Venture capitalists hate investing in hardware startups for a myriad of reasons. Design and iteration are more difficult. Margins are low. Manufacturing issues are unpredictable. Inventory is expensive to hold and manage. Shipping is costly and cumbersome.
But this paradigm is shifting and venture should think twice before dismissing hardware companies out of hand.
These hardware trends have already anointed a pack of notable hardware successes. Nest, a personalized wi-fi controlled thermostat is now shipping 50,000 thermostats a month. Pebble, which originally turned to Kickstarter because venture firms weren’t interested, just raised $15M in venture funding and plans to make 15,000 watches a week. FitBit raised additional capital at a $300M-plus valuation. These are merely the first of many successes to come. Early-stage VCs would be remiss to let the next ones pass them by.
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.