How We Do It

“We can make tomorrow better than today.”
Green Shoe Garage’s Guiding Principle

Our “Secret Sauce” Design Workflow

We employ a homebrewed design and engineering workflow that can best be described as mix of Agile development, Lean manufacturing philosophy, and a dash of the traditional systems engineering mindset. We seek to build products for our clients that are built tough, easy to use, user maintainable, and cost effective. To that end we employ a unique design process that generally following these steps:

  1. Figuring Out What You Want:  Requirements development and functional analysis.
  2. Exploring Potential Solutions: Conceptual analysis and design; feasibility  studies, top-level system architecture.
  3. Refining the Big Picture: Mock-ups and rapid prototyping, iterative design/test loop, short duration builds.
  4. Design the Solution: Detailed design and engineering; refine design to be manufacturable and sustainable.
  5. Build the Solution: Leverage our in-house fab lab to manufacture as much as possible in-house. We also work with our global partners to fabricate assemblies and components that require more complex industrial tooling. We then do final assembly of the finished product.
  6. Test the Tech: Unit testing and integration testing; verification of technology, design, and engineering.
  7. Test the Product: Validate the solution, user acceptance testing, and system optimization based on feedback.
  8. Hack and Harden: Assess any cyber and physical vulnerabilities that can be potentially exploited and design/implement solutions.
  9. Deliver the Goods: Low volume manufacturing and final product testing in real-world environments.
  10. Launch: Deploy, train, and maintain; troubleshoot, make minor production adjustments as needed.
  11. Version 2.0: The only constant is change, keep your product on the leading edge by incorporating the latest technology over time.

Our Design Ethos

To achieve our goals of fast, efficient design we also employ other design and engineering strategies such as:

  • Modular design strategy, reconfigurable products.
  • Maximize re-use of already available open source hardware and software. Even when we use proprietary components, we ensure that anything built atop of a closed platform is kept open sourced. We also use only software tools that are FOSS or have maker friendly versions.
  • Agile development process, code/build a little, and then test a little.  Keep iterating fast.
  • Heavy client engagement and communication throughout the process.  Our clients are team members, not customers.
  • Data Driven. Analytic Hierarchy Process-based trade studies and decision-making support.
  • Document early, document often.

Empowering Our Clients…

We take pride in our belief in the validity of the open source movement and as such we realize their importance by what we provide our clients.  All designs give you the access to the following:

  • Feasibility studies, specifications and evaluation reports
  • Schematic / PCB / Gerber files
  • CAD design and fabrication files of all mechanical components
  • Bill of Materials (BOM)
  • Software / firmware source code
  • Working prototypes
  • Project documentation and final assembly instructions
  • Video tutorial and professional product photography
  • Technical and artistic illustrations
  • License to use for commercial purposes included

…By Putting Clients First

We want to help as many budding entrepreneurs as possible. So we offer a variety of project funding structures to suit your needs and budgets:

  • Online consultation can be arranged through a variety of services. Initial 30-minute consultations can be had with one of our lead engineers for as low as $100. This tiny investment can help you understand the feasibility of your idea before spending tens of thousands of dollars in materials and design services.
  • Fixed Price or Time and Materials project.  Depending on the complexity of your requirements we can negotiate a contract to deliver a product to you on time and within budget.
    • Fixed Price:  Establish a fixed price upfront, 50% due at project start.  And additional 25% due at final design review.  Remainder due after final deliverables accepted. Projects with considerable upfront materials cost may require additional negotiation.
    • Time and Materials:  Depending on complexity we will negotiate an hourly rate and contract ceiling prior to start of work.  Project will be invoiced monthly based on work completed in the previous month. As a rule of thumb for your planning purposes we charge $275/hour to $400/hour for engineering/design and security-related work.  $175/hour to $250/hour for review only work. Historically our engineering/design efforts require the following levels of effort, on average: 40 to 80 hours of effort over 2 to 3 months. Security work requiring 10 to 40 hours of effort over 2 weeks. Review efforts requiring 5 to 40 hours of efforts over a week.
  • Retainer:  If you are looking to establish a long-term standing business relationship you can retain our services via a retainer fee that we charge monthly.  The retainer fee is applied to any costs incurred during the month.  Costs incurred that exceed retainer fee will be handled based on a pre-negotiated arrangement established prior to first retainer payment.

Vitruvius’ Principles for Good Architecture
Firmatis (Durability): It should stand up robustly, remaining in good condition.
Utilitas (Utility): It should be useful, function well for the people using it.
Venustatis (Beauty): It should delight people and raise their spirits.