14 Posts on Hardware + Three Million-Dollar Kickstarters + some HAX & non-HAX news

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I'm in Paris, the land of flammable cars.
Conference season has ended and I have some news.

On TV showing Xiaomi band, iPhone Mini and the infamous shaver phone. In French.


1. I'm blogging again! 14 amazing posts.
2. HAX 7 selection + 3 Million-dollar Kickstarters + Live Kickstarters
3. Latest talks + interviews
4. Some extra news of interest to me, and maybe to you too!



I restarted blogging. Most of it is about hardware, startups and entrepreneurship.
I wrote 14 posts so far. So many words, so little time ^^

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1. Why I restarted blogging
2. The Internet of Affordable Things. A short anticipation story of the possible impact of the $9 computer.
3. My life in 2020. Our future with recent HAX innovations.
4. The 10 Commandments of Crowdfunding. What creators should commit to.
5. Who's Going to Pay for IOT? You? Insurance? Other?
6. Four-points Checklist for Hardware Investment. We look at that.
7. Dividing the World of Hardware Startups. Art / Business? Better / Different?
8. Kickstarter: Cause vs. Correlation. Conclusion: unconclusive!
9. Dogs & Demons in Hardware. The REAL future is here, not in movies.
10. Money in Hardware. Who makes money with M&As and IPOs?
11. Hardpocalypse or IOTopia? If, like me, you're tired of extremes.
12. The Internet of Things Doesn't Need You. Is IOT useless? Or maybe it's not for you?
13. How to Pivot Your Passion. Find your passion. Now pivot.
14. Innovating in Waves. Innovation is not linear, but how to catch a wave?


Deciding on the last few teams to get to 15 has proven harder than expected.
We'll finish soon.

Oh! and we just got our third million-dollar Kickstarter project: the smart sleep headphones Kokoon! Once you're lucky, twice you're good? Now that's three times with Prynt and CHIP, the $9 computer.

In all fairness, only time will tell if a strong KS leads to unicorns.
Scoring high means a lot of pressure on the first shipment, which is high-risk.
And one of our best startups, the robotics kit Makeblock scored less than $200k on KS but was doing millions in sales 2 years later + landed an investment from Sequoia Capital.

We have two more live projects on KS:
- ARIA: finger gesture control for smart watches and more
- Bartesian: a robot for cocktails ^^
Don't be selfish, help them sell it!

Two more projects should launch soon:
- KAST, the super fast 3D printer
- CELL, a modular robot from the future.

[ 3 ] TALKS

After DLD in Munich, NOAH in Berlin and many more, I finished my European Tour with a final talk at the Hello Tomorrow Conference in Paris. It had a selection of very refreshing science-focused startups.

The slides of my talk on "Building Global Hardware Startups" are here.
And our free "Hardware Trends" report passed 130,000 views! Mary Meeker @ KPCB still wins.

Also, I was on French business channel BFM TV for a show & tell about connected devices. Practice your French for 6 minutes here.

I'll be back in Shenzhen mid-July. Home sweet home!

[ 4 ] BANG! NEWS

- Recon AR glasses got acquired by Intel for $175m.
=> Vancouver/Canada has interesting startups. We had at least one Canadian startup (out of 10 or 15) in each HAX program for the past 2 years.

- Softbank got $236M in new funding for its Robotics division, backed by Foxconn and Alibaba
=> Do you believe we are ready for "family robotics"? Especially at $1,600 a pop. HAX hasn't invested in any so far.

- SoftBank invests $20m in Fetch Robotics (warehousing robots)
=> Kiva for the rest of us. Looks interesting.

- LittleBits raised $44.2M for its educational electronics kits
=> That's $60m since start. Is there still space for a competitor?

- Parrot released a series of mini-drones
=> Parrot came from the IT automotive industry (since 1994!) but their drone biz is now a large chunk (about 50%) of their revenue (and profits!). Revenue was 70MEUR in 1Q2015 (there is a bit seasonality in consumer drones, as you'd expect).

- Formation8 "seeks" a $100M fund, looks into hardware after their Oculus homerun.
=> This one is a little odd. There was a "leaked" document detailing their hardware investment strategy.

- Uber is said to be poaching CMU researchers for its self-driving cars
=> Will that lead to another lawsuit? Uber is not scared of laws, governments and lawsuits. That reminds me of the Godfather movies. Except Uber runs on VC money, and probably has more lawyers.

- DJI got $75M in funding, at a $10B valuation
=> DJI is officially in the Chinese Hardware Unicorn Club (CHUB?). Drones are on their way to rapid commoditization. Will DJI keep dominating?

Anything important I missed? Let me know!

I guess that will do for now?
Ben @ HAX

PS: As usual, questions & comments are welcome => ben@hax.co