• Revision Four

    Monday, July 29, 2013

    7/29/2013— Jon McKay

    It’s been an incredibly busy summer for us at Technical Machine, but the hard work paid off last week with several exciting milestones. We sent off our fourth board revision (and hopefully second-to-last) to Worthington Assembly on Friday, the 19th, with the expectation that they would be back in one week.

    The one week hardware break gave us the chance to pull our heads out of technical development and start giving marketing and user testing the attention they deserve. We even finally got around to sprucing up our website to make it more clear what we’re making (and it’s even mobile-friendly!).

    Minimum Viable Product

    Tim’s rigged up minimum viable product

    In order to test the software without our completed board, Tim rigged up a jankety but surprisingly effective prototype using off the shelf hardware (picture above). He put together an demo where users could import an npm module for an accelerometer peripheral and write the javascript code to print out average values. The JavaScript code was ‘compiled’ and sent over USB to the device. It was really exciting to see our minimum viable product actually working!

    User Testing

    Working with Cory

    We observed several different users with varying software development experience and noted where we had some mental inconsistencies (and a lot of bugs!). Slater (one of our users) was able to make a pretty cool example on his own where the frequency of the blinking of the LEDs was determined by the angle of the accelerometer – all written in a few lines of JavaScript. It was really validating to see someone enjoying the use of our product and gave us a little spurt of motivation to get the product done faster.


    We spent several hours this week brainstorming names for what has temporarily been called ScriptStick. We’re looking for a name that denotes a tone of engineering utility, reliability, extensibility, and innovative. We’ve narrowed it down to about ten names and we would love to hear your impression of them:

    1. Tessel
    2. Wireframe
    3. V0
    4. Start Board
    5. Lattice
    6. Reval
    7. Lantern
    8. Quantum
    9. Betaboard
    10. Quartz
    Our First Sale (of our Arduino Shield)
    We also had our first sale this week! We’ve been making inexpensive WiFi boards on the side with the intention of selling them through a separate distributor, but we were able to find a customer before we started officially selling! Drew Volpe is the entrepreneur in residence here at Highland Capital and he recently started working with Arduino. He wanted to connect a temperature sensor to the internet, and since we make shield for about half of what you can buy on major sites like Adafruit.com, it was an great sell. We’ve got all our code for the project over on Github. Look for our shields for sale in the near future.
    Our First Sale!
    ScriptStick Revision Four
    Finally, at the end of the week, our new boards came in! They are small, sexy, and powerful. It’s a huge step up from the prototype Tim had put together earlier and we’re hoping it works as well as it looks. We’ll be finishing testing on it this week and sending in one final revision before we launch on KickStarter!

    ScriptStick Revision Four

    — Jon

    #jom mckay #update #manufacturing #sale

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