Appeal to the Computing Maker Businesses in the UK
Stop procrastinating and JDI!!!!
When the Raspberry Pi kicked off the computing revival 3 years ago, (Lets just take that as read – we can debate it later :), there was a great flurry of activity and over the intervening years, a number of business have sprung up supplying all sorts of great goodies.
However, these start-ups seem to have lost their initial verve and drive and instead of designing and building great new hardware and getting V0.8 out of the door – they are fiddling while Rome burns and attempting to wait until V1.1 is fully working and complete.
Now, if your Apple/HP/Samsung – this is probably a good philosophy.
But, IMHO, this is not what is needed/required/wanted/expected of small maker businesses.
The maker/computing revival will stagnate unless the time to market is reduced back to what it was 3 years ago.
I completely agree with you. Three years ago “beta releases” were all the rage – getting something out there and being used was more important to people than getting it out there in perfect condition. Small maker businesses need to push their ideas out the door as quickly as possible – first to market still counts for a lot!
I lay part of the problem at the door of crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
In the olden days of a few years ago , if you wanted cash coming in, you had to ship something. There was a real business incentive to produce a minimum viable product. Now, it seems, you just need to think of an interesting idea, make a video, and people will flock to pay in advance. Sometimes _years_ in advance ( the still unshipped https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/be-maker-kit-plus-free-lessons-on-electronics-from-zero-to-internet-of-things for example) This takes the pressure right off.
When you add in to the mix the popularity of “early bird” deals and “stretch goals”, you end up with a bunch of late-to-market products riddled with bells and whistles.
It’s often hard to imagine how a simple ‘version 0.8’ can compete with such things.
To right Simon, good people have lost their nerve bit and yes Kickstarter has to answer for some of this; no one takes risks anymore. Don’t get me wrong some great stuff have come out of crowdfunding, but a lot of ‘entrepreneurs’ haven’t had to spend much on the development themselves – ‘lazy inventing’.