Shipping a quality device is by far the hardest part of building a hardware company. I’m not even talking about the extra work it takes to deliver an amazing customer experience. I’m just referring to a product that doesn’t break, feels great when you use it, and delivers on the promise. Not just once either, but multiple times over, across thousands of units.
To put hardware life into perspective, a Contour camera has over 200 parts inside. That’s over 200 opportunities to make a product that is misaligned, loose, or dead on arrival. Tested by hand, you don’t even get the 100% guarantee of knowing your device will last for the hundreds of hours you promise, until enough customers tell you it does.
The unfair advantage that hardware startups face is that every consumer has an Apple product in their pocket. Comparing your crooked and under polished device to a product that required an army to build it. Managing a single Apple factory line with more people than your entire company.
To make matters worse, consumers don’t give a shit about how small you are, how hard your product is to build, or that you are running out of money. All they really care is that they paid you and now they expect your product to not only deliver on the promise you offered, but surpass it.
I still remember the first VholdR camera that came off the production line. Envisioning that it would be as beautiful as an Apple device, my heart dropped into my stomach when I realized we weren’t even close. The switches were loose, the rotating lens wouldn’t lock into place, and the back door didn’t “click” when you shut it. Yes, it was an action camera, but it didn’t carry the craftsmanship I had been dreaming about.
Running out of cash, we had few options. Ship and stay in business. Don’t ship and go bankrupt.
We fixed as much as we could and we shipped.
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — Over 500,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled
Wearables — Stop the sweat
Electronics — Hummm… 60Hz noise in your amplifier driving you nuts?
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Welcome to CircuitPython Day 2021! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Forest Fire Beacons, IoT for Beginners, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode for the micro:bit - 2021 Release!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week — 4pm Eastern TODAY! 8/3/21 @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick
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