What's Cool In Hardware May 2017

· by Jared · Read in about 10 min · (2042 words)

Over my past few posts there has been a common theme of “using things that already exist.” This stems from a mindset of building things from scratch whether or not they’re actually warranted or needed. For instance, you may work with a fussy firmware engineer who finds the provided vendor code just deplorable to use. That person then takes extra time to go about writing their own platform or system that replaces the vendor code.

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How to Wrangle Your Supply Chain

· by Jared · Read in about 9 min · (1847 words)

It’s stressful to be on the front lines of a pre-production effort. It’s even more stressful when you are the only person that is responsible for the majority of the design, component selection and procurement. In this post, I’m going to dive in some of the ways you can leverage distribution partners and your factory to manage your bill of materials for you. That way you can stay ahead of the game and focus on what really matters.

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Node and Html5 Logo

How to use Node.js WebSockets on Raspberry Pi

· by Jared · Read in about 12 min · (2353 words)

In order to get interactive with your now serial enabled Raspberry Pi we need a framework that will provide the ability to communicate in real time over the web. For example, if you press a button in a web browser on your Mac it enables a GPIO on your Raspberry Pi/Arduino which subsequently enables a relay connected to a light in your house. Before we get started: since creating this post back in 2014, much has changed in the landscape of Node.

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Hard at Work

How to Develop to Your Product Prototype

· by Jared · Read in about 17 min · (3475 words)

Prototyping can open your eyes to the possibilities or the constraints that you now have to create a product. For instance if you 3D print a prototype and find that it’s darn near impossible to hold for people with smaller hands (or large hands for that matter), you should modify the design so it works for your intended demographic. Especially if your demographic is filled with people who have large hands!

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Prototyping Techniques of Industry Experts

· by Jared · Read in about 19 min · (3924 words)

There are many techniques to prototype the products you want to create in the future. I have had the chance to work with some of the most talented people in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through their inspiration, I wanted to share some of the tricks of the trade making something from nothing. Here are their and my favorite ways to prototype: Note: this post is lengthy. If you are particularly interested in a certain technique see the list of links below:

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How to use Jekyll and Git Submodules

· by Jared · Read in about 4 min · (748 words)

The delivery of static files from a web server to your browser can be blazing fast. That is one of the advantages of using Jekyll vs. other dynamic web content systems like Wordpress. One of the drawbacks, unfortunately, is that Jekyll requires much more knowledge about the intricacies of how all the pieces work together. (i.e. fix things when they break in Ruby, install or bake your own plugins, etc.

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Turbine Generator

Static Site Generation and Reviews on Static Web Service

· by Jared · Read in about 15 min · (3094 words)

Remember when static websites were the only things that were served on the internet? I don’t know about you but I definitely remember the pain of uploading all my sources files via FTP to a web server only to realize there was a mistake in one of the HTML files. Shnit! Nowadays, while web has become significantly more complex, there are companies, mom and pop shops and individuals looking to make it simpler.

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The Nuances of Working as a Contractor at Startups

· by Jared · Read in about 10 min · (2020 words)

Contracting can be a beast in an of its own. Startups with founders that are worth their salt will often contract work out instead of hiring employees. There are pluses and minuses to both situations. Likely though, especially for someone they’ve never worked with, the hiring manager will push for a 3-6 month contract to start. If your heart is set on full time employment there are some things you can do to get compensated for your work.

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An abandoned factory sits idle after years of non-use.

How to Find the Wrong Factory To Make Your Product

· by Jared · Read in about 13 min · (2658 words)

For a product company, your factory is where all the magic happens. When things go wrong the factory is the place you get on a plane to go and fix stuff. It’s a central source of frustration for many startup CEOs because those relationships sometimes don’t work out. There are dozens of things that could go wrong with finding the right factory. So let’s chat about all the things you could do that could make things much more complicated.

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Interview with Lego man.

Ask the Best Questions at your Startup Interview

· by Jared · Read in about 12 min · (2378 words)

Interviewing at a hardware startup, especially early stage, is a different experience. Founders often have no protocol or rubric for bringing on talent. They will often make a decision by a combination of how they feel about you as a candidate but also your past experience. This is a bit liberating because you don’t necessarily have to be the best technically as long as you can show that you’re providing extreme value.

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