The first essential rule for ventures that are beginning to think about manufacturing (Part 2: Organise your wishes and create a base for communication)

R&D-oriented ventures are now having to face manufacturing. Let me introduce you to some “manufacturing literacy” that will help you in such a situation.

In the previous articles, we organised terms related to manufacturing such as “Mock-up products”,”Prototype for principle verification”, and “mass production”.

Manufacturing cannot be completed by a venture alone, it needs to involve external partners. For example, “manufacturing professionals”. Of course, their background knowledge and behavioral styles are different. It is important to define terms in order to facilitate communication and prevent misunderstandings between each other.

With this in mind, let’s focus on how we can actually communicate with each other to promote manufacturing.

Some people may think that outsourcing and communication is “costly and difficult”.However, if you think that you will be able to utilize the vast amount of knowledge, skills, processing equipment, and other assets that you do not have, it will be well worth the effort.

There are several ways to proceed with manufacturing while communicating as follows.

(1) Organize what you want to create and what you want to do.
(2) Selecting the partner to approach.
(3) Approach them. Consult, negotiate, and manufacture.

In this article, I will focus on (1).(In reality, it is more realistic to work on (2) and (3) in simultaneously.)

Especially these days, due to COVID-19, face-to-face communication and in-person visits at events and exhibitions are becoming more difficult. In order to promote things online, organizing information accurately in advance may be more important.


  1. The first step is to clarify what the manufacturing process is for.
  2. “What the customer really needed”: the intentions of those who want to create are not easily conveyed.
  3. “Organizing” is important in realizing what the venture wants to accomplish through manufacturing.

The first step is to clarify what the manufacturing process is for.

When you have to create something, you can do it any way you want, as long as you do everything yourself.It may be a good idea to try yourself first.

However, if you want to proceed with your business as a venture, or if you are to create something that is too difficult to create by yourself, you will need help from others.

For this reason, the first thing you should do is to clarify “what is your purpose of manufacturing? “.

In a little more detail, it is necessary to do the following within a limited time and funds.

・Organize what you need to do to take the next step.
・It is necessary to make at least the bare minimum.

“What the customer really needed”: the intentions of those who want to create are not easily conveyed.

Let me introduce a little fable here.It is a story often talked about in the IT industry, “what the customer really needed”.
It introduces the fact that customers and manufacturers are more likely to be at odds than you might think.
(The original version of this story seems to be from around 1989: reference)


It is very difficult to achieve “what the customer really needed “. In fact, there is no end to the number of projects that “achieve failure” or fall into a death march because they fall into the trap that this fable illustrates.

【Reference】What the customer really needed – TestpointHow do you know what your customers needs are?顧客が本当に必要だったものとは (コキャクガホントウニヒツヨウダッタモノとは) [単語記事] – ニコニコ大百科このプランは必ずや御社のITビジネスに多大なる成功をもたらすベストソリューションとなることをお約束いたします。 この記事は

In fact, the same thing can be seen in the relationship between R&D-oriented ventures and manufacturing professionals (e.g. town factories).
Rather, the gap between the two seems to be larger than that between the client and the customer in the IT industry.
In addition, the know-how to properly deal with these situations is not available in the world, so it is very difficult for R&D-oriented ventures to manufacture.

“Organizing” is important in realizing what the venture wants to accomplish through manufacturing.

In order to avoid such a situation, the venture side must properly communicate their wishes to the “manufacturing professional” side.
To do this, it is necessary to communicate while organizing requests, demands, requirements, specifications, and designs.

Since this is a very important point, I will try to summarize it below.


Mainly, 1 and 2 are the items that the venture needs to think about and organize.However, 3 and 4 also need to be decided through communication between the venture and the manufacturer.

In a project, there are these separate hierarchies: needs, requirements, requirements, specifications, and design. In a project, all these different layers of conversation start to get mixed up and influence each other.”
-(How to proceed with a project that doesn’t go as planned, by Koho Maeda and Yohei Goto)

予定通り進まないプロジェクトの進め方,250円(2020年11月08日 22:55時点 詳しくはこちら)で購入する

As the saying goes

For R&D-oriented ventures , the basic concept of manufacturing is the same, whether it’s a mock-up for display, a prototype to verify a principle, or an attempt at mass production or mass prototyping.
It is probably closer to the reality that R&D-oriented ventures think together with professionals and struggle to move forward.

The first step in this struggle is to organize what you want to do and to be able to communicate it well.

It’s getting long at this point, so I’ll write more about how to organize your specific requests and demands in the next article.

To be continued next time

By: Cho Nobuaka, Leave a Nest Co., Ltd.

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