Jared Wolff

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What's Cool in Hardware - May 2017

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....

How to Wrangle Your Supply Chain

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....

Not sure where to start? Start here!

How to Best Power Your Connected Electronic Device in 2018

Getting Started in Electronic Device Development

Raspberry Pi Getting Interactive With Websockets

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....

How to Develop Your Electronic Product Prototype

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!...

Electronic Device Prototyping Techniques of Industry Experts

There are many techniques to prototype the electronic device 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:...

Install Jekyll Plugins as Submodules

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....

Static Site Generators and Web Services Showdown

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....

Learn How to Work in a Startup as a Contractor

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....

How to Find the Wrong Factory To Make Your Electronic Device

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....

Ask the Best Questions at Your Startup Interview

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....