What do you wish you had started on – last year?
Seldom do we look back and regret action. Inaction is far more regrettable.
This year I’ve celebrated some small wins, and congratulated myself for laying down the basis of success for quite a few projects. It’s very satisfying when a past version of yourself was looking out for the present version of yourself.
Yet, I’ve also missed out, failed to grasp certain opportunities. One of these opportunities is sharing what I have learned (and continue to learn) along the path of bootstrapping a hardware startup.
My current company Gram started off as a passion project in graduate school. With no formal education in engineering (I was a biochemistry and molecular biology student), and laden with student debt, I successfully developed connected hardware products from concept to clinical trials.
I started in 2014 as a solo founder facing massive challenges that I had little experience with. Being a solo founder is crazy enough, and starting a hardware startup solo is sheer madness. A very special type of madness for a very specific type of person.
The web is so saturated with “startup advice” – most of it bad, or inapplicable to a founder’s specific situation. These days, with hardware-related tools and markets moving so quickly, advice from the front lines of a hardware startup is often outdated or sparse.
I feel obligated to publish some of my lessons learned. Lessons that came at great expense of time and money should not be forgotten – they should be shared with peers, family, and friends.