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The hardware revolution will be crowdfunded

Just a quick look at any of the crowdfunding platforms shows that the concept of funding projects via the web is impacting a huge number of industries. Whether it’s film, print, music or philanthropy, crowdfunding has enabled consumer capital to flow into initiatives easier than ever before. Of all the categories being touched by crowdfunding, the concept has the largest potential to impact the nearly $800 billion consumer electronics space. Why hardware + crowdfunding = success I spent seven years in the hardware industry, first as an entrepreneur and later at a large technology company. It’s through this lens that the true impact of crowdfunding becomes clear to me. As a senior product manager at ATI Technologies (acquired by AMD in 2006 for $5.6 billion), I was responsible for products that were sold both to OEMs like Dell and HP and into retail at outlets like Best Buy and Walmart. To accomplish this I had at my disposal a team of ten engineers who would build new products every 6 to 12 months. These resources were required: almost everything, from the hardware to the software, was custom-made in house. It would take months to go from a product requirement document, […]

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