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Wantapreneur getting off the couch

A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

wizaster

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Hi all, I've been lurking for awhile here and I want start with a big thank to the wonderful users who provides insights without asking anything in returns. It is what has kept me interested in entrepreneurship while sidewalking my life away. Long story short, I have not pursued any venture since I failed with my handmade soap company three years ago.
I have read @Fox, @Lex DeVille and @Andy Black threads, TMF and Unscripted but have yet to do something with that newfound knowledge.
I'm at the point where I can't suffer myself lazily spinning my wheel not moving an inch and I'm making this thread to be accountable for my future actions and keep track of my progress.

So to get into it, I think I have found something I could create that would solve a want for a community. I am pretty sure this item in itself is not fastlane as it is pretty niche but I know some people would really love to have something like that (me included).

Following the 7 Ps of process from unscripted , I evaluated the CENTS value of my idea and from my perspective it checks all the boxes.
I am just unsure on how to evaluate soft proof. The subreddit for my niche have around 300 000 subscribers and every time someone posts a DIY project that solve that want it gets a lot of positive attention, ranging from people asking for plans, how it costed and if he will sell it. I also found products that are very close to what I want to do that are marketed towards professionals and are rocking an hefty price tag but knowing the niche ( and myself) they have no problem dropping a few hundreds on a neat widget. But it have to look the part to, they are very picky about appearance.
Would that be enough to constitute a soft proof?
I do have a USP that I think is strong and it could reach a lot more people than the more professional competition with a mix of features and ease of use.

I think I have enough to start getting real with it and "wing it" but reading back what I just wrote it seems like I am looking for validation.

Next post will be the process path draft.
Thank you for reading!
 
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wizaster

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Sep 13, 2017
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Last week I dived into the technical side of what I will have to learn to make my prototype and for the first couple of days I was starting to doubt myself. But I kept on reading, lurking forum posts and studying diy projects until it started to make a bit of sense. I still don't think it will be an easy product to design, but it will be fun and even if it's not my ticket to the Fastlane, I'm 100% sure I will turn a profit.

Today I ordered all the parts needed to make a functional prototype, they should get here by the end of the month and the hype is sinking in! Meanwhile, I will make plans so I can test it as soon as possible.
I found http://fritzing.org/home/ to make the breadboard plan and convert it to something useful for a manufacturer, so there is one less headache in the future.

As for my Process Path in itself, I'll be going this way :
1.Prototype creation :
Define fonctions
Define size
Choose switch
Design pcb
Design case
Program UI and on-board app

2.Outsourcing production :
Evaluate manufacturing process (is it possible to make all parts at the same plant ?)
Shop for quotes
Compare Manufacturer
Order first batch (M.O.Q.)

3.To sell it :
Make a landing page
Create storefront in my website, Amazon and Ebay
Strike a deal with Massdrop (good visibilty with my targeted audience)

That's my plan for now!
 

wizaster

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Sep 13, 2017
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quebec
Time flies by, it's already been a month since my last post. I have been busy prototyping and my widget is 95% working, all is needed is a rotary encoder that is in the mail. The code, althought bare, is working and the wiring on the breadboard is good.
I have also made sketches of the case, different layouts and there is a few I like. With the help of my gf, I will make clean concept art and ask for feedback.
Meanwhile, I will weight the options for the case, namely manufactured in Asia, 3D printed or CNC'ed.
 

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