Today, as we enter the era of IoT, we are surrounded by entrepreneurial thinkers connecting all manner of objects to each other and to the Internet. These connected things are pushing for ubiquity and quickly becoming omnipresent. They all share some similarities; a core electronic element with some kind of wired or more commonly wireless technology, a (nominally) rechargeable battery, sandwiched inside a custom plastic case, often with a low energy display.
Meanwhile we are in the midst of a paradigm shift, with the market no longer dominated by a handful of large multinationals, but instead is a thriving organic ecosystem made up by hundreds upon thousands of small startup companies. These small enterprises usually have budgets below 200,000 USD, are headed by a technologically oriented leader, and only have a few staff invariably factoring in equity to their annual paycheck.
The problem that this new generation face, based on the allocated budget and the scale of the design problem is that they are very unlikely to succeed in producing a working, saleable product on the first iteration. Much more likely is that a combination of inexperience, specification slip and under estimation of the scale of the task at hand to produce a rock-solid product will lead to multiple iterations of the product, and ultimately failure before they reach the critical point needed to obtain funding or become self-sufficient. To compound the problem are the multitude of well funded competitors, ever eager to expand their portfolio and critically often able to complete the same design much faster.
For a product to be successful, the startup must either enter stealth mode or quickly realise the design, and get it right very early on without entering the expensive and potentially lethal cycle of design changes. The design must be complete and saleable before either the money runs out, or one of the larger competitors beat them to it.
Most of the IoT product startups will have 2 or 3 of the key engineering skills present in their own team. Be it electronics, firmware, web and cell phone app, networking, software, mechanical design or quality and testing. It is rare for such a company to have all of this at the abundant levels needed to be successful. A mass produced product is much more dependent on the certification and production quality than most of these startups are aware, so not properly understanding and dealing with this at the early stage can add tens of thousands of dollars to the project budget and many months of delay to the time to market. If manufacturing and industrialisation skills are added to the mix, the ability of any small to medium startup to tick all of these boxes becomes increasing difficult. Finally, one must consider the production of their devices, the selection of critical parts and the supply of these parts for mass production, all while achieving a competitive price in the shadow of the tech giants. Even with this simplistic view, its easy to see the scale of the problem. Invariably the new company is forced to adopt a production partner, and forced to choose between local, high cost but communicable suppliers, or overseas low cost but often difficult to deal with partners. But it needn't be that way
Ultimately, the sad truth is that the vast majority of these companies are doomed to fail unless they are lucky enough to have deep pockets or the right partner. Lucidtron is that partner
At its heart, Lucidtron operates a model that is much more like an project accelerator than an EMS, while remaining true to EMS as a core business. Our operating principals rely on customer value and clarity in our operation, charging a fair amount for the services we provide. Meanwhile we straddle the fence between local high cost operators and low cost mass production, leveraging our repeat orders and total volume to improve pricing for our entire client base.
At a high level, our goals are to:
- Provide a consultancy service on product design, tailored into a bespoke package, that has efficacy at its heart
- Bring together experts from communication, design, certification and manufacture to ensure products are designed and developed for manufacture, before the design phase begins
- Provide production oriented project management
- Work with the customer to fill in the gaps in their design and development team
- Provide accessible prototyping and manufacturing services for electronic products, to give our clients an advantage in bringing a product to market quickly
Drop us a line today to find out how Lucidtron can enhance and optimise your design cycle