Manufacturing is risky for a startup. Tying all your resources up in product can be dangerous if your product isn’t manufactured right, or if it costs too much to manufacture. Managing risk is the most important part and the hidden costs of manufacturing overseas can completely eliminate the savings on paper. U.S. manufacturers can help reduce a lot of the risk for a startup, and offer experience and expertise that an offshore company cannot, saving money and producing a higher quality product.
For three months in 2012 I lived in Shenzhen, China, participating in a hardware startup accelerator HAXLR8R and trying to get my company Portable Scores off the ground. I kept a blog while I was there. The goal was to learn about manufacturing in China, pick out some factories, source our components, and get everything ready for when we lined up funding. What I learned during those three months was not just how to do it, but that there are times when you just shouldn’t do it, and for a startup, it’s not just about money, it’s about managing risk. Our plan right now is “Assembled in USA.”
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.