In 2009 I started exploring power management hacks, from learning about fuel gauges to boost converters, photovoltaics and lithium-ion, which eventually became my first startup. I was dreaming of a better battery charger (sounds so simple , but 10 years ago this was still a novelty) that automates the measurement, communications and power delivery to my early generation iPhone. Eventually that exploration resulted in a company that got acquired and shipped tens of thousands of products, including winning a pair of CES design and engineering awards. The journey was hard and expensive, leaving me with bruises and a much better understanding of the complexities involved with shipping hardware.

The biggest problem we faced was proper BOM management. Costing, lead- and to market were top of mind issues, and running everything on spreadsheets didn’t help. Luckily, times have changed and new solutions are making hardware creation easier and more predictable.

Enter Product Planner, a new software tool brought to you by the same company that helped MakerBot, FormLabs, Ring and many other familiar names go to market. Dragon Innovation’s CEO Scott Miller, an MIT graduate and a mechanical engineer, understood that at the core of every product life cycle project, BOM management, insights and team collaboration were critical to manufacturing success.

Grounded in manufacturing, Product Planner provides you with clear reports that explain what is driving your COGS, cash flow, lead times, and even profitability simulation. Better yet, it brings your entire team together on the most critical principle of your project: the single source of truth.

Think you’re ready to take your or gizmo the next level? Try Product Planner today for 60 days free of charge using the code hackster20 and let me know your impressions. I’d love to learn what you thought of it!

p.s. Avnet, Hackster’s mothership, has recently partnered with Kickstarter to create the Hardware Studio Connection, a new application-based program that assists hardware creators navigate the path to market via crowdfunding. Check it out!



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