Heureka! You just had the game-changing, industry-revolutionizing idea that will make you rich and solve most of today’s first-world problems
But …. It requires special hardware. Even if you don’t know much about electronics, there’s one thing you do know: hardware design is difficult and expensive, and it takes a lot of time.
Luckily, you are living in the 21st century, when easily configurable electronic boards, open source hardware, YouTube tutorials, and user-friendly component distributors like Mouser are available, as are 3-D printers, “maker spaces,“ and peer-to-peer communities. How does one start the next game-changing hardware application?
This is very crucial, especially when you start with naught. Convincing established companies and investors that your idea is feasible and profitable requires stamina to overcome the many challenges ahead. Hardware and software challenges are perhaps expected, but the business side can be terrifying. Passion for your project is going to help.
Do It Now
Or someone else will. Get started and get your hands dirty. And don’t be afraid of asking for help and making big decisions; there are people out there who answer all kinds of questions. Even professional contract manufacturers, especially in China, are accessible today; their design specialists may help you without payment up front.
That’s hard when you’re passionate about your idea. However, there will be delays. It will likely take a few—or many—attempts until you get your design right, and every step of a manufacturing process, even for small volumes, can be delayed for any number of reasons.
Focus On What Your Hardware Solves
Inspiration doesn’t often trigger a single, identifiable invention but a larger array of possibilities that are exciting to explore. But at least initially, focus on what issues your hardware solves because identifiable solutions are what will make your design marketable. From a business point of view: Is anybody out there going to pay for your solution?
Use Open Source Opportunities
There’s a wide range of well-documented, affordable hardware platforms with huge ecosystems out there, including Beagleboard, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi. Maker spaces and Fabrication Labs (FabLabs) in almost every town make it easy to create individual mechanical parts and to differentiate the product.
Access Mouser’s Extensive Technical Content
Mouser distributes electronic components from more than 600 of the world’s leading manufacturers, which affords us a broad and deep perspective on the electronics industry. We share this unique perspective through a variety of resources online:
- Mouser’s Applications & Technologies website publishes high-quality articles, eBooks, eZines, webinars, and more, developed by leading design engineers and industry experts.
- Mouser’s Bench Talk blog is another great resource with new content published several times per week.
- Mouser’s YouTube channel is home to our Bench Talk video series and a variety of other technical and product-related videos.
- Mouser’s Empowering Engineering Together series features some of the most interesting and far-reaching topics, technologies, and issues facing today’s design engineers.
- Mouser’s Technology Newsletter arrives in your email inbox with the most timely and timeless articles and related products.
- Mouser’s New Product Introduction (NPI) Newsletter arrives in your email inbox and features the best new products available. You can also access new products at our Newest Products site.
So what are you waiting for? The next big hardware application is just around the corner and has your name on it!
by Marcel Consée, Mouser Electronics