Thoughts on Electrical Engineering Design Services?

Hey all! :)

I had an idea while at work today and was curious what all of you in the DIY Arduino community thought of it! I know a lot of people love using the Arduino and all of its derivatives. My guess is that there are people out there who really want to design a new board/shield/prototype or some type of device that they can use, but simply don't have the skills necessary to do it.

My idea is to sell electrical engineering designing services on a whole host of levels (schematic/PCB/simulation/build & test/debugging/programming) for an extremely affordable price. I am thinking something like a low flat rate price per design, regardless of number of hours worked, depending on complexity and what the customer is looking for. Usually services like these would be outrageously expensive due to their technical nature, however I am not looking to make money per say. I have an EE degree, am an avid DIY guy, have all the skill sets mentioned above, and am one of those kinds of people who really loves learning. This would be something that I could do in my free time as a way to earn a little extra spending cash on the side and also really help out some other Arduino fans on their designs without breaking the bank.

Again, this isn't a business per say, so I am not looking to charge ridiculous amounts. The point is to make higher end EE knowledge available to the general public and thus empower them to build more cool stuff! But as the saying goes, if you are good at something, never do it for free :)

What do you all think? Would you go for it if something like this was available and you needed your idea built?

1.) If you are 'doing the work for them'... your not really making higher end EE [u]knowledge[/u] available to the general public. (just purchasable....right?)

2.) I think for this to work for YOU.. you need to get a 'name/reputation' for yourself. (ie: why would they pick you over anyone else in the gigs/collab/services section?)... People will need to be able to trust you can 'deliver' on said project.

3.) I think you have this part right.. LOW COST!. This will get you interest for sure.. and maybe help edge others if people are un-decided on who to go with.

Maybe post some past projects, and maybe some sample pricing to take the guess work out of the whole deal for the ens user?

Thanks for the feedback xI97!

1) True...but also kind of not true. In my head I was thinking of leaving the determination of how open source the project is up to the customer. I should have clarified that original statement a bit better. Partially I meant that yes, higher end EE skills would be available for purchase, however my intent was to document the process as something to be posted on a blog/website. That way people could learn some new things and the customer would get a cool little piece that shows them how their idea was turned into reality.

2) Most definitely. This is another issue I was thinking about, for the exact same reasons. Unfortunately making a name for myself will take time, but that's ok. I don't expect quick and easy. Part of what I want this to be is a learning experience. I certainly don't know everything under the sun and I love the idea of challenge. Ideally, I would love it if people would come to me and ask "hey can you do xyz?" and then I get to learn something new. To protect the customer on something like this, essentially they would only pay once I had something built, tested, and proven to work exactly how they want it. I'm willing to front the cost for the sake of learning.

3) Oh yes! This I think will be one of my biggest selling points. The prices I am thinking about are borderline crazy cheap. Enough to show I mean business, but not so high that it is unattractive. I am talking about quality at a low price. It isn't something you typically find out there, so that should be a big boost.

I'll continue mulling things over and thinking about whether or not I want to actually go down this route. At this stage it is more of an idea than a concrete way forward. Thanks so much for the feedback!! :)