What are the three differences in building a hardware vs software product?

Cyril Ebersweiler / November, 2017

Description

Cyril Ebersweiler, Founder and Managing Director at HAX explains the key differences between building a software versus hardware product.

Video Transcript

What are the three differences in building a hardware vs software product?

So the differences between a hardware and software ventures I count two in particular that are fairly visible. The first one is the product market fit timing and the road to get there. It’s really fairly easy to take a software app or a software as a service model and confront it to your market and keep on iterating every day and every night and make it happen.

In hardware you will have a lot more work, it is going to costs a little bit more money and you will have to test a lot of different varieties and opportunities in order to get to the features of your product. So sometimes you can only build it in the industrial design, but some other times it’s going to be built into the functionalities, the actual technology, the sensors that you’re using and validating that market can take quite some time.

The second piece of it, and that’s probably even more visible is that if you build a software company, it’s quite possible that you could stay behind your computer for a long time, but in a hardware business, bizarrely, it’s actually a people’s business. This is actually very complicated sometimes to make people understand that. Of course, it’s great technologies and we all love technologies and we all love making products around the technologies, but big part of the success of the company, and maybe the only success of the company, is going to be their ability to communicate what the company’s doing, on one side, but also convince others to actually join them and that goes beyond the team. It means that in hardware you need to convince manufacturing partner to work with you, it means that you need to convince suppliers to give you discounts on the sensors and parts.

Later on, in the cycle of the company, it means convincing a buyer to actually purchase your product and put it on the shelf. That are very human skills that are required for those hardware founders and, you know, it takes quite some time and personality to get there.

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