As long-time Spin readers will be aware, Atomic Object founded a non-profit trade association in 2003 called SoftwareGR. Our fall speaker series season has kicked off, and we’re very happy to announce a new experiment. We’re going to be filming several speakers and posting the videos to the SoftwareGR YouTube channel. We think our speakers do a great job and present very interesting information, we’d like to be able to share these talks with a wider audience.
For our first session, on September 23rd, Brett Hackleman presented his talk “Life in a Hardware Startup.”
We were very happy to have a full house for the presentation and a spirited Q&A session that lasted a good 30 minutes after the talk. If you weren’t able to make it, I’d highly recommend checking out this very entertaining session! If you were at the meeting and enjoyed it, I’d appreciate you sharing the link.
Abstract for Brett’s Talk
As Netscape co-founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreesen is fond of pointing out: “Software eats the world.” But in my experience, sometimes you still need a fork. That’s the premise behind Bad Elf, a hardware startup launched in 2010 to build innovative accessories for the iPad and iPhone in the aviation, marine, and GIS/survey markets. Bad Elf products bridge the gap between the physical world and your phone/tablet, feeding data into innovative apps that are delighting customers and disrupting markets.
In this talk, I’ll describe what a typical day in a hardware startup looks like, and present a high-level view of what it takes to bring a new hardware product to market. I’ll also provide some background on what it was like for our team to transition from delivering software services to building consumer electronics, with many lessons learned along the way. There are some obvious and not-so-obvious pros and cons to building software vs. hardware widgets.