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Larry Hill Consulting

WHAT WE DO

Larry Hill Consulting helps clients bring new technology to market. We know from long experience that effective innovation only happens when:

  • Business objectives are clear;
  • Trade-offs among candidate technologies and components are accurately quantified and well understood;
  • The development program is executed using well established (but often ignored) best practices and process.

We can help with all of these steps.

Product Development

We often become involved when the market needs are understood, but the technology to be used is still fluid.  Trade-offs exist between various dimensions of product performance, development cost, technical risk, and production cost.  We quantify choices and create a framework for decisions. Depending on the situation, this covers system architecture, processor and hardware platform and component choices, firmware, communications protocol, packaging to meet environmental constraints, and regulatory considerations. Often this circles back to adjustments in the market definition, to best balance competitive product positioning with development time and cost.

Once a product definition exists, we can provide a turnkey development of the product, or of an element of the product where the client may not have or wish to hire permanently the appropriate resources.  We will work on a fixed price basis.

Problem Solving

Sometimes it becomes obvious in the course of a project that specific technical goals are not being met, or that costs are exceeding initial expectations.  This happens when a thorough plan is not prepared, a technical approach is chosen without adequate analysis and understanding, or the plan is driven by a conscious decision to assume risk in order to achieve aggressive goals.  In such cases we have a good track record in bringing a fresh perspective to the problem, and finding the best solution.

Interim Technical Management

Often an early stage company cannot initially afford senior, full-time technical management, but the founders need to create prototypes to prove a concept and attract customers. Also, once technology is developed and realized in product, a different engineering team is sometimes needed than was necessary for the initial R&D. In either case, we can provide interim management and contract resources to solve technical problems cost-effectively, while the founding team stays properly focused on customers and funding.

Technical Due Diligence

Acquisition of, or investment in, a high technology business poses major and often fatal  risks unrelated to market, competitive position and finances. Areas where surprises needlessly and regularly arrive too late include:

  • Product cost is not well understood;
  • IP protection is assumed but patents are flawed;
  • Engineering culture does not include good practice and procedure, rendering product design unpredictable;
  • Innovation depends on key individuals who leave.

We have the experience to conduct a comprehensive technical due diligence. We use a structured, checklist-driven approach which provides the client a clear picture of  what he or she may be facing, and with an understanding of issues important to price negotiation.

 

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