176: Representing Your New Hardware Product as a Founder

176: How Hardware Founders Should Represent Their Product

May 18, 2023

With Mike Fata, Author of Grow

Hosted by Kevin Mako, President of MAKO Design + Invent

176: How Hardware Founders Should Represent Their Product
176: How Hardware Founders Should Represent Their Product

Mike Fata, a prolific entrepreneur, has achieved astounding sales exceeding $500 million by successfully introducing more than 25 products to a vast network of over 16,000 retail stores. These remarkable accomplishments have resulted in three separate exits, each generating nine-figure revenues. Mike’s expertise extends beyond his business ventures, as he is also the esteemed author of the book “Grow: 12 Unconventional Lessons for Becoming an Unstoppable Entrepreneur.” Today, he generously imparts invaluable insights to inventors, startups, and small manufacturers, emphasizing the pivotal role of passionately showcasing one’s inventive ideas to optimize success.

Today you will hear us talk about:

  • The significance of the founder’s product-market fit cannot be overstated.
  • People are curious about the motivation behind the creation of a hardware product by its founder.
  • Engaging in healthy competition is possible.
  • Connecting with individuals similar to you is one of the simplest methods to sell a product.
  • Authenticity forms the bedrock upon which everything else flourishes when representing your new product.
  • Share the story of the challenges encountered during the product’s development journey.
  • Trade shows provide an excellent opportunity to engage with like-minded individuals within a community.
  • Non-profit organizations serve as ideal platforms for fostering communities focused on addressing specific problems. Remember to give back.
  • Leverage LinkedIn to connect with other hardware founders.
  • Embrace and proudly showcase your unique story when representing your product.


  • 2:00 – What is founder product market fit?
  • 2:30 – Potential customers want to know why the person who founded the hardware startup did so.
  • 2:45 – You can be into an industry in many different ways, as long as you have passion for what you are doing.
  • 3:30 – Most inventors come up with their invention idea because they either see an opportunity in their world, or they identify how to overcome a pain point in their world.
  • 3:50 – Big product businesses can’t compete with the passion of an invention founder who has created something that helps in their own life.
  • 4:15 – Transfer your passion for your invention into marketing and sales.
  • 4:20 – If you are interested in your product, you will inevitably make a great product and be excellent in your field, simply as a result of your passion.
  • 4:30 – Finding other people like you is the key to activating your invention among those who have similar pain points or opportunities that you see.
  • 4:35 – One of the best ways to make sales is to create a like-minded community of people who have similar interests to what your invention helps with.
  • 4:45 – Simply be authentically yourself and tell your story.
  • 4:55 – Even challenges you face in developing your product and launching your product business will help community members connect and resonate with you.
  • 6:05 – A niche invention can find huge communities given the global marketplace
  • 6:10 – Startups only need to sell a fraction of what big corporate does in order to be highly successful small product businesses.
  • 6:20 – A hardware startup’s job with a new invention idea is to wedge into the market, then expand and conquer that market eventually.
  • 7:15 – Start small with sales, you would be surprised how many people even locally need your invention, then continue to scale and grow.
  • 7:45 – Being authentic with your story is the foundation of your marketing messaging, then telling the story in as many places as possible.
  • 8:00 – Trade shows are a great way to talk to a lot of relevant people in your industry.
  • 9:00 – Non-profit organizations can be a place to spread the word, and to help others, and thus build a community around your industry.
  • 10:00 – Sales and getting the word out is a volume game, the more you do the better.
  • 11:30 – Use social media to blast your story out there everywhere.
  • 12:25 – Quality is so important in a hardware product
  • 12:45 – Many hardware founders mistakenly sacrifice product quality, especially in the product development phases, but that becomes far more costly to the business in the long run.
  • 13:00 – Focussing on quality through rigorous product testing and refinement leads to the big time buyers that matter.


Mike Fata Links:

LinkedIn | Book: Grow

The Product Startup Podcast Links:
Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook Page | Facebook Group | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

PTC Links:
OnShape | Creo

Mako Design Links:
YouTube | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

Kevin Mako Links:
Instagram | LinkedIn | Quora | Facebook | Twitter

Partner: PTC’s best-in-class software solutions Onshape: The only cloud-native product development platform that delivers full-featured computer-aided design (CAD), integrated product data management (PDM) and enterprise analytics in a single system, and Creo: 3D CAD solution that provides designers with the most innovative tools to build better products faster, such as generative design, additive manufacturing, real-time simulation, IIoT, and augmented reality.