What Product Designers won’t tell you but you NEED to know.

Product Designer cons


The Shocking Truth about (most!) Product Design companies

Are you about to embark on a new product design project and wondering how to ensure the success of your venture? Are you worried about picking the wrong partner as you don’t know what you don’t know? Look no further! This article will reveal the common traps and cons that design companies use and how to avoid them to ensure your product design project is profitable and successful. This information can help you avoid the risk of falling victim to hidden contract clauses, paying for designs that need redoing, and working with a company that lacks proper experience in design for cost-effective manufacturing. Don’t let these traps sabotage your project; learn how to protect yourself and ensure a successful outcome.

sewing textile prototypes


When it comes to product design, certain practices can be detrimental to the success and profitability of a project. One such practice is when design agencies retain rights to the designs they create for clients, often through hidden contract clauses. This means that, in addition to paying the agency for their design services, clients must also pay a royalty for every unit of the product they manufacture and sell. This can add significant costs to the production and sale of the product, making it difficult for the client to turn a profit. This is a complete con, as clients pay the design agency for their creativity and ingenuity, but they shouldn’t have to keep paying for that with every unit they make and sell. This should be illegal, but as of now, it isn’t. However, innovators can ensure they don’t fall into this trap by ensuring that within the contract with the product design firm, all the intellectual property, including anything new that they bring to your design while working for you, belongs to you. Furthermore, innovators can make doubly sure of this by getting the design company to sign an IP assignment agreement at the end of the project that makes it explicitly clear that they’re transferring all of the IP rights in the project. This is critical for investment, as many investors will do due diligence before they put any money into your product, and one of the things they check for is that all the intellectual property is retained by the company they’re investing in.

successful product development
Selling product

Another trap many design companies use is offering a low-cost design service but delivering only photorealistic renderings of a product without any substance behind it. These designs are not designed for cost-effective manufacturing and, in many cases, aren’t even manufacturable. Additionally, there is no internal detail, meaning that the design hasn’t been worked out regarding assembly or the components needed to make the product work. The result is essentially a concept car, which looks great but is not practical for production. These are fake designs that are not designed with the target market in mind and aren’t manufactured. Inevitably, innovators must pay again to get a functional and manufacturable design. While there is a place for this type of product design work, such as for quick visualisation or market research, innovators need to be aware of what they are getting and for the design company to be honest about their services.

Another secret that most design companies don’t want their prospective clients to know is that most of them have never taken a product all the way through to manufacture, and as a result, they lack proper experience in design for cost-effective manufacture. This can lead to products that are too expensive to produce or have high manufacturing setup costs, which is a problem for entrepreneurs and small business owners with new product ideas.

Manufacture in China
manufacturing in Far East
electronic product manufacturing
manufacture a product

The solution to this problem is to work with a design firm with experience designing products for cost-effective manufacture. This can be achieved by working with a reputable design firm like D2M or by thoroughly interviewing potential design companies and ensuring that they have relevant manufacturing experience for your product. It is important to remember that not all manufacturing experience is relevant; for example, a product design firm with experience in medical products may not be suitable for textile products. It is crucial to do proper research and due diligence when choosing a product design company to ensure the company has the relevant experience for your product.

In conclusion, innovators should know these traps that design companies use and do their research when choosing a product design company. Innovators need to ensure that the company they work with has a clear understanding of intellectual property rights and that they have relevant experience in design for cost-effective manufacture. By taking these steps, innovators can ensure that their product design process is smooth and successful, resulting in a functional and cost-effective product. Ultimately, this will increase the chances of success and profitability for the product and ensure that the innovator’s investment is protected.

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product innovation ebook

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