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Hardware Startups Quotes: A Make HIW 2013 Anthology

The two-day event organized by Maker Media to talk about hardware startups and maker-entrepreneurs was filled by very interesting talks and discussions regarding all aspects of going from “maker to market”, as Dale Dougherty called it. Before going more in-depth into the biggest lessons learned from this second edition of Make Hardware Innovation Workshop, I’d like to share with you a number of quotes from the speakers. They are both straight-forward and inspiring, and I think they give a good overview of the main ideas that are currently in the air.


Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE magazine and Maker Faire, introducing the event.

“You can’t spell hardware without the hard part.” Manu Kumar, K9 Ventures and everyone in the room.

About involving your community


“Like the guests [your customers] by enabling imagination and creativity.” Robert Faludi, Digi International

“Involve people so that they truly understand your product.” Ben Kaufman, Quirky

“Nobody is expert at everything. Ask questions.” Chris Anderson, 3D Robotics

“Crowdfunding lets you know your average customer”. Renata Quintini, Felicis Ventures

About mastering your brand

“If you want to be a billion dollar company, act like one.” Robert Stephens, GeekSquad

“You should DIY everything in your company. Don’t spend on marketing.” Robert Stephens, GeekSquad

“Packaging matters.” Manu Kumar, K9 Ventures

About lowering entry barriers

“Build for people, not for makers only. Even if it’s tempting.” David Merrill, Sifteo

“We are going from maker to mainstream.” Chris Anderson on DIY Drones

“Iterate fast. Think about your next product as soon as you can.” David Merrill, Sifteo

About manufacturing


“The thing standing in your way is not money, it’s the whole process.” Ben Kaufman, Quirky

“It’s easy to know the cost but it’s hard to know the price”. Bunnie Huang, Chumby

“To choose a factory, decide mathematically. And negociate.” Scott Miller, Dragon Innovation

“Choosing your factory is like choosing your family.” John Park, AQS

“Keep manufacturing and distribution close from where your customers are.” David Merrill, Sifteo

“Meet the boss.” Bunnie Huang, Chumby

“Launchable needs to be manufacturable”. Zack Hoeken Smith, Haxlr8r

“The most important issue is the timing.” John Park, AQS

About software for hardware

“Software is what makes hardware alive.” Eric Weddington, Atmel

“Nothing is really open source. You have to be clear about what you share.” Windell Oskay, Evil Mad Scientist

“In the Internet of Things, data is the currency.” Rachel Kalmar, Misfit Wearables


As a conclusion, a last quote from Bunnie Huang:

“Make decisions based on your business, not your ego.”


Happy Maker Faire preparation,





Home picture credit: MAKE magazine

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