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How Arena Made Avegant a Kickstarter Success Story

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TV fans you now have no excuse for being couch potatoes. Now you can watch TV while you’re walking down the street, lying on the beach or hiking in Muir Woods. You can thank or blame the innovative company Avegant for creating this personal entertainment technology wearable called “The Glyph.”

“Avegant Glyph is the world’s first personal theater designed with lightweight portability, rich audio, and amazingly clear video,” says Avegant’s Director of Manufacturing Operations Kevin King. “The Glyph is a head mounted display on which users can enjoy movies, TV shows, videogames, and perhaps everyone’s favorite… cat videos.”

King joined Avegant in January 2015, a year after the company completed one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time. His first role was to deliver a high quality product that customers would enjoy, and to provide executive management a high confidence estimate of how soon the product could launch.

Avegant is proof that you have to be careful what you ask for. Their campaign was so successful that there was immediate pressure to get the product to market immediately.

“What the original 3,000 Kickstarter backers didn’t realize is that the overwhelming success of the campaign made it impossible to release some sort of beta or developer kit product,” says King. “To the credit of the executive team, they realized this fact and quickly channeled the Kickstarter success into a Series A funding round, moved the company from Michigan to the center of Silicon Valley and hired a world class product team that could design a product with all the challenges of the Glyph.”

Faced with the uphill challenge of launching a product into such uncharted territory, King embraced and committed to the wisdom of one of the great industrial designers, Raymond Loewy, who stated that a successful revolutionary product should be familiar as well as “M.A.Y.A.”, which stands for Most Advanced Yet Acceptable. “For us this meant leveraging the familiar form of headphones and designing the device to fit in both audio and video modes,” says King. “This drove our team to carefully consider every millimeter of space and challenge ourselves to miniaturize the video options to fit sleekly into the headband. Pushing the design envelope to these limits greatly reduces our margin for error and added manufacturing risks that had to be diligently managed.”

As a growing start-up, King says the company lacked a number of processes and tools common at larger, more established companies. “The key criteria used to select solutions was lower cost to entry with the ability to scale,” says King.

To remove the lengthy delays and up-front, expensive IT burden necessary for on-premise implementations, King chose Arena’s cloud-based product development platform. The ability for a unified product development platform to reduce product errors, accelerate time to market, streamline processes and enhance collaboration are maximized with a multi-tenant SaaS cloud solution.

According to King, “Arena’s cloud-based product development platform became our preferred option, as IT overhead was minimized and scalability was typically easy to assess. And because we are expanding our engineering team, Arena’s easy learning curve was highly preferred. Since implementing Arena we have been steadily moving the product to customers and depending on Arena to help us manage the rolling changes expected in the sustaining phase of any product. Now we insist everything goes through Arena.”

To learn more how Arena helps consumer electronics companies succeed, click here