A Funny Thing Happened on my way to the Hackathon….
Strange things are happening in the world of hardware development. Ideas and gadgets, once the domain of large companies with big departments and budgets, are being brought to life by ‘little’ people with big ideas.
But that’s not the strangest thing, what’s really happening is that software and hardware are really starting to work together.
Software-ization of Hardware
Sam Altman of Y Combinator recently interviews by Christopher Mims of the WSJ said “It’s the software-ization of hardware.
All the reasons that have made software so successful are beginning to happen with hardware. So much can be done so quickly, prototyped so rapidly, and the costs are so low.
The two things I look at most in a startup are cycle time and cost. When those come down I think an area is now ripe for disruption. And I believe that’s really now happened in hardware.”
Jolla – Sailfish Operating System
Startups are inventing products that have a hardware face with a software heart – the beauty of which is that the firmware can now be updated and upgraded remotely with cloud technology. In essence, you can have the same hardware device for years and all that gets upgraded is your operating system.
As Stefano Mosconi, Jolla co-founder & CTO, said: “We make hardware to show that we’re really good at doing software.” Their tablet may be award winning at the MWC2015, but it’s the operating system Sailfish that really excites them.
Drop Connected Kitchen
Other companies looking at similar business models are NEST, with their thermostats and, closer to home, the DROP Connected Kitchen Scale – https://getdrop.com. Great hardware solutions with continually improving and innovating firmware updates.
I like to point out to non-makers – “look around you, most of the great disruptions over the last two decades have been software, now its hardware’s time to shine – hand in hand with the softies!”
A marriage made in heaven. We should bake them a wedding cake @dropkitchen !