Kickstarter is a whole new [phenomenon]. I heard another NYC hardware startup lament that they wouldn’t have taken VC if Kickstarter had existed a few years ago.”..
Joe Garrison, whose Saleae logic analyzer is a popular debugging tool among hardware hackers, says the barriers to entry in the hardware business continue to fall. He cites everything from the continued growth in e-commerce, which allows hardware companies to bypass finicky retailers, to Apple’s popularization of machined aluminum. Turns out machined aluminum is easier and cheaper to produce as a product shell than injection-molded plastic, at least in low quantities, Garrison reckons.
The most important change he sees, though, is the growth of Kickstarter as a funding platform, and the long-term decline of manufacturing costs. Entrepreneurs can now head to China with their $50,000 in Kickstarter money and quickly watch their products come off an assembly line. “That’s a massive deal,” Garrison says.