Buy or Build?

Long before the decision is made to fire up the CAD workstation and begin capturing schematics, you should take the time to do a thorough search of existing products and components to see whether what you need already exists. After all, you’re creating this new widget because there’s a glaring and obvious need, right? In other words, a real market? If the market exists, it’s likely that other people have recognized that fact and will already be offering “solutions” of one sort or another—even though their solutions might be inferior to what you have in mind. But perhaps you could adapt, rework, enhance, or otherwise improve upon what’s already out there.

While you’re doing this research, don’t be afraid to approach potential competitors. ...

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