When we're working on new product directions, one of the first questions we ask is where this potential new product fits in: an addition to an existing genre (like a DAC, cable, or phono stage) or something entirely new (like our LANRover USB transport)?
Adding to an existing category of products, like a new DAC, has very different design challenges than blazing a new path forward. What are we offering that is unavailable elsewhere? Better performance, price, or a new feature you can't get anywhere else? In other words, what makes this new product unique enough to stand out in a crowded field?
When dreaming up new products my internal, personal, conversation with my homunculus goes something like this: if I had a magic wand and could design any feature or performance characteristic in a DAC, what would that look like? I never let practical matters enter into that conversation.
I just dream.
I suppose every designer has their own way, their own internal conversations, but for what it's worth, that's how mine goes.
If you had a magic wand, what would your new product look like?