The Wall Street Journal reports that the nature of the start-up market is changing, as more entrepreneurs are bringing hardware innovations into the market, in no small part due to (one of our favorite things) 3-D printing:
For years, such companies were stigmatized as expensive to fund and operate, given the costs of manufacturing and retail distribution. The consumer-electronics market is also dominated by giant companies such as Apple Inc., Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co.
But the economics of starting a hardware company have changed. Prototyping costs have dropped with the advent of 3-D printers and incubators that provide machining tools. Third-party services have sprung up to help start-ups navigate the manufacturing process in countries like China. And some factories are willing to do smaller product runs, allowing start-ups to turn out just a few thousand units at a time.
Fascinating stuff. You can read about it here.