HardwareCon: The Slope of Enlightenment


Having spent the last 13 years helping over 900 hardware startups (they used to be called inventors) taking innovative, physical products to market, I’ve seen the industry go from one that was dominated by large established companies to the burgeoning hardware revolution that has already brought thousands of startup products to market with new tools and technologies and is just getting started.

Despite the growth of the market, many promising hardware startups shut their doors in 2017 and the IoT hype cycle is wearing off. The industry has been doing some soul searching and ultimately discovered it needed to pivot. I believe we’ve entered a “slope of enlightenment”, discovered that the current model is broken and are realizing that it’s almost impossible for startups to learn all the aspects of a hardware startup business while simultaneously developing and launching an innovative technology in the 2-3 year available window.

With only 3 percent of startups seeing any meaningful exit to date, I believe the path forward for successful hardware innovations will come from startups that create robust business models with value driven solutions (solve real problems) and connect with the right partners who are true experts that uniquely understand hardware.  

Allan Alcorn to Speak at HardwareCon

Four years ago, we saw the chance to provide that educational support and bring the community together to facilitate these critical partnerships. I’m excited to say that HardwareCon continues to grow with a big step up this year by moving to the SJ Convention Center April 19th and 20th.  We’re excited to announce one of the godfathers of the Silicon Valley hardware scene, Allan Alcorn, founding engineer at Atari, inventor of the world’s first popular video game, Pong, and Steve Jobs’ last boss as our keynote speaker to kick things off.  

This year’s conference agenda will feature two full days of keynotes, panels, and workshops focused on the most important topics around building a successful hardware company and will feature key insights from the hardware investment community.  

We’ve just announced a new IoT Summit , presented by Parks Associates, titled Transformation of Consumer Products: Connectivity & IoT. The Summit will address the impact of IoT on the development, design, and monetization of consumer products. This Summit  is designed to help executive level hardware innovators better understand market trends and how to position for growth. The consumer device segment of the hardware market remains one of the most exciting areas for innovation.  

To support this new vision for success, we’re bringing together the world’s thought leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and key decision makers across the hardware ecosystem to “Get Deals Done, ” our theme this year.  We chose this theme as it’s evident that if the next generation of startups want to succeed, they will need to have access to and knowledge of the right platforms, software and hardware, investors that share their vision and a complete ecosystem of external service providers who can fill their roles.  Hardware became more global in 2017 with many different models and directions tried and developed. Come be a part of the conversation, meet your future partners, and get deals done.

I’d like to personally invite you to join me at HardwareCon 2018 and right now is the best time to save on tickets as we’re offering our Insider Rate at 25% off the full ticket price.  I look forward to connecting with you there and shaping the future of the next generation of hardware innovation.

Greg Fisher is Founder at HardwareCon.