Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Lessons Learned Growing an Open Source Hardware startup
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

×

Introducing the official SlideShare app

Stunning, full-screen experience for iPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Lessons Learned Growing an Open Source Hardware startup

2,953
views

Published on

May 2011 Presentation at Dorkbot Seattle discussing lessons learned building Autosport Labs

May 2011 Presentation at Dorkbot Seattle discussing lessons learned building Autosport Labs

Published in: Technology, Business

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
2,953
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
4
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. Lessons learned growing an OSHW startup Brent Picasso Autosport Labs
  • 2. Autosport Labs History in a Nutshell 2003 – I developed a programmable ignition controller for my race car Thought it would be a fun project – Called “Megajolt Lite Jr” 2004 - Socialized design with other enthusiasts – Interest piqued 2005 - Started selling programmed chips & circuit boards to users Moved operations into spare room 2006 - Graduated to kits Moved Operations to our Garage 2006 – 2007 Moved to fully assembled units Mid 2008 - Developed RaceCapture Data Acquisition System (in beta) 2008 – Acquired Manufacturing capability 2010 - Moved Operations to Commercial space (aka “Lab”) Today
  • 3. What is Megajolt
      A programmable, crank-fired ignition system
      • Designed to replace old-school mechanical distributors
      • 4. Improves engine power, tunability and smoothness
  • 5. Typical Users
  • 6. New Stuff
    • Race Capture
      • Data Acquisition System
    • Interceptor
      • Smart and Flexible Engine Control
    • Megajolt/2
      • Next Generation Ignition Control
  • 7. Lessons
  • 8. What To Do? Combine your passion with your skills If this seems obvious, remember...
  • 9. No Niche is Too Small
    • Megajolt seemed unlikely to be popular
      • Required major mechanical surgery to engine!
    • Yet, still:
      • 3000+ users in 25 countries
    • No matter how esoteric, you'll be found!
    • 10. Specialization leads to enthusiastic and focused community
  • 11. Be Scrappy and Resourceful
    • Bootstrap your operation
      • Resist buying new
    • Research and patiently wait for equipment deals
      • Then jump on them!
    • Be OK starting out with modest digs
      • Don't be ashamed of calling your garage your 'Lab'
      • 12. Build out the manufacturing capability you find interesting. Outsource the rest
  • 13. Manufacturing Capacity
    • Equipment we gradually acquired in various states of disrepair
      • Pick and Place Machine
      • 14. Reflow Oven
      • 15. Drag Solder Machine
      • 16. Stencil Printer
      • 17. CNC Solder Paste Dispenser
      • 18. Mini CNC Mill
  • 19. Design for Agility
    • Minimize being vulnerable to your supply chain
      • Watch out for supply shortages
      • 20. Re-design before you're caught with your pants down
    -> -> Obsoleted Processor Obsoleted Processor ??
  • 21. Picking a Name
    • Pick something domain specific
      • Not product / project specific
    MyKickAssIgnitionController.com vs AutosportLabs.com
      • Gotta have 'em all!
        • .com/org/net - twitter – facebook
      • Pick something easy to spell phonetically
  • 22. Some Name Advice
    • Marketing Gurus sez: Don't name things with “Lite” and “Jr.”
    Oh Well :)
  • 23. Idea Tangents
    • Projects will have a life of their own
      • And breathe life into other projects
    Example: RaceCapture project led to these ideas:
      • Embedded Scripting -> Stamp-Sized ARM module
      • 24. Tweeting Race Car -> low cost race car telemetry
      • 25. Ruggedized Dev Board -> 'Hard'uino Arduino clone
    • Let it flow- don't white-knuckle grip a rigid outcome for your ideas
    • 26. Most Important – As with software, release early and iterate. Don't strive for perfection.
      • Something we are still mastering...
  • 27. Open yourself to contribution
    • Your peers are your network – they generate business and ideas
      • Example: Biz Lead from twitter community led to Aluminum enclosure redesign
    Old Enclosure New Enclosure
  • 28. Marketing
    • Traditional media advertising is dead
      • But you should dabble in google adwords
      • 29. We spent $500x2 on magazine advertising
        • Worst money ever spent
    • Instead
      • Tweet. Facebook. Blog. Make videos
      • 30. Ask your community... anything
      • 31. Put yourself out there- be transparent and relatable
      • 32. Create a culture around your company that is durable and impossible to commoditize
  • 33. Open Source – Community Supported
    • Be one of your users
      • we get racers / enthusiasts because we are racers / enthusiasts
    • Non-traditional business model plays to your advantage
      • Your community will come to your defense
    • Building the business can be as fun as developing the projects!
  • 34. On New Ideas
    • Sometimes ideas bubble up that don't fit your vertical
    • 35. If the pressure is high enough, provide it relief with a parallel business
    • 36. MakerBug – spinoff coming 2011
      • Open Source Hardware
      • 37. for fun and education
  • 38. Fin! Questions? Contact Information: Brent Picasso [email_address] twitter.com/AutosportLabs