Websites. Mobile. Deal-aggregators. Game layers on life. Blah, blah, blah. What if you want to create and sell a product made of stuff or light?
Entrepreneurs getting into the hardware game have a few tools in 2011 that make it easier than it was, say, in 2005:
- GrabCAD turns mechanical concepts from napkin sketches (or better) into professionally designed-and-reviewed mechanical drawings for prototype. [note: I haven’t tried ‘em]
- Optics for Hire turns your optical wish into a prototyped reality. LED light-shaping? Medical device? Zoom lens? Done. They do the optical design, and if you want, the mechanical design. And the electronics. [note: I work for Optics for Hire, but I wouldn’t if I didn’t believe in it]
- KiCAD is open-source schematic capture.
- Many firms offer rapid protoyping “personal factories” – AlphaPrototypes, Ponoko, QuickParts, just Google it.
How do you market-test your idea, make a logo, and launch a website? 4-Hour Workweek has some ideas:
- Goodle AdWords, which is wildly useful
- Shopify – instant e-commerce websites
- 99designs.com – logos, websites, and other designed-stuff from a crowd of artists hoping to get your dollars
- Elance.com – outsource artwork, copywriting, and coding
- ODesk – even more outsourcing: code, writing, engineering, design
What would you add?