Up, not North

Pianocade post-mortem: lessons learned starting a maker business

March 6th, 2013 § 20

Six months ago I launched my first commercial project: the Pianocade synthesizer. Several months behind schedule and significantly above budget, I’ve finally managed to ship all the preorders. Needless to say, things did not go as planned.

If you’d asked me a few weeks ago whether I would ever do this again, I’d have laughed (and then maybe cried a little). But as I finished off the last few units, I started thinking about how much I’d learned from the experience. I was surprised to find myself getting excited about giving it another try and seeing if I could make things run more smoothly. I’ve even, heaven help me, started designing a completely new product!

In the meantime, I hope others can also benefit from some lessons I learned while turning my hobby into a business (or at least have a laugh at my expense). » Read the rest of this entry «

Introducing The Pianocade: an Open Source Chiptunes Synthesizer

August 21st, 2012 § 0

It’s been a long time coming, but I can finally unveil the product I’ve been working on for months: the Pianocade, my first foray into the world of commercial Making! Inspired by my experience working on the Nuit Blanche Chiptunes concert last fall, the Pianocade is a programmable synthesizer and MIDI controller made to look, feel, and sound like vintage arcade games.

Photo by Jay Shuster

I would’ve loved to have run a Kickstarter campaign to sell the Pianocade, but unfortunately Kickstarter restricts it’s projects to those based in the United States. There are international alternatives, but I decided instead to do it the old-fashioned way, so I’m taking preorders myself. Order one now, and tell all your friends!

The Pianocade is 100% open source hardware, firmware, and software. All the code, schematics, and PCB files will be released when the product ships (if not before). In the meantime, I’m happy to answer any questions either here or via email at info@pianocade.com.

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