Demand Generation · Hardware

What are effective ways to validate a hardware product prior to building the actual prototype?

Robert Bent Founder - INVI Energy

February 17th, 2015

I am looking at converting a current clinical medical device into an at-home consumer product and am wondering how I can demonstrate initial traction/demand. The current clinical device has been used my more than 100K customers at an extremely high price point (to which we intend to offer a huge discount), so I know there is demand for the service. What I am trying to figure out is the following:
1) What type of pricing will the market support
2) Will people actually buy this device to administer on their own
3) Will people successfully use the device in the home environment

I do not want to do a crowdfunding campaign for this due to the three month time sink, requirement to fulfill and cost to run a successful campaign (ie. for those that don't know - to run a large campaign you need to build an email list, pay for PR or put in a ton of leg work, do some growth hacking and online targeting, create a video and content). I think there must be some easier ways to generate the type of information above without doing the full crowdfunding campaign. I was thinking that launch page attempting to get people to signup for a newsletter could be a good start for 1+2 (ie. maybe A/B testing on the page to gauge feature sets, pricing, etc.). For 3, I think you might need a focus group to test the actual product and process (ie. product could be a foam model with printed wireframes initially to keep costs down). I also have access to the clinical device, have tested it myself and have spoken to a large number of current users and clinic managers, so I think some of the demand info is pretty relevant. I would love to talk through this issue to see what other techniques are out there and if I am on the right track. Thanks!

Karl Schulmeisters Founder ExStreamVR

February 18th, 2015

Robert Bent Founder - INVI Energy

February 18th, 2015

Thanks for taking the time to write Karl.  I am partnered with the manufacturer of the clinical device so I don't see any issue with IP infringement.  Also, I have already planned a pre-submission meeting with the FDA and am well versed in the regulatory and compliance requirements.  My question was about demand signalling and testing the product idea prior to building a prototype.  Also, I don't expect to get reimbursements as this is a cosmetic device - there is also evidence that the current customer base is paying $4,000 per treatment set without reimbursement, so I don't think this is a concern.