As I've been trying to build out some resources for the hardware startup movement over the past two years, I've been able to get a perhaps unique look at metrics in how the movement is developing. I'd like to look at two of the biggest groups in this still very nascent movement: The r/HWStartups sub-Reddit and the San Francisco Hardware Startup Meetup.
First, let's look at the Hardware Startups sub-Reddit. Other than the bump we got over the holiday months (does this always happen on Reddit?), you can see that it's a mild exponential (on pageviews at least). Uniques looks pretty linear other than the knee in October, so does that mean pageviews in up - meaning that people care about hardware enough to look at more stories? No clue...
I haven't run any trendlines or anything, but here's the data table:
Now let's look at the SF Hardware Startup Meetup:
I'm not exactly sure how they determine active members, but members overall is pretty clearly growing exponential here, and active members seems to have most of its activity under the right half the graph - so a sloppy exponential at the least.
This isn't much data, I admit, but it may be the best we can find right now unless someone wants to scrape CrunchBase or Google News for "hardware". However, I think that this, plus the anecdotal evidence all around me, points to a movement who's seeing some multiplier effects that are making it go exponential. Exciting times for hardware!
Do you have hardware data? Post it and let me know!