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How to Prevent Crowd Funding from Destroying the Hardware Revolution

Scott Miller (Dragon Innovation, Inc.)
Location: Conference Center - Golden Gate Room
Average rating: *****
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Slides:   1-PDF 

Over the last year, we have seen a common trend of crowd funding campaigns that have successfully met their threshold by ultimately failing to deliver to their backers because they did not understand a crucial piece of the puzzle required in order to create their product – manufacturing. This lack of manufacturing knowledge before launching a campaign results in too low of a fundraising goal and therefore unhappy backers when the product they backed comes to a manufacturing standstill. Pulling from real-world hardware product launch examples, we will walk through the pieces that entrepreneurs need to understand before setting up a fundraising goal, including the cost of each component in volume pricing, labor costs, packaging costs, and markup costs.

Additionally, we will dig into examples that will help us understand the importance of fully understanding the current design of a prototype and how far along it is from a design for manufacturability and assembly (DFMA) standpoint.

  • The old way versus new way of launching a new hardware product
  • Factors driving the hardware revolution
  • Common misunderstandings of manufacturing
  • Importance of understanding the Bill of Materials (BOM) and components of manufacturing costs
  • Importance of understanding prototypes and design for manufacturability and assembly (DFMA)
Photo of Scott Miller

Scott Miller

Dragon Innovation, Inc.

Scott has been fascinated with hardware since he was old enough to hold a screwdriver. Over the course of his career, he’s worked on high efficiency robotic tunafish, life size robotic dinosaurs for Disney Imagineering, and robotic baby dolls with Hasbro.

At iRobot, Scott was responsible for leading the Roomba technical team to scale the functional prototype through all of the steps in the journey to high volume production. Scott lived in China for four years as the VP of Asia Pacific, setting up teams in the Pearl River Delta and India and leading the production of 3 million Roomba units.

Repatriating as VP of New Product Development, Scott led a high-performance team of 75 people to create the next generation of robots. During this time, he experimented with different innovation models to find what came after Roomba.

Leaving iRobot after 10 great years, Scott saw the deadly gap that many Entrepreneurs were facing in going from a functional prototype to high volume production. At Dragon Innovation, Scott has worked with over 100 companies to help them scale by providing them with his expertise in all sectors of the business: DFMA, Sourcing, Costing, RFQ, Manufacturing Service Agreement, Quality, Handover, Pre-Production, Production and Sustaining Engineering. Scott loves new challenges and the opportunity to work with world class teams.

Scott is an avid sailor and skippers a J/80. He has sailed from Portugal to Tahiti. Scott received his Bachelors from Dartmouth and Masters from MIT.