150: Building Product Prototypes with Your Design Team

150: Building Product Prototypes with Your Design Team

November 16, 2022

With Robert Irwin, Lead Industrial Designer

Hosted by Kevin Mako of MAKO Design + Invent

150: Building Product Prototypes with Your Design Team
150: Building Product Prototypes with Your Design Team

Robert Irwin is currently the lead industrial designer for Origyn LLC, an external R&D partner of the multinational company Haier. He was the past Senior INdusdtrial Designer at Amazon for their shopping cart products. He is also a fellow lecturer in the design industry. Today Robert is going to share some valuable knowledge on how inventors, startups, and small manufacturers can first understand how to manage your product design and prototyping team, then work with them to develop physical prototypes to perfect your product for both manufacturing and the end-customer.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • Empathy in the design process with various stakeholders
  • Listening to your potential customer, but also to your design team and other product development stakeholders.
  • Be careful about compartmentalizing features, they need to all come together via a hardware product prototype.
  • Iterative loop in design, engineering, and prototyping your hardware product
  • Good prototyping relies on great design, and design that is done right to start with.
  • After a professionally built CAD design is done as far as you can push it, then build a physical prototype of the invention, but keep that first prototype relatively rough and simple, such as through 3D printing.
  • You don’t need to make a fully functional prototype to start getting feedback
  • Never skip the iterative process in developing the product, and ensure to use multiple prototypes that increase in complexity and quality as you get closer to manufacturing.
  • You are de-risking the failure of the product by properly developing your product.
  • Fail early and fail often


Robert Irwin Links:

The Product Startup Podcast Links:

Mako Design Links:

Kevin Mako Links:

Thanks for tuning in! See you next time.

About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial designmechanical engineeringelectrical engineeringpatent referralprototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!