From MAGNET: Fail Fast, Fail Cheap

Each month we’ll be featuring a blog post from our friends at MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network). MAGNET’s mission is to support, educate and champion manufacturing in Ohio with the goal of transforming the region’s economy into a powerful, global player. You can visit MAGNET online at

This post originally appeared on MAGNET’s  Manufacturing Success blog and is reposted with permission.

Fail Fast, Fail Cheap

By Robert Schmidt, Growth & Innovation Advisor, MAGNET

We need to be innovative—you know, try new things! Building on those that seem to work and quickly eliminating those that don’t work out as we had envisioned.

The proven method I use in this case would be the “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap” (FFFC) method.

How do we go about this? Simply stop spending time and money on developing new processes, products, or  marketing messages without trying it out. You want to find out if your concept is a good one? Find out in a fast, easy, and inexpensive way. Bottom line is: The key to fail fast fail cheap is to spend minimum resources to get the concept off the paper (or your mind) and into the application so you can tell if it needs to be changed, destroyed, or finalized.

FFFC follows Demings “Plan, Do, Study, Act” model. In a rapid succession of learning cycles you try out your idea, learn from that experience, modify and try again- all on a shoestring budget.  Fast trumps elegant early on.

An example would be to develop a look-alike or “Frankenstein” prototype made from on-hand or commercially available materials. The Frankenstein prototype gathers critical feedback from potential customers/users. Their reactions (likes, dislikes, concerns) help you determine if investing further resources makes sense and guides your step of development. Its much like taking on an entrepreneur mindset, forcing creativity and short time goals due to a limited budget.

Do you have a proven system for testing your new ideas? Let us know!

Want to learn more about the FFFC method? Contact Linda Barita at 216-391-7766 or visit MAGNET’s Product Design & Development landing page to learn more about how our engineers can help you learn how to “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap.”

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