I have a new job, and Jewelbots is great
Jewelbots has done some incredible things in the four years since we started it. From our Kickstarter, to shipping nearly 12,000 units in 37 countries we’ve done things I thought in my wildest dreams were possible. There are now 8 year olds, around the world, mostly girls, writing C++ better than most adults. We’ve been on Good Morning America, and I’ve travelled the world meeting young ambassadors from Seattle to Sydney.
In the meantime we’ve continued to grow and innovate, we’re still the only open source wearable commercially produced, and the only wearable that talks to both your cell phone and your friend’s devices.
I can tell you there is nothing on the planet more inspiring than seeing a young lady really understand the basics of programming and get super excited about writing code to supercharge a device that is all about friendships.
Hardware is Wild
Starting a hardware company is an insane thing to do. That’s something I’ve told every entrepreneur that has asked me to sit down with them and tell my story for the past few years. I could write the details, but I wouldn’t write them better than Jake has and I’d say many of the same things.
In a nutshell, your biggest enemies are the laws of physics. While building, product companies run into complications that require either bending time and space or waiting a few weeks or months for things to be built or shipped to you. In that time you’re still paying for an office, running payroll, and all the other things that come with running a business.
This is why software was such a boom financially, products that require only 1s and 0s to exist and can use servers to scale exponentially result in incredible economics
Along the way, to keep things going, I’ve taken some contracting jobs, and have lived the ramen lifestyle of a founder (I can’t go much farther without thanking my amazing partner for keeping us in a beautifully tiled home the entire time). Recently, after a burnout, I decided that this unstable lifestyle isn’t sustainable. Both for personal mental health reasons and the best interests of the company.
About a month ago, I saw a listing for something I can only describe as a dream job. On a whim, knowing that the consequences were negligible, I applied for it. I really didn’t go in thinking it was something I would land, it just seemed stupid not to at least try.
Insanely, I got an offer and after much reflection, talking to my mentors and our investors, I decided to take the job.
Jewelbots isn’t going anywhere
First, and most importantly, we have an amazing community of young girls that are building, inventing, and learning from each other. We’re going to keep it going until the very last girl hangs up her bot.
Secondly, Jewelbots continues to grow. We now supply more libraries, coding groups, summer camps, and after school clubs than ever. It’s a business that makes things and sells them for money. That money contains a profit! Jewelbots is self sustaining financially, and that’s just one of the many reasons to keep going.
All of us love what we are doing. We wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m looking forward to getting back into the world of software, but I wouldn’t be able to move on without knowing that we will continue to enable young girls to discover a love of coding.
Well, Jewelbots are sold out again! So, next up is making more and improving the product on the way. We will continue to provide the excellent customer support and fun product that you all have come to know us for.
The best thing about Jewelbots is that I’m not alone in building it, so this village is still here and working on an open source product we’re incredibly proud of.
Just the other day we spoke to a father that coded Jewelbots to cure his daughter of incontinence issues completely within a week, a librarian in Tennessee who is using them to power her summer coding program, and the amazing women in Kansas City starting an army of tiny coders that love desserts.
What is my new job? Stay tuned. I’m looking forward to getting back to the world of helping people smarter than I am to build great software. From 8 year olds to whatever you call the people that are older than millennials. Baby boomers? Something like that.