Bringing an idea from concept to first sale is a huge undertaking, but can be fun and rewarding if approached the right way. As an IoT founder, the new idea that your product brings to life is 90% of its value. Unfortunately, 90% of the cost of an IoT deployment is in building a framework to implement it, not the idea itself. The Moxie workflow helps keep a focus on your good idea and keep a steady push towards commercialization. It is helpful to divide the IoT development process into three steps. Each step makes meaningful process to defining and creating a product – and working in stages through each one allows a pause and shift at any point that it makes sense to adjust the vision.
DEFINE WHAT YOU WANT
Discuss your idea and desired features with our dev team. Ensure specs, capabilities, and costs meet expectations. Ensure a meeting of the minds by agreeing on a concise “Statement of Work” document.
Discovery is taking a broad idea and market to focus on a precise trajectory for development and sales. As founders ourselves, we understand that founders are often shy to explain their invention, sometimes concerned about theft and sometimes lack of confidence. Define and Discovery is the time when you can talk freely with our domain experts, with the confidence of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) in place, to confirm that the new idea you present really does stand out from the crowd. Many times the invention itself is the key, or a new feature it introduces truly makes it better. Sometimes the business model stands out from the crowd. Unfortunately, sometimes good ideas may be already patented even if they are absent in the marketplace, or perhaps are already available in a market that is not expected. It’s important for founders to be honest with ourselves and be willing to see the truth and adapt to it, not to hide from criticism. The founders who later succeed in creating bold new technologies are shameless about telling their idea to anyone who will listen. Answering the questions below will help anyone to be sure their idea has a clear path to build and sell:
- Invention: What in the invention is patentable (new, useful, and unobvious)?
- In a few sentence ‘elevator pitch’, how would you summarize your product/idea? At what stage of development is it in? Is it simple to communicate the value?
- If applicable, what do you envision your idea looks like when you first begin selling it (your Minimum Viable Product, or “MVP”)? Selling what to whom for how much? How will you reach your end customer?
- What is your target budget ($) for developing the MVP, or achieving the development goals that you would be interested in a support partner like Moxie helping you to reach?
- What events and dates define success? Failure?
After answering these questions as the founder and visionary, it is time to sit down with our team to turn these goals into ‘engineering objectives’: exact elements of the invention that need to be built. Our technical experts can make detailed decisions based on a thorough understanding of the end result. At this stage, the idea is defined in milestones, and the cost to deliver those milestones can be estimated. Moxie will then provide a quotation and a timeline for designing and prototyping the invention, as well as rough estimates of costs in production (100 to 1000 units). To relieve the burden of upfront costs, Moxie can divide large projects into phases to be sure your expectations are met at each stage of the development process. While the exact cost of each deployment varies, we find that it scales with invention complexity such that most IoT deployments break even after 400 to 600 sales. If that volume sounds hard to achieve, we suggest that your product should be simplified or the target market expanded to ensure your product is a commercial success.
MOXIE will deliver fully functioning IoT system – PCB’s, sensors, embedded code, sleek enclosure, secure data server, and your branded ‘portal’ in the Moxie app, customized to your desired functionality.
There are five elements required in a full-featured IoT Product deployment:
- Printed Circuit Board – physical electronics
- Embedded Application – programmed code in the microcomputer on the PCB
- User Interface Device/Application – usually a smartphone App*
- Network Communication – How is data transferred, logged. Managing user accounts
- Enclosure – The physical device which contains the PCB and hardware user interface
This pattern is common across most IoT products, whether developed by established companies, startups, government. It is important to understand from a high level why each of these elements is needed, so descriptions of each element are provided here. Moxie has the experience and tools to design and prototype all five elements in weeks and at very reasonable costs, the only limit is imagination. Our phased development process means that features can be added over time – for instance the first iteration of a product may stand alone but contain Bluetooth capability so a smartphone app interface can be added in a later phase if you find that your customers want it.
* Moxie suggests that founders focus on a single smartphone platform at first. Some designers prefer ANDROID for lower hardware costs and larger worldwide market share. At Moxie, we prefer iOS for a few reasons: First, iOS apps reach nearly half the US market, more when focused on consumers and enterprise users are excluded. Apple provides excellent support for creating powerful apps that match the modern customer’s extremely demanding expectations, even with only a small support team. It is important to plan to cover all platforms later, so we use server/cloud tools like Amazon Web Services that are accessible to iOS and ANDROID equally. We are not oblivious to the popular cross-platform panaceas (React Native, Xamarin), in testing these tools we found that they are good for ‘website’ style apps but today they do a poor job connecting to IoT physical hardware and so reduce the customer experience.
MOXIE team will work with you to install, test and iterate on improvements for your IoT system, until the prototype meets all of your expectations.
After the initial excitement of seeing an idea come to life as a prototype, it’s time to prepare for the fun part: selling your product. We can help you prepare to present your invention at industry trade-shows, or start marketing online by building out a website with a sales portal
When you’re 100% pleased with your Prototype Deployment, MOXIE is ready to produce and deliver it at scale… whether 10 units or 10,000.