On Friday, the 15th of November, a piece of paper was signed which saw my work change hands taking me along with it. I don’t remember what the rest of that quote was from my first telephone call with the CEO that I nervously made from my car in a parking lot. I want to insert something like “change the world” or “change the face of cycling” or maybe it was just a larger number. I walked away from the call a little confused with a lot of thinking to do. I trust and believe in the people at this company.
I truly think this is the best thing possible route for me to take. I didn’t want to be another late and under delivering Kickstarter with production troubles due to my inexperience with outsourcing or marketing. Striking while the iron is hot is hard when you can only dedicated 15 – 25 hours a week to something and maybe a few hundred dollars a month.
As for the blog, it will remain (no posts will be deleted) but it will stop any further documentation of the development as it’s going to be under a commercial entity. There is going to be a major design change, and the final product will look nothing like what I’ve developed and conceptualized.
This is a super exciting time and I’d love to explain the new and unique ideas on the table or just how we think we can shake things up. The people I’ve met truly feel very like minded, and in a the few days with them I felt like part of the team even though we were just in the initial phases of talking.
Below are a few imaginary FAQ question about the situation and general explanations.
Why is this happening?
I’ve spent a lot of time the last few weeks evaluating how to proceed with the project, all the while I am sorting bugs, building prototypes, coming up with new designs and now the business element is creeping in as a more important task. Running a true startup means someone has to handle the business side of things, and to me it is a mountain of a task – and I’ve never climbed this type of mountain. I’ve been unable to find someone to take the reins to be an unpaid CEO / marketing person in a small startup that needs significant investment and can’t show any market adoption until I actually have hardware in the market meeting FCC and ANT+ approvals.
I know engineering, and I know how to solve problems. I don’t know how to get investors, sell people on ideas, and be the frontman of an organization. I haven’t decided if these are skills I wish to acquire, or if I only want to maintain status as the engineering hacker type person. I will eventually decide, just not today.
I love the idea that to become an expert you need to spend approximately ten thousand hours practicing. I’ve been practicing engineering since I was a child, and my time estimate for the meter is many hundreds of hours on it’s own. On top of that my 8 years of school (2 years of that were work terms, Undergrad and very hands on Masters) and side projects all throughout – which there were many. For me it presented too much of a risk to the project to let things drag on for another year and a half. Perhaps I’d become a Zombie Startup – or maybe I already was.
We know people want power, and we know there is now feature and price creep. It’s not entirely blue ocean, but it’s not entirely red ocean either.
What about the Blog?
I don’t want to take it down but I think I accomplished what I set out to do – I shared my knowledge of strain gauges to the hacker community and showed that a DIY style powermeter was and is possible. It’s hard, but it’s possible. V3 Was even featured on Hackaday. Which for me is my second featured hacking project (First was an Early LED backlight conversion).
The blog will continue to feature hacking projects by myself, but they will no longer be powermeter related. I’ve had a lot of things I’ve wanted to work on but I’ve placed on the backburner because of the meter. For instance, did you know you can use a guitar tuner app to check relative spoke tension pretty accurately? In fact you can mathematically regress this to actual spoke tension if you know some dimensions! Tensiometer = free if you have a finger and a smart phone.
What about the Beta?
Sadly, that won’t be happening now with my design under my direction alone. I certainly apologize and I want to thank everyone who contacted me and the support that you’ve given me. Things ran behind, life events popped up, I missed a few elements that should have been accounted for in my planning, and I reached my financial limits on what I could put into the project which all caused major slow downs. I apologize, but likely when a product materializes it will be re-blogged here that I had a hand in it.
Didn’t you post this already?
Some people have written to me congratulating me. I was very confused. I thought I had posted this to my blog as a draft but it was not. I accidently hit the wrong button. I realized this in a few seconds when it opened my web browser. I immediately pulled it down. So I learned that some apps, like Feedly, copy the content and feed from their servers! This proves the point that anything on the web can’t be taken down.