In this new episode of the Hardware Podcast, David Cranor and I talk with Rob Coneybeer, managing director and co-founder of Shasta Ventures, one of the critical first investors in hardware startups including Nest, Fetch Robotics, and Turo (formerly RelayRides).
- Why Nest looked like an appealing investment back in 2010
- Coneybeer’s focus on virtual reality and robotics as the next big things for hardware startups.
- Why it’s essential for hardware startups to have a long-term plan for improving products after they’re in place, and the importance of over-the-air software updates.
- The consumer psychology of selling a compelling hardware product, and when to aim for high price and high value. “People are willing to spend money when there’s something that’s really revolutionary,” says Coneybeer.
- The current state of venture capital investments in hardware startups. While raising later rounds is becoming more difficult, Coneybeer says: “the most interesting, innovative hardware companies will always find capital.”
This week’s click spirals:
- Rob Coneybeer: Videos of planes landing at Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak airport, which was among the world’s most challenging for pilots
- David Cranor: AmazingMagnets.com, an online supplier of every imaginable variety of magnets
- Jon Bruner: Watching winter rains refill California’s Shasta Lake. I’m using a script to capture hourly webcam images from a California Department of Transportation traffic cam that includes a lake view in the background: