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Ideation to Distribution Expert Walkthrough

Ideation to Distribution—Expert Q&A

How do you successfully take your idea to market? Even large companies that have been household names for more than a decade experience difficulty getting their new products to consumers as fast as desired—that makes the market incredibly intimidating for start-ups still working on their first prototypes. At HardwareCon3 this year, Fathom Co-Founder and Principal Rich Stump participated as a panel member to discuss the challenges and possibilities when developing and distributing a new product. For the full scoop from this panel, take some time to view the video below.


Moderated by Bob Christopher, the conversation also includes insights from Brady Forrest, Vice President of Highway 1 and Sandeep Sood, CEO of Monsoon. Stump and his fellow hardware experts cover topics such as:

  • Efficient approaches to crowdfunding and pre-order campaigns
  • The pros and cons of distributing direct-to-customer vs. retail
  • First steps when developing products for consumers
  • Designing for margins
  • How to think beyond the initial 18 months
  • The importance of prototyping

“We see companies that don’t build enough prototypes, more so than companies that build too much,” said Stump. “But then there’s the catch-22—at some point, the design needs to freeze. You need to move on… A lot of the founders I see are so detail-oriented that they want the product 100% dead-on and they’re not getting to manufacturing.”

Forrest also elaborated on the disadvantages of spending too much time on prototyping—development costs can quickly increase and the company runs the risk of missing its target market by waiting too long. To learn about companies Fathom has advised through the product development process, check out our work with The Coolest Cooler, Headphones for Monster and Atom by Siva Cycle, just to name a few.

Have a prototype of your own to print?

Upload your file to our online quoting and ordering system for 3D printing. SmartQuote offers PolyJet, FDM and SLS technologies—just click to print!

Comprehensive Capabilities for Rapid Manufacturing

At Fathom we offer a unique advantage of speed and agility-our experts help companies go from concept to prototype to manufacturing in ways not previously possible. 

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(Plastics, Composites and Metals)

Tolerance Accuracy Range
from +/-0.001″ to 0.005″

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Fathom is driven by advanced technologies and methods that enhance and accelerate today’s product development and production processes.


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1050 Walnut Ridge Drive
Hartland, WI 53029
AS9100 Rev. D Certified

620 3rd Street
Oakland, CA 94607
ISO 9001:2015 Design Certified

444 W. 21st St. Ste. 101
Tempe, AZ 85282
ISO 9001:2015 Certified

7770 Washington St.
Denver, CO 80229
ISO 9001:2015 Certified

14000 N.W 58th Court
Hialeah, FL 33014
ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 Certified

1207 Adams Drive
McHenry, IL 60051

401 W. Shore Blvd.
Newark, NY 14513
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ISO 9001:2015 Certified

1920 Slaterville Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850

1401 Brummel Ave
Elk Grove, IL 60007
ISO 9001:2015 Certified

13758 Johnson Street NE
Ham Lake, MN 55304

6415 Angola Road
Holland, OH 43528

1050 Walnut Ridge Drive
Hartland, WI 53029
AS9100 Rev. D Certified

1801 Rowe Lane
Pflugerville, TX 78660
ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100:2016

1513 Sam Bass Rd
Round Rock, TX 78681
ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485 Certified

4302 Stone Way North
Seattle, WA 98103