first point is to gain an empathic realization of the problem you are trying to solve. You have to conduct research to develop an understanding of your users. It is crucial to recognize the hidden and intuitive motivations that affect human choices and behavior. You have to know what your future consumers need and gain perfect knowledge about similar products. Which of them have not succeed? Why? What made the others succeed? Follow the “must-do” actions and avoid competitors’ mistakes.
- Define the problem and get to know your customers
During the defining stage, together with your team you combine all your research and observe whether a problem exists. You need to check if your future client needs your solution. What’s the main value of it? Is the price affordable? Or will your customer use a cheaper product from your competitors? Try to frame the problem correctly so that you will gather more certain data and good solutions.
- Generate the ideas and brainstorm with your team
This stage involves generating as many crazy and creative ideas as possible. Your team members have to ‘think outside the box’ to identify new solutions to the problem statement you’ve created. Remember not to ignore ideas that seem obvious or easy — they can turn out to be the brilliant ones, if only you focus on them. To finalize this stage, write down the best ideas and try to test them to find the correct answer.
- Build a prototype which will meet the expectations of customers
At this stage you have to build real, tactile representations for your product. For now, don’t make things more complicated than necessary. Your top goal is to make a prototype that is visually ready to present the idea to users and quickly gather feedback on the solution. The final shape of your product needs to be designed and built according to the user feedback and with a particular focus on their tips or needs they’ve described. This brings us to another point…
- Test the product and eliminate all the inconveniences
The stage of testing is extremely important and should not be overlooked in the course of the project. This is the moment of confronting the idea of a product design with its users. You have to prepare a well-working device. Feedback has the greatest importance at this stage because it enhances your involvement in the product growth. If the users love the product it means that it's ready to entry the market. But if they flag some inconveniences, it’s up to your team to get back to the third point and figure out new ideas for your users' satisfaction.
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Since 2017 has come to an end, it's time for a quick summary! For us, it was a time of development that ended with a great number of unforgettable stories. Many things have happened during these twelve months and we'd like to thank our clients, partners and our amazing team of professionals.
During the past year, we began new collaborations with growing companies from Poland like Photon, InMotion, eDrop, KeepyLife or the Polish leader in lean transformation — Leanpassion. Our team took part in preparing three interesting attractions for HistoryLand — an interactive center in Cracow.
Summer’s team is constantly growing, so in March we moved to a bigger creative workspace. Now you can find us at the Longinus Center. Along with more square footage we gained the laboratory expansion, the improvement of measurement and pre-certification capabilities. Additionally, we created a specially dedicated room for 3D printing. Overall, we have enough space to create specialized solutions, conduct tests and spend time in the positive and inspiring environment.
Not only did we move into a brand new headquarters in Cracow, but our dream of a new office in New York became reality. Hence, in the near future company’s sales and customer service department will be contacting you from the U.S.! We can’t wait to collaborate with other international partners across the globe and continuously grow the company’s market position.
Over forty individuals cooperate at Summer to deliver the best experiences possible. Thirty technology enthusiasts joined us throughout the year and we see no slowing down in sight!
‘We’re still developing and reaching new destinations, that’s why we decided to introduce changes and create new teams in the company’s structure. We are currently at the stage of setting and implementing processes that will enable us to scale our business model and grow by another 60 employees’- says CEO Kamil Sumera.
Moreover, we have been hard at work on two of our daughter companies: First11 and Altlight. In the investment round, First11 gained support in the amount of PLN1.2 million, while the Altlight company was supported by the Innoventure fund with a total amount of PLN1.5 million.
It was an amazing experience to develop projects within two different sectors-sports wearables and smart home. The challenges we faced during the creation process of both companies enriched our scope of capabilities and a whole new toolset. With the acquisition of this indispensable knowledge, we’re perfectly aware on what things we should concentrate in order to meet our clients’ needs.
As for financing and investing, Summer was the main sponsor of the Hardware Massive Conference in 2017. We shared our experience in the field of product development at one of the biggest hardware-focused event in CEE!
Also, at the beginning of the past year, we started investing in Neurowatch — the first diagnostic and therapeutic device on the MedTech market.
Last year we also set up a venture capital fund: TECH-IMPACT FUND with
capitalization valued at PLN45 million. In the next three years, we plan to invest in 12 projects from the IoT sector.
This past year was extremely promising for us. We’re proud of all partnerships that started in 2017 and thankful for the success we accomplished together. Our team entered the year full of optimism and motivation so we’re all looking forward to what 2018 brings us!