When Flextronics Jeannine Sargent took the stage at Wearable World Congress 2015 Wednesday, she came with important advice for entrepreneurs who want to make the next big thing in tech: scale it back a bit.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity,” she said, addressing the assembled audience at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, “but I think you should proceed with caution.”
Sargent should know. She’s not only president for innovation and new ventures at the contract manufacturer, she oversees the company’s technology and innovation labs. That includes Lab IX, a a hardware accelerator that aims to help small companies and startups make the leap from concept to reality.
Citing the example of Apple yanking a few promised functions from the Apple Watch a few months before its April 2015 launch, Sargent explained the importance of keeping product plans as realistic as possible:
I think giving too much functionality, too soon, to your user base may actually poison them from thinking about how to really take advantage of your new concept. So [take] a staged approach and think about how it’s going to be digested and valued by whoever your target audience is.
In the case of Apple, I think it’s also part of considering the total supply chain of all of the solutions—how are they going to get to market? How are they going to be integrated, both the hardware and the software, so that it’s a robust and resilient system?
Photo by Brian P. Rubin for ReadWrite