Bunnie Huang (@bunniestudios), founder of Bunnie Studios and Kosagi, joined us to chat about building hardware companies in Asia. From his early experience in hacking the XBox and Chumby to his recent open hardware projects: Safecast Geiger Counter Reference Design, Novena Laptop, Chibitronics: peel and stick electronics, he shared great advice and thoughts on trends to hardware entrepreneurs out there who are looking to bring their products to market globally. In this episode, he has offered us a guide on how hardware entrepreneurs need to think about from prototyping a hardware product to scaling it in the factories, navigating the factories in China, figuring out the certifications required and running a crowdfunding campaign that don’t end in disaster.
Here are the interesting show notes and links for our discussion:
- The story of Bunnie Huang
- Hacking the xBOX – lessons learnt
- From US to Singapore: Chumby and then Bunnie Studios and Kosagi
- The open hardware projects: Safecast Geiger Counter Reference Design for the Japan earthquake 2011
- The Novena laptop – the backstory behind the open source laptop and the Heirloom.
- Chibitronics or Circuit stickers: peel-and-stick electronics for crafting electronics
- Hardware Trends in FOSS Asia 2015:
- Post Moore World – Less incentive to replace and more incentive to fix
- Opportunities for small innovators – Shanzai
- The concept of Shanzai in hardware manufacturing in Shenzhen.
- The Starter’s Guide for Hardware Entrepreneurs (At [18:22] of the Podcast)
- What is Bunnie’s advice to hardware startup entrepreneurs? How should they get started? What are the typical questions which they ask him?
- What is the balance between designing a piece of hardware and preparing the prototype for manufacturing to sell to the market?
- What are the pitfalls that an entrepreneur should look out for?
- What are the things which they should look out for in sourcing hardware manufacturers?
- How do hardware entrepreneurs navigate China (specifically Shenzhen) and Taiwan? Where are the key locations where they should spend their time on?
- How do Asian hardware companies export to US and Europe? What are the certifications they need to think about?
- Crowdfunding Platforms: Kickstarter and CrowdSupply. What are your opinions on running crowdfunding campaigns with these platforms? What are the dos and don’ts on these platforms? In your opinion, what are the best practices in running a good campaign?
- Where are the best hardware resources which you will refer people to?
- Additional References from HAXLR8R: Building Lean Hardware Startups, Hardware Trends, Hua Qiang Bei – Shenzhen map.
- Living in Asia and Open Source Hardware
- How do you find open source hardware in Asia as compare to US?
- What are the hardware trends in Asia? Are we going upstream in manufacturing or hardware?