Now, the question that really matters, where do I get funding?

? ! To have the gadget prove others it can do something useful and have it in display in every pharmacy and online catalogs? If you suggest the crowdfunding mob, I do not think so... they all seem cut by the same designer and no guarantee from them you will get really funded. I saw some guys who were proposing a device to local government but compared to Chinese working crap it was just too expensive, but it did sound arduino. Looks like they did not get funding either. But somehow China keeps outputting electronic gadgets, and all other guys copying them online. If this is The Question of all people in arduino DIY... just do not tell me arduino is for prototyping and a toy an you have to design your own microcontroller only circuit! One-of-a-kind is not a real ideal, you see? So, since this is Oh So Open Source hardware and surrounded by non-for-profit organizations and free websites, why not use the framework and ... some real life funding sources and manfacturing, uh, resources, to go quickly from idea -> it finally worked -> we are outputting thousands a day -> worldwide market sales on the likes of (number of figures)? ASAP. I do have as of right now TWO general ideas/general gadget ideas, that ought to follow that path on simply HEARING about them! I can, of course, place an instructable, right? And then wait for... exactly what?

So, do you have financing and funding options for designers/programmers/whatever you call them? Something like when the dotcom bubble was not a bubble but it surely made money out of simple ideas and copycating (catting the copy?) Which now that I mention it I have an idea that...

Fact is, standard economics are not providing the answer for these problems. Those ideas seem good enough for traditional products and very small market products or sevices. When it comes to worldwide and explosive, you simply cannot start saving and/or begging for a predatory loan. You need people to act fast knowingly it may be the next every-house product, or go worldwide for the cost of a few pictures in a website, at least.

Danilo J Bonsignore

Just put your money where your mouth is and go self-funded.
I sell a lot of boards that way, no advertising except my website & word of mouth here.

That s OK when your competition cannot be discerned from you and all are doing more or less the same or when you can concurr to the market quickly, but when the idea is truly original/very rich/a category on its own, you ll need much more that your own money to not be swamped by established houses or copycats, or lose control by being bought away by bigger players. Worse if you do have to R&D and meanwhile others can jump and say this is it and you are done.

Unless you are going to go at it with lawyers and patents, best you can do I think is put the product out there, try and stay ahead of the copycats by coming up with new products.

I don't understand why you think your Arduino related product is so different from any other business startup, the same issues apply to many other products. This is not a new problem you're trying to solve. You just need to do some searching for information on funding a business. There is a ton of information already available to you, you just need to spend some quality time with a search engine.

When it comes to worldwide and explosive, you simply cannot start saving and/or begging for a predatory loan. You need people to act fast knowingly it may be the next every-house product, or go worldwide for the cost of a few pictures in a website, at least.

There are venture capitalists that are prepared to take a punt on a new product. I believe that is how Google got started. But that really was an exceptional idea.

Have a look at this Y Combinator link. It's a long time since I read it but Paul Graham used to write a very interesting blog.
I have no connection with the company and know nothing about them apart from reading about them.


Just put your money where your mouth is

Yeah, that.

There was an interesting article a while comparing kickstarter/etc with "more traditional" forms of funding (business loans, maxing out your credit card, etc.) One of the interesting conclusions was that crowdfunding is pretty expensive - if you raise $10k on kickstarter, you immediately pay upwards of 8% fees, while if you put $10k on a credit card, you could go 4 months or more before you'd rack up that much in interest (even at the 20% interest rate.)

when the idea is truly original/very rich/a category on its own

Contrary to popular image, most "ideas" aren't worth much of anything. You need an execution plan: how to build it, how to sell it, how to support it. And probably a credible team of people to do all that. "I'll get it made in China" is NOT a plan. If you can't get a loan from bank, maybe there's a reason for that. Maybe your idea isn't as good as you thought, and/or the bank thinks that actually implementing the idea will be a lot more expensive and difficult than you think it will be (the latter is extremely likely. Banks may not have much of a clue when it comes to technical things, but they're pretty smart when it comes to "typical business." And I'm sorry, but there is an awful lot of "typical business" involved with even the most brilliant ideas.

Expanding a good idea and a successful business into a worldwide phenomenon is yet another BIG step.

Also, writing coherently formatted paragraphs with proper punctuation would be a good start. :frowning:

As I understood crowdfunding, it is cheap financing because it is more like a gift from your uncle than a bank loan or a liable investment, or it is an anticipated sale or pre-order, no guarantees. Their model may be flawed, though, by constraints made by the crowdfunding sites. If they force you to promise a sale when you need a donation but a reasonable investor expecting a return has to opt for either, you may lose all three types of financing. And promotion is not coming from their websites either, so it is up to you to draw people in when people already visited the store or got any benefit from making a pure donation. They seem to be unaware that people would prefer anonymity and instead they force all to be plainly visible to everybody. That may be good for Samaritan causes or for experimental hype ideas where you want your name included, but completely inadequate for purchases or to take an idea from predesign to the point where you can set your production decisions if people do not want to be so committed to delays or projects failing.

Arduino already got an established name, it should have a well established network of funding channels to promote and launch ideas for new products to strengthen their market and their partners markets.

I think crowdfunding is just as much or more about marketing as funding in many cases. The backers are engaged in a way that is difficult and expensive to achieve with traditional marketing techniques. A successful campaign has the virality that is so important for success in fast changing markets like this one. Hyping a product so publicly before it's ready to sell seems like it could give copycats a head start. On the other hand, if you don't want to go the route of trying to defend patents and copyrights, often against foreign counterfeiters who these protections don't even really apply to, your best approach may be to grab public recognition for being "The Original". Even if you keep your great idea completely secret while you slowly work to fund and develop it, it's possible someone else has the same idea they came up with completely independently.

Arduino themselves are currently running a crowdfunding campaign for their ESLOV. I'd guess they have several other options available to them for funding. If there really is this "well established network of funding channels" why isn't Arduino using it? It's not looking so good for them achieving their goal but actually $88000 USD in 2 weeks is not bad considering how much they're trying to charge for the thing. A better product with a more reasonable price and target would have easily pulled in 2X that amount without really requiring much effort to run the campaign.