This paper outlines the learning process undertaken during development of the Oyster® technology by Aquamarine Power, a leader in the wave energy industry. The first generation prototype of the Oyster Wave Energy Converter has operated for more than 6000 hours offshore, enabling significant improvements in the forecast power capture and efficiency of the second-generation device. The importance of a good data capture methodology, both in terms of handling and accuracy is presented here. The techniques and procedures implemented by Aquamarine Power for real-time data management are discussed, including lessons learned on the instrumentation required to collect high-value data and the resulting instrument installation considerations. The analysis of real-time wave and device performance data from the Oyster 1 prototype is also discussed; generally it has been found that numerical models predict the full-scale device performance well, but further analysis will be required following deployment of Oyster 2. Also presented are the processes that will be used to develop an operations and maintenance strategy for Oyster 2 using component inspection and failure records, following the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis performed for Oyster 1. Finally, the outcomes from scale-model testing and their application to the detailed engineering design are described.