You are absolutely right. Hardware is different. Many nice points you make.
Two more points where I think it differs, hurdle or not:
- Software products can (often) be monetized 100% by the company that made it, while for hardware, retailer and distributor margins, shipping costs and making of POS units, eat up more of the cash. It takes creativity to optimize all this.
- As the customer buys the hardware product, they are more “committed” than when they try out software. There is a reason every software company have departments dealing with “churn prevention”. So a hardware purchase has a higher threshold in, but also a higher threshold out.
With IoT products some of this may change though, but there is still some hardware in there.