By Mariel van Tatenhove, VP Products
One of the most common misconceptions about startups is where the heavy lifting is. Most people think it’s the beginning: the great idea and building the first prototypes and demos. There’s no doubt this takes an extraordinary amount of energy and focus, but I’d argue the last mile – manufacturing and making sure the product gives users a great user experience – is as critical for success. In the end, an idea doesn’t matter if you cannot produce product in mass volume with 99.99% reliability – as well as make people understand why they would want it. From my perspective, it’s the final phases that make the difference between success and obscurity.