Hardware is not ‘software wrapped in plastic’
Bilal Zuberi

We are just about at the shipping stage (about a month or so out) having been through so many of the pains you either mentioned or alluded to. There are 3 of us (and was only 2 for a long time) but the amount of detail is insane. We are both CS masters, I am a CE and my partner is a EE. Our products have 3 radios (one in ISM range so a lot of custom work) and working a challenging rf environment. I have a lot of mechanical experience building robots but designing for building 1 or 2 and 1M is incredibly different and few realize this. I spent a good month or more literally just reading and asking people questions as I iterated on mechanical designs (we did Hax and they have some great resources) and can now design comfortable for stamping processes and plastic processes among others. And since our system is heavily software driven (I would still argue it’s software disguised as hardware), in addition to everything going on still write a fair amount of code (although this keeps me from burning out as I love it). On the china side, we have been working in China for over a year now and I have spent 6 months there (during R&D, prototype iterations and critical manufacturing moments. And my co-founder lives there now… it is tough, and my co-founder is fluent in both Cantonese and Mandarin. There are just end less questions and details. But when things go well it’s awesome. We have a competitor, that is not technical and outsourced everything. They didn’t really design or build much. But their product has had totally foreseeable design flaws and their software is seriously lacking. One thing that I love about hardware is that to do it well, being hardcore engineers and being fast learners is still a substantial advantage :-)

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