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FEATURES SIFTEO

Going PRO

By David Merrill

Makers are turning their hand-soldered prototypes into real consumer electronics.

Startups don’t make mass-market consumer electronics products, only giant companies do. That’s what I used to think. Despite a few celebrated exceptions with DIY beginnings like HP and Apple, it has historically been tough for small companies to succeed making hardware products. The main barrier is simple: it’s expensive and complicated to manufacture physical things!

Components and materials have to be purchased in advance to guarantee availability, each unit requires labor to assemble, and transportation costs eat profit ...

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