For me, it all started with Kickstarter. For the first time, fantastic new physical products were coming on the market, and you could really be part of the launch of not only an excellent product but also a new company! As a career manufacturing and supply chain person, I thought this was great – but then noticed a disturbing trend.
More and more Kickstarters were failing, and often because of manufacturing problems. Designs were way too complex to make any sense for a manufacturer. The type of suppliers chosen and the assumptions around costs made no sense, and I could see the problems coming a mile away.
And it hit me – if these Kickstarters that are fully funded can struggle and fail, what about the “normal” entrepreneur who doesn’t have the Kickstarter runway? Who is helping startups? And I mean really helping them – not just trying to sell them a service. And what about after launch? Do startups know how to optimize inventory? How to scale volume? How to expand distribution?
And after talking to a bunch of Founders and startup friends, I found that most Founders just struggle through. They spend a lot of time, effort, and money to learn how to get it all done the best they can. There has to be a better way. So I googled it.
And what I found was a lot of conflicting articles advising founders on what to do. Most were written to push their services. Many had some helpful information but were vague about how to put it into action. And a whole lot of them were just fluff and completely useless.
No wonder Founders struggle.
The fact is that getting a product into manufacturing and then managing it over the product lifecycle is not rocket science. But it is difficult and tricky and risky. I knew that many of my fellow career professionals do it and know how to avoid expensive mistakes. And many of them love helping startups. So here was my question – how do we get all of that great knowledge and connect it to startups when they need it?
So we created BuildIt.studio. This platform brings all the knowledge and best practices for physical product entrepreneurs to one place. It covers the entire lifecycle, from idea to product maturity. And it includes checklists, resources, and tools – everything we could think of that a Founder would need.
Here is how it works :
- We have nine modules that cover what we call “The Product Journey.” You can start at any of the nine modules – and you can read ahead or look back at any time; all module content is always visible.
- In each module is a checklist of steps to consider doing. Nothing is mandatory – it is up to the Founder to decide which steps make sense for them and their product.
- For each checklist step, we have in-depth Q&A’s, resources, and tools. We include factual and unbiased information – it is what we, as manufacturing and supply chain professionals, do daily.
- Use the project manager to track your project as you go through the checklists and determine what comes next. You can also share documents and chat with your team.
- We plan to add an expert marketplace for when you need some support. For now, that is available offline.
We just launched our Beta, and we would love to get some feedback on what you think. Tell us what you love, what you hate, and what you’d like to see from this platform.
I am continually so impressed by all the fantastic products that Founders are creating! The team and I are passionate about sharing our expertise to ensure more startups are successful right from the start.
So join us at BuildIt.studio! And don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally with any comments or questions.
Rock on, Entrepreneurs!