Originally posted on Medical Design & Outsourcing
“I need a prototype.” This is often the kick-off to my conversation with a prospective client. Usually the idea is voiced by a clinical innovator, the CEO of a medical device startup, or perhaps an academic researcher who’s come upon a new technology or technique they’re eager to apply.
This focus on prototyping is understandable—inventors have an idea, often one they’ve been mulling over for years, and they’re eager to get it out of a sketchbook and have something tangible to prove that their technology really works. But, while prototyping is a critical element of the product development process, it isn’t the same thing as the process itself. Instead, a prototype should be viewed as a byproduct, a sign and a test of the hard work that’s gone into charting and maintaining a course in the right direction.