130 episodes

The hardware product development industry's #1 podcast. From invention idea to getting onto store shelves, and everything in between. Hear how inventors, product startups, & small manufacturers created their inventions and launched their physical product businesses. Learn from the industry's top industrial designers, mechanical engineers, PCB designers, consumer product managers, manufacturers, patent attorneys, hardware investors, and more. Learn about industrial design / product design, prototyping, 3d printing, additive manufacturing, product manufacturing, marketing, selling, patenting, logistics, and product business scaling. Now hosted by Kevin Mako, one of the keynote leaders of the startup product development industry in North America, founder of Mako Design + Invent, and Masters of Engineering lecturer.

Product Startup Kevin Mako of Mako Design + Invent

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 51 Ratings

The hardware product development industry's #1 podcast. From invention idea to getting onto store shelves, and everything in between. Hear how inventors, product startups, & small manufacturers created their inventions and launched their physical product businesses. Learn from the industry's top industrial designers, mechanical engineers, PCB designers, consumer product managers, manufacturers, patent attorneys, hardware investors, and more. Learn about industrial design / product design, prototyping, 3d printing, additive manufacturing, product manufacturing, marketing, selling, patenting, logistics, and product business scaling. Now hosted by Kevin Mako, one of the keynote leaders of the startup product development industry in North America, founder of Mako Design + Invent, and Masters of Engineering lecturer.

    130: Choosing an eCommerce Platform for your Hardware Product

    130: Choosing an eCommerce Platform for your Hardware Product

    Tim Bucciarelli is a Director at IronPlane, an eCommerce agency that works with many large product brands. Tim has been a leader in the eCommerce space for almost 30 years. Today Tim is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can understand what eCommerce is, how to choose a great eCommerce platform for your current and future product needs, and how to do a good job of building out your platform, especially around business to business sales.
    Today you will hear us talk about:

    What is eCommerce

    How do you choose the right platform to sell online

    Back end platforms explained, and how they connect to front end

    How do you do it well

    Understand your customer

    Understand investment

    Wordpress and WooCommerce is an easy way to get started online

    Shopify is a SaaS, a central piece of software

    BitCommerce is a SaaS that is a bit more opened up

    Adobe Commerce / Magento is larger and more customizable


    EPISODE LINKS
    Tim Bucciarelli / IronPlane Links:


    Website: https://www.ironplane.com/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-bucciarelli/



    The Product Startup Podcast Links:


    Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Mako Design Links:


    Website: https://www.makodesign.com/



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/



    Kevin Mako Links:


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/



    Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/



    About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about Mako Design + Invent!

    • 22 min
    129: The Best Hardware Product Development Processes

    129: The Best Hardware Product Development Processes

    John Carter was the Chief Engineer for Bose for over 12 years, most notably being the name behind noise-canceling headphones.  After that, he founded TCGen, and has spent 22 years working with some of the biggest hardware brands in the world on improving their product development processes.  He is also a fellow writer with me at Forbes. Today John is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can use best practices from the leading hardware development teams in the world to improve your product design, launch, and scaling journey by understanding what it takes to succeed in the long run, utilizing customer feedback, getting to market fast, and many other development secrets.
    Today you will hear us talk about:

    To figure out how to make a great product, he worked all around the world to find out how the best in the world did hardware product development.

    How do you know what areas you should focus on for innovation

    Innovation is not free, it takes a tremendous amount of work, sustained effort, and a budget.

    Focus on one key innovation.

    Don’t share with customers too early, design through the concept first.

    How do you reduce risk that is out there.

    Don’t feature creep

    Get to market, then reiterate and improve.

    Principles of agile development and how it applies to hardware consumer products.

    Empower your team

    The importance of industrial design

    Try rotating feedback in hardware


    EPISODE LINKS
    John Carter / TCGen Links:


    Website: https://www.tcgen.com/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jcartertcgen/



    The Product Startup Podcast Links:


    Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Mako Design Links:


    Website: https://www.makodesign.com/



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/



    Kevin Mako Links:


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/



    Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/



    About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about Mako Design + Invent!

    • 20 min
    128: Creating an App for Your Hardware Device

    128: Creating an App for Your Hardware Device

    Piotr Zajac is the CEO of Untitled Kingdom, a 55-person mobile app development company that focuses on apps for physical hardware connected devices. They have built and launched over 75 full-scale apps for hardware products. Today Piotr is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can understand how to best manage the design and development of your hardware device’s app, and what are the best practices for making a connected device’s app great.
    Today you will hear us talk about:

    IoT, MedTech, and FemTech

    Building an app for your hardware product

    Think about your end-users

    Onboarding new users with your application

    Intution takes time to develop to your user base

    Create a habit in your user

    Buy their hands, their hearts, and their brains

    Feedback is key

    Quality of apps, FDA Certification, ISO Certfication

    Quality is much more valuable, and far less expensive, in the long term

    Security

    Technology protocols

    Simplicity in your features

    You can change the world with your product ideas


    EPISODE LINKS
    Piotr Zajac / Untitled Kingdom Links:


    Website: https://www.untitledkingdom.com/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zajacp/



    The Product Startup Podcast Links:


    Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Mako Design Links:


    Website: https://www.makodesign.com/



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/



    Kevin Mako Links:


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/



    Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/



    About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about Mako Design + Invent!

    • 20 min
    127: Benefits of Makerspaces to Product Startups

    127: Benefits of Makerspaces to Product Startups

    Tom Pupo is the founder and head of Moonlighter Fab Lab Miami, which Mako Design just partnered with on a new 8,000 square foot hardware makerspace right down Miami Beach. Tom has a Masters Degree in architecture, and been running makerspaces for many years. Today Tom is going to share some valuable knowledge for inventors, startups, and small manufacturers on what a makerspace is, what makes one great, and how hardware startups can benefit from them in many ways beyond just space and machinery.
    Today you will hear us talk about:

    What does a hardware makerspace do

    What makes a space great

    What are the benefits

    Space, tools, people

    Design, prototype, test, get feedback, and redo

    Coworking, fabrication lab, and STEAM learning centre

    Learning design thinking in the design process

    A makerspace is such a pure experience to get to learn about the product development hourney




    EPISODE LINKS
    Tom Pupo / Moonlighter Miami Links:


    Website: https://moonlighterfablab.org/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tpupo/



    The Product Startup Podcast Links:


    Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Mako Design Links:


    Website: https://www.makodesign.com/



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/



    Kevin Mako Links:


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/



    Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/



    About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about Mako Design + Invent!

    • 19 min
    126: What Makes a Consumer Product Invention Great

    126: What Makes a Consumer Product Invention Great

    Mark Maybury is the Chief Technology Officer at Stanley Black and Decker. He is also a member of the Defense Science Board and was a Chief Scientist of the United States Air Force. Today Mark is going to share some valuable knowledge for inventors, startups, and small manufacturers on what makes a consumer product great in 2022, and how to consider these things from the design phase, through to production, then onto scaling up.
    Today you will hear us talk about:

    What makes a great new product in your industry

    Innovative, valuable, and scalable

    Environmentally and socially

    Big companies look at innovators and inventors to be the change master

    Scaling a hardware startup business

    There are many parts to scaling, not just sales.

    Pitching to Stanley black and decker

    Genuine need, real value created, and a great team (humility)

    Secrets of innovation

    Observe carefully, listen deeply, think outside of the box, experiment with purpose, and collaborate.


    EPISODE LINKS
    Mark Maybury / Stanley Black and Decker Links:


    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-mark-maybury-28532/



    Website: https://www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/



    Submit to Stanley: https://www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/submityouridea



    Accelerator: https://www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/article/stanleytechstars-accelerator-announces-open-application



    Stanley Ventures: https://www.stanleyventures.com/



    Stanley Impact Challenge: https://www.stanleyblackanddecker.com/social-responsibility/people/impact-challenge



    The Product Startup Podcast Links:


    Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Mako Design Links:


    Website: https://www.makodesign.com/



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/



    Kevin Mako Links:


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/



    Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/



    About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about Mako Design + Invent!

    • 23 min
    125: Pitching Your Invention to Big Product Businesses

    125: Pitching Your Invention to Big Product Businesses

    Dougal Grimes is the Vice President of Innovation and Inventors Relations for SpinMaster Toys. He leads a team of people who review product pitches from inventors just like you. Before this, he worked for over 10 years as a leader in many different roles at Hasbro. Today Dougal is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can best pitch to large product brands like SpinMaster, and what you can do to best prepare for, deliver, and expand your product’s success with this type of partnership.
    Today you will hear us talk about:

    Developing the toy idea out

    A great idea can come from anywhere

    Big ideas come from the mass market, not in-house design teams

    The process of meeting inventors is quite freeform

    Pitching the idea well is important, and applies to all type of industries

    Have a quick pitch, then a proof of concept physically, then prove feasibility of manufacturability, that it is safe, that it is viable, and possibly that it has intellectual property protection.

    Look for toy fairs, conferences, reach out via LinkedIn, find the invention submission areas of the company.

    Remember, a product pitch is a promotion.

    Don’t lead with the technical aspects, lead with the features.

    Remember, you are bringing a solution to a company when you pitch.

    The inventors vision and passion can help push a product through to greater success even after a licencing deal is struck

    Timelines for toy inventors getting to market


    EPISODE LINKS
    Dougal Grimes / SpinMaster Links:


    Website: https://www.spinmaster.com/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougalgrimes/



    The Product Startup Podcast Links:


    Website: https://www.ProductStartup.com/



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ProductStartup/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ProductStartup/



    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ProductStartup/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ProductStartup/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProductStartup



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Mako Design Links:


    Website: https://www.makodesign.com/



    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/MakoInvent



    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MakoInvent/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MakoDesign/



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakoInvent/



    Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MakoInvent/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MakoInvent/



    Kevin Mako Links:


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Entrepreneurs/



    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/KevMako/



    Quora: https://www.quora.com/profile/Kevin-Mako



    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KevMakoPage/



    Twitter: https://twitter.com/KevMako/



    About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about Mako Design + Invent!

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

Rafael Testai ,

More Hardware Products, Less everything else

I’m a mechanical designer who specializes in consumer products and would like more episodes about tangible, consumer products. (Anything made of plastic or metal).

There’s already a plethora of content for non technical people, novice inventors. On the contrary, there seems to be a shortage of content for mechanical design engineers or technical people that already posses skills like CAD and 3D printing, who want to launch their own tangible products. Which could mean an opportunity for you and your podcast to double down on a loyal, niche audience.

Ideas: why don’t you bring in guests who have a technical background in mechanical engineering or industrial design and ask them how they build their product business? Please get technical with your questions. Don’t be afraid to reference physics.

The market is frankly saturated with generic, non technical info for novice inventors. If that’s the niche you’re after, I respect that. But there an untapped niche of us technical people who want to launch our own tangible products and we need intermediate to advanced advice. You’re certainly qualified to provide this advice and so are the founder, engineers, or designers you interview.

Scott R. L. ,

Great show!

I just found this show and I’m ready to start episode nine. Thank you for all the insights into the process of getting a product to market. There is a great array of different businesses and guests with so many ideas and the host has given some great ideas to the guests as well. As someone who has no experience in sales or marketing this resource will be invaluable.

eelents ,

Great Tips and Advice for Your Business

This podcast is perfect for someone is who is trying to get their business up and running, especially if you are developing new products. There are a variety of interviews with entrepreneurs who share their honest advice and experiences with the audience about business startup and product development. This podcast is honestly a hidden gem!

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