The field of applied spectroscopy is strongly dominated by publications presenting proof-of-concepts, lab set-ups, and demonstrations. In contrast, the corresponding number of commercial successes of inline spectroscopy is surprisingly lower. This article discusses inline spectroscopy from an instrumentation perspective. It is the authors' firm belief that the success of inline spectroscopy lies in the understanding of how the design and implementation of the optical instrumentation affects the data quality, and how this in turn will limit or enhance the performance of the prediction model. This article emphasizes the need for a strong, multidisciplinary design team, whose design process is rooted in first principles, to bridge the technology “valley of death” and convert research in applied spectroscopy into commercially successful solutions.