***Originally, this was posted on my HardTe.ch blog, but I've since consolidated all of them here***
Something is rotten in the state of startups… The promise of technology, to further humanity by solving the real problems of our day, is in decay. We’ve gone from solving real problems to increasingly vapid me-too startups trying to make a quick buck on the flip. What’s gone wrong? Aren’t we seeing a massive amount of innovation today!?!
So yea, the world of the web has been unlocked so, for the cost of living, you too can build a web service and maybe a business along with it. The landrush is now in full swing to apply these new techniques to the frontiers of markets henceforth unseen.
We all know the keys to our new found superpowers:
- Open Source Software - We stand on giants’ shoulders - free of charge!
- Cheap / Scalable Hosting - No longer a fixed cost - often free.
- Ubiquitous Broadband - Yea, dial-up sucked…
- Community - Startups are a “thing” with advocates and meetups around the globe.
- Proven Techniques - Blank, Ries, Fried, etc. all helped show us nerds the way to salvation in how to really build a business, and we saw people just like us succeeding.
- Ample Investment - Those who cashed out before are now making funds and investments into others on the same journey. Investors with real experience and money - priceless.
All this though, and where have we taken this train? Daily deals, digital coupons, social “gaming”, fart apps, etc. Having moved to San Francisco a few months ago, I could fund my next startup with a dime from every Social-Mobile-GameMechanized-with-Deals startup I’ve run into. Please refer to thispublic service announcement for more details.
This isn’t to say that the internet game is done, far from it, the cards are far from down, but the web has certainly matured greatly - which means less low-hanging fruit for us to work with. What I want to know is: what’s the next land rush in technology?
I don’t claim to know this, but I think we’re going to go through something similar to what we did with the web: lots of hard problems to solve that establish our superpowers and then a landrush of people using these powers to fill the void. In search of solving these hard, more-than-software problems, I’m starting this blog to look into the growing trend of startups that have a product based on making physical things.
There’s no good term for them, so I thought I’d make my own: HardTech - blending the elements of the difficult and the physical to form companies that solve real problems in the real world. This is the first page of my journey to explore the coming revolution, and I hope you’ll join me along the way.