Chris Dixon: Welcome to the Hardware Revival | Inc.com
Gregory Alan Bolcer stashed this in Startups
Are hardware startups the new hotness? Hardware becomes commoditized far faster than software. It's also easier to reverse engineer.
I went back and read the Chris Dixon piece: http://cdixon.org/2013/04/30/hardware-startups/
Chris says Paul Graham says there are many reasons for this:
Hardware does well on crowdfunding sites. The spread of tablets makes it possible to build new things controlled by and even incorporating them.Electric motors have improved. Wireless connectivity of various types can now be taken for granted. It’s getting more straightforward to get things manufactured. Arduinos, 3D printing, laser cutters, and more accessible CNC milling are making hardware easier to prototype. Retailers are less of a bottleneck as customers increasingly buy online.
Chris then goes on to say what you said: beware the Siren's song claiming this is easy.
My brother-in-law has a long track record of commercial medical devices, but he's giving it the ol' college try for a consumer device. I recommended Kickstarter for him. For kickstarter, you truly have to understand your exact costs and not raise a penny more, pre-sell the heck out of the thing too. The trick is all about marketing. I told him they need to spend a lot of time getting the end user appeal down to a science so that the user can understand exactly what they would get, and then spend a lot of effort and possibly advertising marketing the kickstarter profile.