Three things we learned in Office Hours this week:

1) Having prototypes manufactured in China is still a viable option. One of our members recently commissioned devices to be made as was the norm pre-pandemic. The significant change seems to be that the range of silicon chips available is much reduced and the price is 5 to 10 greater. We will check back in a few weeks to see if lead/delivery times are as expected.

2) Sometimes a patents makes sense. Protecting IP is always a lively discussion in the Office Hours Group. Our members are often skeptical about the realizable value of patents given the cost of maintaining and protecting. Nevertheless a patent has been filed by one of our regular participants and a good argument was made as to why. In the end the company is now able to get out and seek partners. Also, perhaps, we will see more of their prototyping in the Makespace workshops.

3) There are significant opportunities for new and better offerings in process efficiency. Interest rate increases have impacted how companies, both large and small, are looking at investment. The Group observed that in the ‘fat times’ of lower interest rates and abundant cash, introducing innovative products is a good strategy but now it might be prudent to focus on process and managing risk. Not that innovation goes out the door, but rather it returns to how can we make things better as opposed to how can we make a big attention grabbing splash.

These last point echo conversations we have many months ago about the nature of entrepreneurship being about risk reduction rather than taking a big leap. Perhaps we should explore that further in upcoming conversations?

The planned topics are next week to continue exploring the impact of tighter money on our companies and those in the broader economies of Europe and the US (our customers). And the following week to look at how one of our member companies might grow their nascent Dev Ops tool company, with respect to a core team and capital.

Join us each Friday, all welcome. We meet at Makespace in Cambridge ( and on-line.

You can RSVP here:

About the Office Hours Group:

Founded on the principle that all business face similar challenges, therefore business leaders can learn from watching each other solve problems regardless of industry and stage of business, Office Hours is a weekly peer-to-peer session in which businesspeople can get direct and relevant insight into specific challenges facing their business. Each week a member of the group presents a challenge they are facing in their business to other businesspeople who then question, explore and provide feedback.

It all takes under 60 min with time for updates and general questions.