The Definitive Guide on Product Development and Testing
- Category: Electronics
- Publishing date: 18 May, 2022
- Author: The LabShare Team
What do crypto miners, Christmas light manufacturers, and Elon Musk have in common? Neither can escape thorough testing as part of the product development process. From small companies to giant corporations, many make the mistake of trying to save on testing costs at their peril. Continuous testing will help you avoid product recalls and keep a good reputation. We brought you a few examples to learn from, as well as tips on launching your product like a pro.
Do You Test Your Starship Products as Elon Musk Does?
Despite billions of dollars invested in the space industry, even giant corporations encounter issues with their product. The solution? Thorough testing at every stage of the process, particularly when changing a component.
2021 has not been a lucky year for Boeing: although the company worked for 18 months to make this year’s launch a success, the Starliner spacecraft failed to take off in August due to technical issues. Valves in the capsule’s service model remained shut, preventing the launch of the spacecraft.
The capsule has since been removed from the rocket and returned to the factory. This fiasco is all the more embarrassing since NASA awarded Boeing a $4,2 billion contract to develop the component.
Engineers have been since trying to find out why the valves in the service module would not open. Was it the humid Florida air that mixed water with the oxidizer? Even two months after the failed attempt, the company is still unsure. The service module might need to be replaced, a move that would necessitate profound changes to the spacecraft.
This was Boeing’s second unsuccessful attempt to get Starliner into space. In December 2019, they encountered communications issues as the capsule’s software thought they were 11 hours later in the mission. Now, the company has yet to schedule another attempt.
At a meeting of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel on Thursday, the question arose: what changes should be made to hardware inspection, testing, vehicle processing, and checkout to reduce this type of risk in the future?
But not all companies were as unlucky as Boeing. SpaceX, another company involved in NASA’s commercial crew program, has completed its third human spaceflight since last year, with the fourth scheduled for next month.
Last week, Elon Musk's company launched Inspiration4, the first all-civilian spacecraft, carrying a four-person crew who spent three days in space. Remarkably, that flight was not part of the commercial crew program and did not involve NASA personnel.
In conclusion, even giant corporations face unexpected issues that might have been solved during the testing period. Replacing parts is a loss of money, time, and reputation. How to avoid similar failures? Test, test, and test!
LabShare’s platform helps you access thousands of accredited labs around the world for your specific requirements. In addition, LabShare will open up to space testing methods over the next five years. But regardless of the industry, testing is essential at every stage of development.
Why Testing is Needed for Cryptocurrency Mining Devices
Although the initial gold rush has subsided, mining cryptocurrency is still highly profitable. But what exactly does this activity mean? Which devices are required to get started, and what makes testing so crucial for crypto mining devices?
Most people think of crypto mining as a way of creating new coins. In practice, however, it also involves validating cryptocurrency transactions on a blockchain network and adding them to a distributed ledger.
New coins enter circulation through the activities of crypto miners. To this end, miners must solve complex mathematical operations in the form of cryptographic hashes. But what kind of devices do they use?
In the old days, even a simple CPU chip with a home computer could do the job. However, mining has become increasingly difficult. Today, it takes months to accrue even a minor profit with CPU, which also comes with high cooling and power costs.
As a result, the use of GPUs has taken over in this field. Users today typically connect a set of GPUs into a mining rig that also requires a motherboard and a cooling system.
Another cryptocurrency mining method, ASIC, was exclusively developed for crypto mining. On the downside, such devices are expensive and quickly become obsolete as the difficulty of mining increases.
As the cost of GPU and ASIC increases, so does the popularity of cloud mining. This technology allows individual miners to leverage the power of large companies and dedicated crypto mining facilities. They can also find paid and free mining hosts online and rent a mining rig for a limited time. Thus, this method is the most hands-free for crypto mining.
The above systems and machines use a significant amount of energy. These costs have to be taken into account before someone invests in crypto mining. As large amounts of fossil fuel are burned during the mining process, environmental considerations are becoming more common. Therefore, some crypto-communities have already moved on to more sustainable proof-of-stake frameworks.
Needless to say, if a hardware company aims to obtain a significant market share in crypto mining, thorough testing of their products is a must. Constant innovation in this field means that these devices require ongoing development.
Data mining is a matter of ever-increasing performance and capacity. At the same time, developers should aim to minimize the energy consumption, financial and environmental costs of these devices. But how can companies find labs that specialize in the testing of crypto mining products?
LabShare is a key player in helping crypto-mining companies in product development. Register on our website to browse among hundreds of labs. Find the right match based on your preferences in terms of location, price, and capacity, and succeed in the crypto market.
A Lack of Electrical Safety Testing is Responsible For More than 25% of Christmas Tree Fires
When it comes to household products, thorough testing is essential. It is the responsibility of manufacturers to place safe and high-quality goods on the market. Christmas lights are a good example: many products on the online markets today proved to be unsafe, with the potential to cause serious accidents.
A test was carried out by a consumer group that belongs to a product safety and quality organization in the United Kingdom, who purchased 13 sets of Christmas lights online. 5 sets of lights failed the safety test, while no less than 10 were faulty or failed to meet UK safety standards.
2 sets of lights became so hot that they began to melt, while the remaining 3 could potentially electrocute the user. The products came from eBay, Wish, AliExpress, and other online marketplaces. Some had no packaging and thus no instructions, while two cost less than $5.
In conclusion, cheap Christmas lights sold online are often unsafe, and they might also set the Christmas tree on fire. But how could this danger be averted?
Based on the driven results, the organization advises buyers to only purchase lights from reputable retailers. They also urged the British government to place a legal responsibility on marketplaces to prevent the sale of unsafe products.
According to UK law, product importers are responsible for meeting safety requirements and could even face prosecution for failure to do so. Some online marketplaces have responded to the test, with eBay stating that they did not allow the listing of unsafe products.
The items in question have been removed, while sellers have been urged to alert previous buyers and provide a return option. AliExpress also obliged sellers to comply with safety regulations. Wish has yet to comment on the incident.
Naturally, these tests should also serve as a warning for manufacturers. Consumer organizations, governments, and online marketplaces are united to take action against low-quality, unsafe products.
If you aim to place high-quality, reliable products on the market, thorough testing is essential. Household items are no exception, especially those designed for everyday use. It is the responsibility of manufacturers and hardware companies to ensure the safety of consumers. But how to make sure that your products pass all the necessary tests?
At LabShare's website, you can browse among hundreds of trusted test labs based on proximity, price, and capacity. We are here to answer your questions about any specific product, laboratory, or type of testing. Sign up for LabShare and find a solution tailored to your needs.
Launch your product like a pro by following these 8 steps
It takes several steps to turn an idea into a concrete product. As your concept adapts to the market needs, the result may be completely different from what you initially thought out. Product development can be a waste of time and resources without thorough planning. Thus, most professionals recommend adhering to the following steps:
1. Idea development
So you’ve already discovered a niche for your product. Good for you! But what if you don’t have an exact concept? The “social listening” method can come in handy: do some online research about what people are interested in, and what complaints they have about existing products!
2. Idea screening
Time to weed out useless ideas. Come up with a checklist (or download an online template for one), then examine your ideas one by one: are they technically feasible? Would it be the right time to market them? Which one meets all the criteria?
3. Concept testing
Truth is, 8 out of 10 products never achieve the success that designers dreamed of. Disappointment can be prevented during concept development and testing, as well as by asking experts to weigh in. Marketing also has to be addressed from the beginning, otherwise, you might find you don’t have the resources required for a successful campaign.
4. Market research
Even if you have an accurate plan, you need an overview of the market and your product’s position in it. It’s vital to identify your competitors as well as your target audience. Do not create a buyer persona, build it based on real people instead! Surveys and focus groups can help to understand what makes them tick.
5. Prototyping and development
At this stage, you can come up with the minimum viable product (MVP), which you can already pitch to investors, even if it’s far from the final version. Next comes the rapid prototype: a simple, low-cost prototype for which you gather feedback from your audience, then crack on with development. This process can save you a lot of time, and also protects you from wasting your resources.
6. Market testing
Don’t skip this step just because you’ve had successful campaigns in the past! Consider the following: will your message make people excited? Will it properly represent your product? Is your ad eye-catching? Are your USP-s clear enough? And so on.
7. Commercial introduction
People are bombarded with plenty of stimuli, so it’s hard to get their attention with anything. The bottom line: make your CTA stand out! Whether offline or online, you must make the purchase of your product immediately available, or else people will forget about it.
8. Review and refine
In retrospect, consider what worked well during the development and the campaign, and what would have worked even better. Also, keep track of how successful your marketing strategy is, and fine-tune it if necessary.