It's amazingly clever of professional engineers to use the open-source hardware to make prototyping cheaper. Affordable prototyping feels more democratic. I look forward to reading the caveats in the next installment. I wonder how these methods of prototyping and crowdfunding will change how new engineers are educated, 10 down the line. (Of course, 10 years is an eon in this industry.)
Agreed, launching any start up is hard and launching hardware start up is doubly hard. The cost involved in just the basic infrasturcture is much more. You need tools to get it going. And buying components. Hardware engineers are not easily available and if then they cost more. The risk is very high.But I would say its for passionate people who love taking risks and are very self confident. And if founder is good in basic electronics fundamental and is hands-on then risk is low.
(a) While you have nice job with big corporate with very good facility, do most of your home work - research, collecting literature, getting essential low cost tools, making friends and building new partners. When your ideas get matured or you have partner/customer/VC, indulge in small startup.
(b) If you need to start startup out of neccesity (e.g. lack of lob), it is nice to work as consultant, custom designer for one or two organizations helping them solve their problems with your skills. This will provide you with money required for survival and growth. Also devote more time and efforts to fulfil your ideas/dreams associating with few more people with different background - mechnical/optical/chemical engineers, lawyer, accountant, doctor, financiar etc. This will give you opportunity to become established player with high growth and high revenue. This process generally take around five years. You and your family needs commitment for this.
10 years certainly is an eon and I think even predicting 2 years down the line is hard enough. Looking at how my university is now educating students (and I only graduated from the undergrad 5 years ago) there is certainly a new focus on entrepreneurship and piggybacking on the maker movement's ethos of "just build it and see". I think we'll start to see engineers with a good mix of fundamental technical knowledge with a new appreciation of their abilty to launch a product and influence the world
Hi all, I will be direct if you want to launch a hardware startup you should start with software to prototype your product or system concept ! Indeed, there are excellent open source tools for SysML (System Modelling Language) such as topcased, papyrus,... with which you define, design or refine the functionalities before spending a buck in hardware prototyping. I would insist too on the importance of your business model because the earlier it is devised the cheaper it would be to find another business idea...
What "several hundered dollar CAD system" are you referring to? I'm asking about schematic capture and PCB layout tools. So far all I've found are "several thousand dollar" packages, OrCad, Altium, or free tools that may or may not be able to handle making manufacturing ready systems.