Why You Suck At Changing The World; Try Hardware

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade you’ve probably noticed that gadgets matter.



RIM is failing [gaurdian], Apple is killing it [mashable], Square is the hottest company in SF [quora], Samsung is quietly taking over the world [cnet], and HTC is making lawyers giggle all the way to the bank [ars]. Hell, writing software for smaller, slower, drop-able, and heterogeneous hand-held devices is now an industry [tg].

But, I’ve got news for you; if someone hadn’t figured out how to build them, no one would have an iPhone, or a Droid or even a Blackberry. Fact is, no one would have a refrigerator or a toilet either if someone hadn’t figured out how to make those damn things work – but that’s a point for a different post.

As with most things there are the things the smart people do and the things the incomprehensible masses do. I break it down like this:

  • The plebs write the other million apps I will never use
  • Some smart people write software for the monster truck derby loving bird watchers
  • The smarter people write software for timelessly sharing inappropriate moments, and stalking ex-girlfriends
  • But the smartest people figure out how to build the fucking machines that run these mountains of software [woz]

I’m talkin’ about hardware. Things. Platforms for tomorrow’s software. And inventions that really change the world. Maybe it’s a traffic light that reacts to its environment, or Gate’s new toilet, or a device for connecting things to the internet. Solve a bigger problem than can fit on a touch tablet.

My point is, software did not change the world. Hardware did. And without it, your software startup is more literary adventure than problem solving. Why build more stuff that people don’t care about? Where do you rank in the 100K mobile developers world-wide? Do you seriously think you’re in the top 10? Can you win if you’re not? Still don’t think that’s why no one cares?

There are more things that still need to exist. They need to be invented to move our species forward. They are things no one has thought of yet, and they wont be built in a text file or downloaded from an app store. The people who will conceive of and invent them are visionaries. There is a reason the Homebrew Computer Club owned soldering irons. And Jobs vision was never “imagine the possibilities of putting C# in everyone’s pocket” [oreilly].

Its always been about the hardware, that’s where the real magic is, and that’s where the future still is as well. The next industrial revolution can’t be coded.

So stop being just another nobody tweaking the same bits, building the same app, and thinking a few lines of code can change the world. Elevate your skill set. Move up the food chain. Build some thing that changes the world.

Wouldn’t it be something to see something you built in pockets word-wide. To see all those plebs writing code that runs on your hardware. That’d be one hell of a high!

About Upverter

Did I mention that Upverter makes it easier to design and build real things. Tomorrow’s pocket platforms and the most revolutionary hardware yet to be conceived is being designed in Upverter right now.

Sometimes You Need a Little Alone Time

image by Sean MacEntee

Do you ever get the feeling that you are not quite ready to share your genius with the world? We do too, that is why we created private designs, that means that you can share when you want to and not when you feel that your work could take a littlepolish.
For this week only, you can sign up for, or upgrade to, the Early Adopters plan. The Early Adopters gives you a bonus two private designs and private collaboration (normally $199.00 a month), you can sign up at the suppersecret pricing page.
If you have any questions, please contact us.

Design of the Week, Jan 16, 2012

3 Months In. So Far, So Good.

So it’s been 3 months now, and it’s fall. Hell, it’s pretty much winter. And it continues to be a wild ride here at Upverter. We’ve seen great growth, wonderful feedback, and some remarkable hardware beginning to be designed. It’s pretty exciting. So, what’s next? What’s on the horizon and what do we still need to figure out?


It’s real. It’s a thing. It’s powerful. It’s transformative. And it’s still very, very scary to most of our users. There was a time when the cloud, source control, and merging, were just as scary to the software world. And it’s ok. We’ll get through it. Together. Deep breath. There is no doubt collaboration is the way of the future. No doubt that design tools are moving to the cloud. And no doubt that we remain the best positioned to make this happen. So let’s all just take a deep breath, clench our ass cheeks and get this show started.


So far so good. You’re a small but magical community. You are doing incredible things. I’m very proud of you, and I couldn’t be happier.


You have spent an absolutely fuzzy amount of time designing. We love you. Stop reading this and get back to work.

Whats Next

Answers. We still have a few open questions. We are still getting great information from the community, and we still have a bit of product left to build (can anyone say layout?). We’re going to get to the other side of these questions, and then we’re going to add a few zeros.

PNG Export. Cause You’re Not a Startup Without Picture Sharing!

We feel that the current start-ups fad is photo sharing! We really felt left out … until now!  PNG exports of your designs are here.  It is time to move past ASCII (cough … 1963) art schematics, and move into the 90’s with PNGs.  PNGs have been added to the download options for all public designs, so go on and give it a try.  You might want to start with the designs of the week, Citizen Sensor – Stationary Version 02 and [WIP] Airsoft Thermostat.

With PNG export, you can now download designs as PNGs, the Upverter Open JSON format and embed designs using the interactive iFrame.

If you would like to know about the new features, Subscribe to our newsletter

Design of The Week – December 11th

This week I found a great design that helps with the efficiency of Airsoft pistols and rifles.  As an Airsofter (cough, cough … I am terrible at it) I was really excited to see that we had a design that was modding Airsoft grips to make them more efficient.  The design that I am speaking of is the [WIP] Airsoft Thermostat by bachelarius.
bachelarius describes the project as:

Design of the Week! – December 3rd

There have been a lot of kick ass designs that have been made since we launched.  I really want to share with out a design every week that I think stands out.  So every week I am going to give you the design of the week.  There is a lot of catching up to do, so for the first few, I am going to do a little searching through both designs that are made during the week and design that have been made previously.  If you find any designs that you think are great and we should feature shoot me an e-mail mwoodworth@upverter.com, I would love to hear about it!