The future of bringing products to market looks bright! Highlights from our Launchpad event.
On February 25, we hosted Launchpad—the first event in our new quarterly series. We brought together over 124 Kreators, industry leaders and experts to discuss the future of bringing hardware products to market. What does the manufacturing of tomorrow look like? How can we produce better, more sustainable products and bring them to market faster? What does it feel like to develop products that change the world? We discussed these topics and many more in a total of 14,776 minutes (yes, you read correctly—that’s the cumulative time we spent together).
We were honored to have a huge turn out for the live broadcast! Leading hardware manufacturers and product engineers joined us to share their own experiences and advice about bringing products to market.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the first Launchpad:
Product innovation is a key driver of future growth
Disruption is inevitable, forward thinking is critical: all of our speakers have worked at companies that had to reinvent themselves to stay competitive.
The world is going digital, so either you’re on board or you’re left behind. Disruption is a positive thing—it means replacing existing business models, products, technologies or services with innovations that are better, faster and cheaper. Gisbert Rühl, CEO of Klöckner & Co, talked about the company’s digital transformation to become more product-led and customer-centric: “Our digital transformation to become a more product-driven company was very difficult. We had to go through a significant cultural change, for instance with an internal social network to dramatically change the way we communicate, and education tools to increase the digital IQ of the company.”
“Traditional manufacturing companies need to think about what can disrupt their business. The world is moving so fast!” Robin Dechant, Aveo founder and initiator of futureofmanufacturing.io shared his perspective on the new world of product product development.
Apple and Google are now the largest manufacturers of speakers and headphones in the world, but that hasn’t stopped HEDD from developing the best high-tech headphones in the world at a time when sound quality seems to be less and less relevant. Klaus Heinz, CTO of HEDD, talked about the changes in the speaker and headphone market over the last 10-15 years, with Apple and Google making a play.
Product-oriented and customer-centric companies have the edge
When it comes to the speed of product development at startups versus traditional companies, Armin Müller, CEO of emm! solutions and former Vice President of Future Projects at Porsche AG, understands both worlds very well. He talked about some of the differences in product development at big corporate companies vs. startups. He also shared his experience developing and introducing the ESP: “When I told management that ESP should be integrated in every vehicle in 5 years, I was laughed at. But then the A-Class tipped over and everything happened very quickly.”
Startups are more customer-centric than traditional companies. They need to be more agile, have a deep understanding of customer needs, start with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and then refine it with customer feedback.
“Don’t be overly enthusiastic about your own ideas. Always ask yourself—what is the benefit to the customer?” This customer-centric mindset has worked well for HEDD over the years.
“You have to be set up to learn quickly. Take “Space X” for example—they iterated very quickly. They built, measured, learned and now they will send humans into space”, explained Robin Dechant.
Keep it simple when it comes to product development. Failure is part of the game.
“As someone who has been involved in dozens of new product launches from Latitude Notebooks to the iPad, I have experienced first-hand the importance of a methodical approach to new product development,” KREATIZE CSO Zod B. Mehr explained the phase-gate process, which sets a vision for your product and takes precise, incremental steps to make it happen.
“Product development is quite simple—build something, measure it, and then learn. Failure is part of the game. This is the most important thing. With failures you gain insight along the way about what does and does not work,” said Robin Dechant
“We had to completely change our culture to become more agile and adopt a new way of working where failure is not only allowed, but part of the process,” Gisbert Rühl also mentioned.
It’s not about digitizing but eliminating the RFQ process
Daniel A. Garcia Rodriguez, KREATIZE CTO, explained how KREATIZE’s technology enables customers to buy machine hours instead of parts.
KREATIZE CEO, Simon Tüchelmann, and CSO, Zod B. Mehr, also talked about the future of bringing products to market and how cloud manufacturing is changing the world of product development by enabling rapid access to manufacturing services through our network of partners.
A big thank you to all of our speakers and to everyone who attended—especially to:
Gisbert Rühl, CEO of Klöckner & Co SE
Armin Müller, CEO of emm! solutions
Klaus Heinz, CTO of HEDD Heinz Electro Dynamic Designs and
Robin Dechant, Aveo founder and initiator of futureofmanufacturing.io
A few more facts about our participants:
Total unique attendees: 124
Total time watched: 14.776min
Average time watched: 119min
Unique countries: 15
Unique continents: 3
Are you interested in learning more about hardware product development?
Good news! We have something just for you: Download our free whitepaper on new product development to discover the six key steps to guide a project from idea to launch. You can also read our Blogpost about the phase-gate approach!