Blog Series: Launching Product Design

by Troy Pongratz

President of Pongratz Engineering

Learning to stand on both sides of the fence 


I have been designing products since 1994, solving problems of a three-dimensional nature all of my life.  During family visits I get teased about how when I was a year-and-a-half old, I took apart all of the ballpoint pens in the house and uniformly scattered the parts around.  Designing is a comfortable space for me, and I just think in three dimensions, so it has been a good way for me to make a living.  

Spitfire Armory

In 2013 I decided that in addition to designing other people’s products, I would design my own and try to sell them.  I chose to enter an industry that I knew something about: and would enjoy working in.  This happened to be the firearms industry.  I grew up spending time with my father learning how to be safe and becoming a marksman with many different types of firearms, including pistol, rifle, shotgun and bow.  The company name I picked was Spitfire Armory because it rings true with the firearms industry and also tied in with my love of aviation (one of my favorite airplanes of all time is the WWII Supermarine Spitfire).

What Next?

This next blog series will explore my experiences and the change in thinking I needed to undergo to bring a product all the way to the public.  I’ve come to learn that designing the product is the easy parttaking it down the sales pipeline required much more perspective. 

Learning Experiences

These experiences have made me a better product designer because I can better advise my clients about what path to take to bring their products to market.  I can better put myself in their shoes.  With each project there has never been just one road to get there.  There are several well-traveled trails, but the trick is to pick the best fit for the client and for the product being developed.

Let Pongratz Engineering steer you in the right direction for launching your new design. Contact us at