How to be an indie electronics Maker

Writing for the official Tindie blog, Jason Hotchkiss shares three important tips for n00bie indie electronics Makers.

“Have some application in mind! When getting into any new field, there is way too much to take in all at once, so you need to target your efforts and focus in on just one small bit,” says Hotchkiss.

“As you get more understanding and confidence you can step back and widen the view. Don’t be put off by the fact you don’t understand anything to begin with – its how we all got started.”

Next, Hotchkiss recommends picking up an Arduino board and experimenting with various open source projects available online.

“Try to understand ‘how’ things work,” he explains.

“If you get someone else’s Instructable working, try to recreate it from scratch. Keep asking yourself if there is a better way to do something and try to find it.”

Last, but certainly not least, Hotchkiss urges electronics Makers to go open source – even if it initially seems somewhat counter to the conventional entrepreneurial spirit.

“It will certainly work in your favor in the longer term and will help you build up connections. It will also help the next person who is starting where you were,” he concludes.

Sound advice, to be sure, as Tindie founder Emile Petrone came up with the idea for his site while playing around with an Atmel-based Arduino in 2011.

“I posted [a] question on Reddit [asking] if anyone would support a marketplace for these types of [hardware] products,” Petrone told TechCrunch earlier this month.

“The response from that has been incredibly inspiring as we have customers ranging from NASA, Google, Intel, to libraries, CS departments and hobbyists. I have JPL’s purchasing department saved in my contacts. Never thought I’d have NASA as one of my contacts.”

Interested in learning more about Tindie? You can check out the company’s official page here.

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