March 6, 2014
Physical Product Innovation, with Jon Fawcett
[Fuse] Chicken is maker of Android and iPhone accessories like togoPower, key chain charging docks for iPhone 5 and Android/MicroUSB devices, and Une Bobine, which are wire-bound charge cords for iPhones & Androids that allow you to seemingly suspend your devices in mid-air. Jon launched [Fuse] Chicken back in 2012, on the strength of a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $200,000. He has over 20 years of experience designing and engineering products that run the gamut from children’s toys to jet engines.
On this episode of the podcast, Jon and I discuss how crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter are a new form of market research, the impact that 3-D printing is having on the manufacturing world, how to test and iterate on product ideas before launching at scale, and how agile software development methodologies can be applied to building physical products.
We kick things off, however, discussing innovative marketing. The way that I came across Jon’s company, as a matter of fact, was through an iWatch concept video that [Fuse] Chicken created that ended up on TechCrunch. As Jon tells us on the podcast, just because you'll never actually be able to make something, that doesn't mean you can't - or shouldn't - dream up what it might be.
So of course we talk a bit about the iWatch, as well as the importance of failing fast, and failing often. Jon reinforces his belief in this phraseology and emphasizes the need to release products early in the market. To make an important point, Jon borrows a quote from his favorite TV show Lost: "It only ends once, everything before that is progress." Here he implies that products should be modified as many times as required based on consumer feedback before they reach a state of completion.
Before I go and give it all away, listen to episode 5 of "The Innovation Engine" podcast with Jon Fawcett:
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