Upverter at Demo 2011

It’s go time.
Upverter is the fastest way to do hardware. By moving isolated tools to the cloud, introducing crowdsourcing into the workflow, and removing the friction from rapid prototyping our users are able to develop tomorrow’s hardware, faster than ever. Its no longer design from scratch; instead its building on the collective knowledge and experience of our community of designers. For more on the sales pitch, look no further than our website.

Today we are announcing Upverter at DEMO. Today we get to close the first chapter of our 54 week existence, and today we get to pin on the “launched a product” badge both as a company, and as founders.

It’s been one hell of a roller coaster so far, and, if you’re interested, just a few weeks back I did a brain-dump on our first anniversary. I think it’s a good read. The short version, is that Upverter arose out of a need we saw when working as professional electrical engineers. We saw a tremendous lack of reuse, data entry errors plaguing entire projects, and a focus on designing non-value-add building blocks like power supplies, because there was no such thing as a communal library of these kind of designs. We saw the opportunity to move these same tools to the web, to introduce collaboration and crowdsourcing. And our vision is very much about multiplying the rate of innovation, not by building better things, but by building better things for making things.

So what’s this DEMO thing I hear so little about? Haha. DEMO comes from an older Silicon Valley, where launching was a bigger event with lots more marketing and pizazz. It goes back to companies like Salesforce and Adobe, and for many reasons it’s probably a funny fit for us at Upverter. But that being said, it has truly been the best of things for us. It’s an external deadline, it’s a stage we can’t run away from, and it’s a launching point for press and publicity. What it lacks in reputation it more than makes up for in motivation. We even got in for free! Back in June, after getting back to Toronto after our stint in Silicon Valley we were invited to talk with a couple of guys from VentureBeat about what we were working on. (Maybe someone stood them up, and they had a free block of time.) I didn’t even know what DEMO was, let alone want to spend a bunch of time meeting press pre-launch (we were pretty much heads-down at the time and were aggressively trying to focus and cut out distraction). But I made an exception, and I met the guys one afternoon, and I’m glad I did – because sure enough, we won the Toronto scholarship to present for free at DEMO. So we’re here. We’re presenting, launching, and hopefully, opening a brand new chapter for Upverter.

I’ll follow back with a post-mortem in a week or so and let you know how it all goes! But in the mean time, were headed to the Open Source Hardware Summit in New York to talk about enabling the first ever globally-distributed Open Source Hardware project and how we’re using Upverter as the tool to make it possible. And then back to work…we’ve promised the world the first ever web-based and collaborative PCB editor and it’s not gonna code itself!

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