Upverter Launches Closed Alpha
Guess What?!?! Upverter just went Alpha! Boo Yeah! What an epic battle that was! I think we are all so tired that celebration beers was really just celebration neck of the bottle, followed by SLEEP. haha. But we made it. Were a bit late. Alright maybe a bit more than a bit. But we have a product now, we have users, we have something! Albeit maybe not the most useful something – but that usefulness is mere days compared to the 7 month journey to where we are today.
I have started emailing around alpha keys. So if I told you you were in the Alpha list expect to get one from me over the next week. We are staggering people in so we don’t overload anything right off the bat. And because the user sign-up experience is a good one for us to optimize (its a big portion of the 15 seconds between finding our website and starting to design electronics).
For our Alpha Users
I want to say thanks to our Alpha users in advance. Thanks for the emails, the support calls, the breaking, all of it! You are helping us build the next generation of design tools. Together we are going to change the world for hackers, makers and electrical engineers, and OSHW is going to blossom as a result.
About the Beta
Our Alpha is very closed and friendly. Think of it as 100 of our closest friends telling us what not to wear. Our Beta on the other hand is going to be when we really start to shine. We hope by the time we launch beta the Upverter editor is actually useful! We want people to start building things, start sharing and collaborating on projects. Hopefully embed-ability is also enabled so people can post their designs on their blogs, hack-a-day, etc.
The whole reason for having the Alpha is so that we launch a Beta that people love to use. It still wont be perfect or complete, and it will still be missing features, but it should do the subset of electronic design that hobbyists need the most.
Today I wanted to give a little plug to Bunnie and the guys at Chumby. We just love what they are doing, and its good to see another hardware company hacking away, opening up their stuff, and figuring out how to build shit in China. We are tool freaks here (obviously) so I wanted to in particular push people towards Bunnie’s article on the tools people are using to design electronics these days.
He talks about some pretty cool stuff, and while the minimalist in me doesn’t think we will get there with our tools for a little while, the dreamer just loves the thought of making this functionality accessible, through a browser, to a wider audience. Anyway, thats really it for today. Check out the Chumby! Hell, just go buy one and hack on it a little bit – they’re pretty cheap.
Time for another plug. This time I want to give a shout out to Eric and the boys over at Allerta. They have built one of the coolest watches ever, basically a Chumby for your wrist. The watch gets most of its smarts from hooking up to your blackberry or smartphone. It can show you tweets, txt messages, email, etc, etc. But event more cool is how an incredible hacker community has sprung up around the inPulse watch since they launched it.
They have a very click SDK and its remarkable to see all of the cool apps these guys are building for a watch. We have a kindred bond with the guys at Allerta (they went to UWaterloo too) so its great to see them being so successful. We can’t wait to see what they are going to hack out next. And with any luck they’re going to be using Upverter when they do!
Here we are in the throws of DemoDay. Pitching, practicing, and getting ready for what comes next… Fingers crossed!