Hardware By The Numbers: Ben Einstein (Managing Director of BOLT)

Everyone bemoans hardware. If I had a dollar every time I heard the phrase “hardware is hard” I would probably be sitting on a beach with a mai tai rather than typing this.

Repeating “hardware is hard” ad infinitum doesn’t help anyone.

It doesn’t help first-time founders navigate the prototyping process or find a Chinese contract manufacturer that will build a great product at scale. It doesn’t help dull the slow, stabbing pain of selling products into big-box retail or figure out what reverse logistics means. It certainly doesn’t help hardware startups raise the right kind of capital. I hope this series of posts is more helpful than repeating “hardware is hard.

I owe this idea to an anonymous attendee of a talk I gave about a year ago in New York. “I’m tired of hearing how ‘expensive’ and ‘slow’ hardware is,” he whined, “what does that actually mean?” He was totally right. So I put together a 110 slide deck of objective numbers aimed at painting a rough, numerical picture of what starting a scalable hardware business looks like. Over the next few weeks, I’ll cover 8 sections in rough chronological order: team, prototyping, financing, manufacturing, logistics, marketing, retail, and exits. This is the first of 4 blog posts to flush out these 110 ‘numbers’.

read PART 2 here -->

read PART 3 here -->