It has been 16 weeks, that is 112 days since my last check-in over here. The funny thing is that it is pretty much the same amount of time that it would take for me to go through the HAXLR8R hardware startup accelerator program… Not that I was doing that, though probably I should have. :)
These 16 weeks went by very quickly, and in all honestly fretting about the lack of progress made here. Not that nothing happened, but nothing that felt to be “enough” to be talking about.
Anyway, a recent read that shakes things up a bit is “Stop building a startup. Build a product.” The title says the gist of the story, and it does make quite a lot of sense. I’ve spent probably more time setting up this website with its blog, forum, wiki, and store than actually making something that could make use of those. If the lack of progress makes me rethink something, this article gave me some clear pointers where to start looking to make changes…
Incidentally, there was something I started to work on, that’s actually useful. Based on an inspirational from at work, I dreamed up a mini-PCIe card mounted Arduino clone. It has a delightful combination of “legacy” and “cutting edge”, that I see in quite a few “niche of a niche” products.
I’ve started sketching it out, figuring out the schematics, setting up a page for it on a hardware expert/crowdfunding site (this one is probably one that I could have skipped), and went to talk to people who might actually be interested in it: the Arduino forums and /r/arduino. The latter actually had a lot of useful feedback on using different hardware, use cases, requests, and some exclamation of delight that made me happy (even though I know that I cannot ever trust the “I’d been looking for this 4ever!” comments further than I can throw them). This feedback is basically a “first contact with customers” to some extent, and it’s actually a good thing that now I feel I need to re-think a lot of my design choices (not necessarily change, though) as a way of learning from real people.
This is not a science project, this is not aimed at laboratories, and might not help do physics, as my vision goes. But getting it done will certainly make me more experienced about hardware design, and since better hardware is one of my goals, this is the experience I need to seek out and make the most of.
I think these two main inspiration for this week just reinforces each other. Now let’s see where do they lead…