You’ve had a stroke of genius and conceived an idea for a medical device that can solve big problems for patients and clinicians — plus generate a healthy chunk of revenue.
You’ve also done your due diligence to confirm market demand for your solution, and you’ve thought through the user experience.
That’s a strong start.
From there, it’s natural to fixate on your product and want to refine it, again and again, until it’s PER-FECT. And that’s when things can go south for some start-up leaders.
Medical Device Pitfalls
When perfectionism leads to missteps
Perfectionism is on the rise, and that’s not good news, argues the Harvard Business Review. Start-up leaders who want the first thing they launch to be the end-all, be-all solution tend to end up with a disappointing product, despite the best intentions.
Not only is perfection an impossible goal, “those who become preoccupied with it inevitably set themselves up for failure and psychological turmoil,” the authors explain. That turmoil often translates into procrastination “because perfectionists cannot fail on tasks they haven’t started.”
Invariably, an undue fixation on launching the perfect medical device brings costly side effects, including:
- Unnecessary bells and whistles your users may not understand or care about
- Increased costs
- Longer time to launch
- Greater potential for risks
- Greater scrutiny by the FDA
Missing out on invaluable user feedback
Simon Slade, Success magazine writer, cites another casualty of aiming for a perfect first iteration in a new product: You miss the opportunity to have users co-create the kind of product they really want.
“There is a reason why so many successful start-ups have versions 2.0, 3.0 and so on. By launching with the basics, you can not only start earning money sooner, but you’re also able to collect actual customer feedback to determine the future of your product. You might find that the advanced features you were itching to add don’t actually matter to your customers.”
You might also be putting unmerited value on originality, says Slade:
“Originality is not only unnecessary; it can also be detrimental to a startup because it can make it difficult to connect with your customers. New ideas are hard to process for the mass market. Better versions of old ideas? Those resonate — quickly.”
Focus on core functions
The antidote to harmful perfectionism without sacrificing excellence, quality and safety is focusing on a handful of core functions: the essential capabilities you need to deliver key benefits.
Identify a handful of essential functions and focus on refining those — not adding a bunch of extras.
It’s how you keep costs, risks and delays at a minimum, while serving your end users well.
In the weeds on development of a first iteration of a new medical device? Chat with our MedTech Launch division and get back on track for launch success.