There are fundamentally different factors that affect scaling hardware vs. software. In hardware there are tolerances, batches, inventory, lead-times, capital expenses and many other factors to deal with. Many entrepreneurs have not worked at established hardware companies, and in turn do not have as much specific experience or visibility to the challenges and processes. Of course this lack of experience in one area brings a wealth of opportunity in the form of fresh thinking. It is critical to have a strong working knowledge of:
- Fundamental financials of production (COGS, Tooling, Manufacturing costs)
- Factory Selection and Management
- Schedule and Project Management
- Manufacturing Network
- Factory Communications
One of the most significant recent innovations that is helping hardware entrepreneurs is crowdfunding, making it possible for an entrepreneur to test the market with a prototype before getting as deeply involved with the details of scaling. Even though it is much easier to get to a functional prototype, manufacturing at scale is complex and it is still critical to understand the the items listed above. Otherwise, you may get funded and be unable to deliver on the promise.
At the end of the day? Hardware is still hard.
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.
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