In hardware, with its overlapping regulatory and cost and design demands, and in base-of-the-pyramid-focused innovation, the money often runs out before an entrepreneur can even start looking to expand. This is particularly true for products that require a lot of iteration and end-user contact before going to low-rate production. Rob Weiss of D-Rev spoke about how crucial customer input was to the design of a prosthetic knee, and Tricia Compas-Markman of DayOne Response concurred with her own story about how customer input on a low-level prototype helped them rethink the closure on a water storage bag (sand and a Ziploc-type seal did not mix). Both organizations had the ability to return to the lab and make the product even better, improving the lives of their customers, but this is not true for all organizations. For example, Janine Elliott of NCIIA mentioned the development of a potentially groundbreaking new type of breast pump, which requires lengthy FDA approval and thus has stalled for lack of funding.
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