It should be well understood that people do not buy products or services, they buy solutions to their problems. So you must first have a clear understanding of the problem you want to solve. Only then you can aim to solve that problem with a great product or service.
Once you know the problem, you need to determine how to solve it. The solution to a problem might be straightforward, or it might not. For example a straightforward solution is when engineers are confident there is at least one obvious approach. However a non straightforward solution is when engineers are confident there isn't any obvious approaches, and instead its likely there will be several attempts to solve the problem via trialing and testing. Non straightforward solutions also might involve scientific methods using existing and non existing research science.
The relative total project cost/timeline difference between straightforward projects and non straightforward projects, is significant. Simply because one does know how many attempts to solve the problem are required. Each attempt might be completely different strategies. Once at least one approach is found to work, engineers are back addressing one obvious approach.
It should be also well understood that while engineers might have at least one obvious approach to solving a problem. Engineers are still innovating and integrating with 3rd party technologies to develop a novel product for a target application. So your still doing something that hasn't been done before, which will still require trial and testing before commiting to production - this means the approach might require rework, bug fixes, and overcoming setbacks, along with unexpected or unforeseen challenges. It is for these reasons, new product development always has high uncertainty, high risk and is considered R&D.
To put it all in a different way. R&D can be frustrating - setbacks can occur and Murphy's law is common. Estimating is hard - Hofstadter's law is common. Some things can be affected by the Pareto Principle - in terms of R&D, the last 20% of the project may take 80% of the time. There is much support out there for startups. The development phase and initial sales is well known to be called the Valley of Death. We'd suggest reaching out to some innovation support spaces to share stories which maybe able to help with the stress. We believe there is much merit in Thomas J. Watson quote - "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate" and Thomas Jefferson quote "With great risk often comes great reward".
The next section outlines possible phases for a straightforward projects. For non straightforward projects, the path forward is fuzzy. So the first step is to proceed with bite-sized reviews. This allows assessment of the problems/solutions against existing technologies to propose the most feasible approaches for trial and testing. Then propose ideal methods to do the trialing and testing, such as mathematical calculations, computer modeling, computer simulations and/or real-world scale modeling via rapid prototyping methods.
Once you have a idea for a product. Have confirmed there is a market for your product. Then you are ready to start the review, planning, designing and prototyping of a new product idea. This involves the following phases:
For some projects, is it hard to know if the product idea can even be achieved in engineer terms (i.e. technically feasible), or in cost terms (i.e. financially feasible). Or perhaps one needs to determine the possible size of the market. If we believe this is the case, we might advise that two additional phases might be required after/during/before phase 1:
For more information on new product development (NPD) see wikipedia about "NPD".
We appreciate the cost of development is a significant burden. It is important to not worry too much about the development costs - it is a one-time cost (i.e. fixed cost as opposed to marginal cost). As long as you have a good product to drive sales, the fixed development cost just moves your break-even point. We would advise that you focus on reducing your marginal costs (e.g. unit cost), as that directly affects your profit.
It is well understood that New Product Development (NPD) always has uncertainty and is considered R&D. The total cost is driven by the evolution of end user (i.e. client and potential customers) testing and feedback. It is for these reasons, we appreciate the actual total project development cost is unknown. So depending on the size of the project and/or its life cycle, further funding might be required, before, during or after any of the project life-cycle steps.
Funding the development cost of a product is known as Seed money, and can be raised in various ways.
Self-funding is the best option, but if you require external funding, here are some options:
This funding option seems to be the most popular for new inventors.
Basically you could do a strategy like this:
This way someone else pays for all the development costs, and you get a business mentor (and all their contacts).
Types of Investors:
You could use the prototypes, plus a promotional video on crowd funding platforms such as http://kickstarter.com
Generally if you can not self-fund your project, you will need to draw up a business plan and use concept design material (e.g. life-like product visualisation as photos or 3D animations). Or a early prototype to explain and demostrate the purpose of your product. If this is the case, please let us know as we can provide you with life-like concept design material, or an early prototype.
To help with grant applications, business plan, etc - we'd suggest contacting the Gold Coast Innovation Hub.
Here are a few great links to further information about raising funds for your product:
Our team is comprised of a small group of very talented unique individuals, including robotics engineers and PhD scientists. Each have been passionately learning and developing their technical arts since childhood. Together we bring a wealth of experience and cross-pollination of skills. This allows us to provide you with the most ideal solution for your needs.
It is also important to understand that having a skilled team like us, will not mean your project is going to cost more then a company that does not have robotics and PhD scientists. In fact, because we have these skills on the team, your project can be completed cheaper and quicker then companies without such skills (e.g. companies that specialise in just mechanics, or electronics, or software, or concept artistic design). Furthermore, having our team on your project, means the design can be optimised for minimum viable product (MVP) - which is important for maximizing return on investment.
For more information, please see our about us page.
Great products evolve through user testing and feedback from bench/field testing. Because of this, it is very common that the end/final product is very different then the initial concept/plan/prototype.
From our experience, th- best approach for NPD is agile-like methods. That is: one tries to get an initial prototype very fast and then show it to the end users, to get feedback and improve. The user testing and feedback and improvement cycle should be short to minimise risk. This also means NPD projects should not try to solve all the problems at once, as this increases the development risk/cost/timeline.
It is for these reasons, the following terms best fit this type of work:
To proceed, please contact us to advise us of your project brief, concept and/or list of objectives, so that we can start the project review phase.
Hawker is a town in the Flinders Ranges area of South Australia, 365 km north of Adelaide. The town population is about 300, with another 200 people in the surrounding district. It is in the Flinders Ranges Council, the state Electoral district of Stuart and the federal Division of Grey.
The main economic activities in the area are tourism and pastoral runs of sheep and increasingly cattle. Due to the arid environment, the stocking rates are low, at about one sheep per three to four hectares. Hawker is 55 km south of Wilpena Pound, a unique natural dish-shaped range of hills popular with tourists, as well as the spectacular scenery of the southern Flinders Ranges.
Hawker was a thriving railway town from the 1880s until 1956 as it was on the famous Ghan railway line, until the route was moved further west when the line was upgraded.
The town, population of about 300, offers visitors all essential services needed for their stay in the Flinders Ranges or for those venturing further into the Outback of South Australia.
Hawker is administered by the Flinders Ranges Council based in Quorn, another unique location which has so much to offer the visitor. A large variety of accommodation styles is available in the district at affordable prices. A number of establishments provide meals or takeaway food, and there are several stores to stock up on provisions for that short or longer stay in the north.
We met with Luke Cole from COLETEK and very quickly realised that he was very knowledgeable in robotics and prototyping. What separates his company from the rest, is that he had a unique value proposition - COLETEK offers a tele-operated / robotic unit for rent and with the flexibility to be modified to build proof-of-concepts. That unit lowered both the cost and time for us to produce a video showing a very challenging concept. In general COLETEK's service was great value. We would recommend them - they will get it done.
Skykraft is a Canberra based company designing and developing spacecraft for the delivery of global space-based services. Luke and the team have been very responsive with quotes and delivery of machined parts for our company. Looking forward to working with COLETEK on our space programmes.
We engaged COLETEK to conduct a series of research projects on robotics and we very pleased with their technical skill, creative thinking and hard work. If you need to prototype a complex technical idea, they are a great partner to work with.
COLETEK have been absolutely fantastic in their support and manufacture of various components for us. Our designs are always bespoke, intricate and low volume and it’s great to have an Australian company like COLETEK as a trusted and quality manufacturer for our spacecraft mechanical components and assemblies – which have been flight proven through successful mission operations. Keep up the great work!
Intuitive, innovative & efficient are three words that would appropriately describe the COLETEK service. Luke and the team at COLETEK have taken our concepts to the next level.
From an idea in my head to making sales nationwide and now worldwide. COLETEK were there every step of the way. The product was my first development so I had no idea really. With COLETEK offering privacy agreements and steering me in the right direction, it gave me confidence instantly. One thing that may seem irrelevant they questioned me about what it was I was trying to achieve and if in fact if it's even viable? That for me showed COLETEK wasn't in it just for my money. After some meetings and a couple of CAD drawings we had our first working prototype. COLETEK's knowledge and experience definitely made this whole process a lot easier. From CAD drawings, prototypes, liaising with suppliers in Australia and overseas - COLETEK done the lot. I'd highly recommend COLETEK!
Delivered excellence on time, great work and great team, thanks!
Great delivery, and great relationship orientated services.
We had the opportunity to work with Coletek on the re-work of some complex SMD PCB assemblies during 2019. The work was carried out to a very high standard and we were extremely pleased with the outcome. We would not hesitate to recommend COLETEK for any type of complex technology work requiring high accuracy and professionalism.
As the proprietor a DIY environmentally pest control products business I have been more then impressed with COLETEK's design capability and professionalism in assisting to realise an idea into reality. From concept, CAD drawings, 3D modelling, alterations right through to the finished product. I am extremely happy with our new termite control product. I have no hesitation in recommending COLETEK's services.
I consulted COLETEK for some work, commencing in 2014, and haven’t looked back. The project was very important to me, and COLETEK not only saw that but exuded sincere enthusiasm about the project; they are attentive, and thorough in their research and development service. They are a wealth of information and advice, for many aspects of the entire engineering and commercialization space, and this has been invaluable to me. I look forward to continuing work with them long into the future!
In the development of our new product Smart Syphon we had a tight deadline to launch the commercial version of our product and experienced some issues with our drawings. Luke and his team dealt with the issues, worked through the week-end and delivered a quality outcome on time.
Our company has been working with COLETEK and Luke Cole for several years. Luke is very intelligent in many areas and has provided us with excellent designs and service. With the addition of a marketing section to provide brochures, packaging, etc. COLETEK is a one-stop shop. Based on our experience, we would highly recommend Luke and his company.
COLETEK have provided one to one communication throughout the development process and gone above and beyond in bringing our ideas closer to becoming a reality! Luke's expertise and knowledge with computer software and electronics is Jedi like, but what I liked most about working with him was his willingness and ability to think outside of the box.
Salita engaged Luke Cole to troubleshoot issues we were having with a drive motor system with a dynamic variance of torque and speed. After approaching no less than a dozen Australian supplier and engineering firms to provide a solution, and after 12 months of product design and testing, they could not verify why their recommended motors where failing and reversing suddenly. Luke undertook testing and analysis and quickly supplied information on the failures. Not only did Luke uncover a rare, uncommon failure but also provided a solution. The COLETEK team are our go to for the correct solution the first time, for all our electronic needs.
We had an idea that needed very complex design and prototype requirements. After much frustration dealing with other prototyping companies both in Australia and overseas we came across Coletek and have not looked back. Luke has been extremely helpful to date and we are now on the road to developing the product we had envisioned. Luke has been more than capable of taking multiple and constantly changing design facets in his stride and has ultimately given us a clear path to a successful product.
Luke has a very broad depth of knowledge across many engineering disciplines and has a large project base to draw experience from. I engaged COLETEK for assistance in some early electro-mechanical design for a hoisting system. They've been a great resource for helping develop ideas.
Great prototype product made to our specs with minimal fuss. Delivered on time and within budget. Thanks team.
I would thoroughly recommend COLETEK they provided me with excellent feedback and engineering knowledge with regards to our idea. They also have continued to help us with what direction we should take and introduced us to other professionals that have also guided us. I suggest anyone who has been thinking of something they would like to pursue should contact them to get the most realistic approach of making it successful.
I had a technical design and prototype job I needed done and had contacted two companies in Brisbane before I discovered COLETEK. From my first conversation with Luke, I knew that he was the best person for the job and he delivered under budget and within the required timeframe. The device he manufactured for my company will save us thousands of dollars and it is highly likely that we will on-sell the device to similar organisations. I recommend COLETEK for any design and prototype work you can imagine for your business.
We worked with Luke from COLETEK to develop a prototype for a new venture. Luke was able to give us practical advice on how to execute the project inline with our budget that was super useful. What has been endearing, is that even after the build was complete, Luke continues to touch base with us offering help to keep the momentum of the project going forward.
Thank you for the fast and efficient service you have provided us over the years for 3D printing prototypes of specialised containers we are developing to manufacture. The 3D printing has been beneficial in perfecting and obtaining the perfect containers to suit the purpose and our needs.
After approaching COLETEK with a few sketches of a plumbing tool I had in mind Luke and I immediately bounced a few ideas around. Leaving things with Luke he quickly produced some 3D images and ideas we subsequently used. Before long COLETEK produced an operational 3D printed prototype of the tool. I was then able to use this prototype to seek funding for further research and development.
We have used COLETEK on a couple of occasions and found their service to be professional and on time. We specialise in engineering and design of height safety equipment and since a lot of parts are made by casting from stainless steel we require a quick model before we proceed with the tool manufacture. COLETEK has been able to provide this quickly saving us valuable time and giving us peace of mind knowing our parts will look right when casted from stainless steel.
I'm in the early stages of my prototype design. I have worked with Luke for a couple of years now and in that time I have found Luke to be very reliable, responsible with my design, honest and trustworthy. What stood out the most was Luke's pride and commitment that he undertakes to ensure a positive outcome. I consider it a privilege to call Luke an associate and have no hesitation in encouraging others to do the same.
Multistore Industries was in the process of developing new product for a client and needed a 3D handle printed before we went into the expense of mass production. I meet with Luke several times and he assisted with the drawings and then printed the handle. The handle was then presented to our client within 1 week and approved by the client. Thank you to Luke and his team for making this process so easy and for a client who couldn’t visualise the finished product Coletek was the perfect solution. Our company will not hesitate to use COLETEK for further projects.
Working with COLETEK has been a pleasure. All parts we received are good quality and made exactly to our drawings, turnaround times were quick and never later than stated. Overall a great supplier and would recommend to any others interested in 3D Printing. Thank you!
Our first foray into the world of 3D printing brought us to COLETEK. We consider ourselves fortunate to have made this connection. COLETEK were accessible and easy to communicate with. They provided clear feedback and advice regarding the printing process, 3D file formats, resolution options and the likely time and costs involved. They provided prompt, invaluable service at a critical stage of product development, demonstrating a real understanding of our particular needs. The costs of services were totally appropriate and represented real added value to our final product. Thank you Luke and the team, we look forward to further opportunities to engage COLETEK.
I engaged COLETEK several years ago to produce designs and working prototypes of 2 products I am currently developing as I was having difficulty obtaining what I required from overseas design companies. I have always found Luke easy to work with and having face to face meetings made explaining my concepts so much easier than endless emails. Design changes and modifications are always produced in a timely fashion and available for pickup locally.
COLETEK has assisted on a variety of last-minute 3d printing overflow tasks for various projects. I've always found them to be very responsive to my needs and turned around urgent work in shortest possible time frame. I wouldn't hesitate to use or recommend COLETEK for any future design and/or 3d printing requirements.
I used COLETEK for the design and prototyping of a new medical airway device I invented. They were enthusiastic, responsive to my input and I was very satisfied with the product they gave me. I can strongly recommend their services.
I was grateful to find Luke Cole at COLETEK in the early days of an invention idea. He was very patient and generous with information to guide me along the way. And even though I did not preceed with my project, I would still recommend his services. Thank you.
Luke and the team do a amazing job. Extremly happy from start to finish
We used COLETEK on a small project involving mechanical and electronic design aspects as well as software development. COLETEK understood our requirements at the outset and worked to accommodate our needs. The whole process was professionally conducted and we highly recommend COLETEK
I would like to thankyou for your time and development knowledge for assisting me in designing a new helmet for the Fire Fighting Sector. I apologise that I came to you with not much information to work with but I must admit I was very impressed with what design you came up with from your CAD drawings to achieve the final outcome. That new design is in the hands of our manufacturer over in Europe and we are hopeful that we will be able to release a new futuristic finished product for the next fire season. I would not hesitate to recommend your services to other customers who were looking to design new products.
COLETEK proved to be the perfect choice to help us kick our project off. Their analysis of the problem we presented with them with, and their suggestions for the most efficient and effective way to achieve a solution prevented us wasting time and money heading down the wrong path. I'd recommend COLETEK without any reservations.
Thank you for your recent help with my enquiry. I have been able to proceed with my project which was proving very difficult before I was fortunate enough to make your acquaintance. The help you have given me and the contacts I have made with your support has been invaluable. Thank you so much and I look forward to a long and fruitful association.
We recently engaged the services of COLETEK to perform some penetration testing on our systems. We found Luke flexible and accommodating with our specific needs. Luke provide what we needed to show our clients our security measures with our systems. I would have no hesitation in recommending Luke.
I can say that I've only dealt once with Luke Cole at COLETEK and I found him to be very professional and helpful with his assessment of my device. His expertise and suggestions with regards to my invention was great, despite my pedestrian description of it and what I was hoping it could achieve. In the end his advice was paramount in my final decision as to whether I would move forward with the development of a prototype.
I recently discovered COLETEK after I accidently managed to fry the PCB on my hard drive. The drive contained 13 years worth family photos and wasn't comfortable sending it off where it could be damaged more or lost in the post. After spending hours researching and emailing different data recovery companies, I decided on COLETEK. Luke was very helpful and let me know the estimated costs up front, and was able to quickly do the repairs necessary to get my drive running like new again. I was able to back up the whole drive and the bill ended up cheaper than the original quote. I can highly recommend them and have already sent a friend to get their drive repaired too.
I have been working closely with COLETEK for the past 6 years now, and I must say, it is a success story :-). I highly respect their team, they are a pleasure to work with and top skilled professionals. In addition to their top Technical service, their customer service is brilliant and it is a rare find. Their PCB repair rework skills are top notch and a rare find in this industry. I have been working in the IT industry for the past 20 years in various fields and seen it all so I can say with certainty that they are the best around and I am looking forward to keep working with them in the future.
Luke from COLETEK provided server setup and consultation for our media production Business. They were prompt, professional, and helpful, and gave us some good ideas and options when it came to a custom and cost effective solution. They have been prompt and responsive since initial setup, offering advice as needed and supporting additional requests. Highly recommended!
I was very impressed with the prompt service I received from COLETEK IT. I submitted a request for assistance on Thursday when my Windows PC failed to boot. I dropped the computer off Friday. Saturday - I was notified that analysis was complete and that a reinstall of Windows was required. Sunday - I was notified that Windows had been reinstalled and all my data had been copied back. Monday - I picked up my recovered machine from COLETEK. Four days from initial contact to having my system back would be great service in anyone's book. I have no hesitation in recommending COLETEK IT.
We've worked with Luke and the team on and off for the past two years. We've found them very accessible and extremely thorough in their dealings. Their documentation is second to none and we’d have no hesitation recommending them on this basis alone.
We experienced some issues with our Linux server. I contacted Luke and explained my concerns, Luke come to our office (after hours) to run some tests and when advised me that some programming was required and that the hard drives were overdue for replacements. Luke suggested I drop the server of at his office on Friday late afternoon so he could do the fix on the weekend and he would come to our office on Sunday afternoon to install the updated server. I gladly accpeted such a great offer. Everything went exactly to plan even though we had to deal with really bad storms and some power outages on that weekend. Job well done.
I had a hard drive malfunction caused by a power surge. Attempts by local IT technicians were unable to recover the data, and ended up making the situation worse. I was advised to give up on getting any data back. After searching around online for an advanced data recovery service I selected COLETEK because of their prompt and professional response to my request for a quote. They also had the cheapest quote I obtained. I posted the drive off to COLETEK, and the team were able to extract much of the data from the drive quite quickly, and they kept me informed at every stage of the process. I have recommended the services of COLETEK to several acquaintances with data recovery needs, and will continue to do so.
I came to coletek when my portable hard drive failed, I had data I needed for work and university and they managed to quickly recover all of it and even replaced the drive within the enclosure for me, all within a relatively quick timeframe and for a reasonable price. I definitely recommend them for data recovery!
Massive thanks to Luke and the guys at COLETEK. My Hard Drive was severely damaged (level 4/6) and they managed to recover 100% of the data (including a 400GB single encrypted file I really needed), the price was more then fair and it only took a couple days. I highly recommend COLETEK for their quality, value, speed and friendliness.
In July 2012, my hard drive died, and with it all my data, treasured photos etc. COLETEK was able to recover the data of my old hard drive for me - it had damaged platters so an extensive data recovery process was required. The service was great and fast, Luke came by within 24 hours to do a quick analysis and was then able to proceed with the recovery within days. We were so happy to get all our data back!
My Back up hard drive froze so I shopped it around to all the Geeks to see if they could indeed open it. without success. A friend put me onto COLETEK and I had my vital info back within ten days. Money well spent.
I highly recommend to anyone with a need for data recovery to contact COLETEK - they are impressive from start to finish. I was impressed with the turnaround of each stage of the job, as well as with the cost to complete it. These guys are excellent to deal with, great communicators and clearly know their stuff... and, as I understand, HDD data recovery is only one component of the work that COLETEK does. Well done guys, keep up the great work!
My hard drive died with 18 months of work plus photos of my daughters 1st 18 months of life. I contemplated building a time machine to go back and document all those memories again - though I found it logistically and financially much easier to go with COLETEK. My recommendation is forget trying to build a time machine - call COLETEK.
An IT consultant confirmed that our hard drive had died and that he was not able to extract information from it as it was completely fried! The IT consultant recommended COLETEK to me, saying data recovery wouldn’t be cheap but it was our only option other than to attempt to reconstruct months of MYOB (and other) data. Luke was easy to deal with and managed to recover virtually all of the information on the hard disc within a few days. Fantastic work!! Luke, you saved us miles of heartache!!
I had an external hard drive containing valuable data that quit working. I thought everything was lost. I used the services of COLETEK to restore the contents of my drive and i was able to retrieve everything. I would not hesitate to use COLETEK for hard drive recovery.
Excellent service quick response and great results and reliability.
I was exceptionally pleased with the service that I received from COLETEK. I had been advised by a number of different computer "experts" that my hard drive was fried and that nothing was recoverable. I wasn’t too hopeful but Luke was able to diagnose the problem and recovered 99% of all our files. We could not be happier with the outcome. I would not hesitate to recommend COLETEK for all your computer problems.
Highly recommended for COLETEK's service! Reasonable price and express service! We have two back up external hard drives at home and for some reason both of them were corrupted (later found out it’s due to some sort of electrical surge??). Both drives contained over 10 years of valuable technical works, numerous photos from our pre-kids travel days, as well as photos and videos of our first born! We tried another company but only recovered around 55% of the data and it costed a FORTUNE! Contacted COLETEK, explained the problems and received my recovered data within 14 days of initial contact (it wasn’t an urgent case). I was over the moon when I was able to locate a technical piece of work that I’ve done 15 years ago, and of course videos and photos of our first born.
Luke from COLETEK has assisted us on a number of occasions and has always been helpful, courteous and understanding of our needs. There was an instance when timing was of the essence and Luke was able to prioritise our job to ensure we weren't affecting our customers in a negative way. He is highly recommended.
I have outsourced many projects through COLETEK over the years for a variety of applications. Applications such as a online based software platform that pulls live data feeds and updates in real-time to the user. A custom built website for adding users and products that achieved over 20,000 listings. Mobile applications. Data recovery and hardware repair. Custom SEO services and secure hosting services. I choose COLETEK because I know that a job will get done as requested and within a reasonable time frame. Also I'm a stickler for security and they're the best.
We had the pleasure of doing business with COLETEK who provided us with service work. Their level of service and the quality of their work is exceptional. They communicated with us through the entire process to let us know when the work would be completed. We are very happy to have worked with them.
Our dealings with COLETEK were pleasant and professional. Luke was kind and courteous and very easy to talk to. High quality design concepts were emailed through with regularity so that we always knew exactly what was going on. I would recommend supporting hard workers and local Australia business by working with COLETEK