Hardware Massive presents Hardware Summit SF: “Training and Gear to get Through the Valley of Death”

29th November 2018

Today, hardware companies are finding a plethora of new tools and methodologies are helping to bring products to market. At the Hardware Summit SF, we explored some of them with panels of experts, including a one-on-one with Dragon Innovation CEO, Scott Miller. Here's a recap of the event:

Gear Panel Topic: The Disruptive Tools for Kick-Ass Operations that are Changing the Game.

Speakers: Jessica Ching, Chief Marketing Officer, Product Realization Group; Michael Corr, CEO & Founder, Duro Labs; Ashish Aggarwal, Principle Grishin Robotics; Yassin Abo El Nour, Director of Product, Dragon Innovation; and Dan Radomski, Chief Strategy Officer, Optimal Inc.   

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Where do startups often struggle most in going from prototype to market?

  1. Documentation! Know what the manufacturers expect and the format they require.
  2. Know ahead of time what factors are involved in being successful in the product development plan, including planning for product revisions and variations.
  3. One of the biggest mistakes is rushing to production before being truly ready.
  4. Measure! That which is not measured cannot be improved.
  5. Competition – know what your competitors are doing.

Design. Build. Test. – When building your toolset, keep these three things in mind and figure out which tools will fill each of these areas.

Tools to Keep in Mind

  1. Product Planning Tools. Be sure to include Risk Assessment in these tools. This will serve as a good benchmark as to where you are and where you need to go.
  2. Lean Product Design Assessment. Develop an intelligent BOM and manufacturing process. Take a critical look to try to reduce complexity without impacting quality.
  3. Cash Flow Report. This can be a powerful tool for investors. Keep it clean and simple and use to account for variables such as tariffs and shipping costs.
  4. Technology Readiness. Don’t rush to market before testing to make sure it is durable, reliable, and ready for customer use.
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Fireside Chat: The Tools and Evolving Market Landscape that are Revolutionizing Hardware.

Featuring Scott Miller, CEO of Dragon Innovation and Greg Fisher, CEO of Hardware Massive 


  1. Testing. Push your product. Test hard to find the faults. Don’t trade quality for a faster path to market.
  2. Expect the Unexpected. Complex systems take time to understand and complete.
  3. BOM. Make sure your BOM is updated often. Document everything and use a tool that can manage better than Excel.
  4. The Unknown Unknowns. Try to figure out what you don’t know. Ask others, anticipate worst-case scenarios.
  5. Risk Management. This will be key to success.

Remember, there’s no bigger rush than seeing your product on the shelf. It makes all the blood, sweat, and tears worth it!

Hm Summit Image 4


The main sponsor at the Hardware Summit SF was Dragon Innovation. Dragon Innovation was well represented at the event by hosting a booth, participating on a panel and a featured Fireside Chat with CEO, Scott Miller. At the booth they talked with many amazing companies about their manufacturing insights tool Product Planner, as well as their manufacturing services engagements, where they help startups and mature companies, who have ready-made prototypes, scale to mass production.  

Dragon Innovation Summit Image 1

On the “The Disruptive Tools for Kick-Ass Operations that are Changing the Game” panel, Director of Product, Yassin Abo El Nour contributed key insights from his experience working directly with hardware companies on the development of Product Planner. Key points made by Yassin included talking about the importance of having tools to give you a holistic view of the business and the power of having tools that help keep your eye on the prize, in terms of cash flow and getting to market. 

Dragon Innovation Summit Image 2

The main speaking engagement featured Dragon Innovation CEO, Scott Miller, touching on “The Tools and Evolving Market Landscape that are Revolutionizing Hardware.” Scott was able to touch on his experience at iRobot and challenges of getting over the theme of the event:  “The Valley of Death”. There were numerous errors, mistakes and challenges, but the experience of overcoming it all helped breed Dragon Innovation. The tools and how early stage startups use them is critical to their success and leaping over that valley. An inspirational piece of advice: “If you don’t go fast, you die and if you don’t swing hard you can’t hit a home run.”

If you’d like to get in touch with Dragon Innovation please visit: https://www.dragoninnovation.com/ or send an email to Dragon@dragoninnovation.com

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