Long-overdue update: book & baby!

So, I fell off blogging here for a while (though I still wrote occasionally at O’Reilly Radar). This is why.

I’ve been working on a book with my friend Nick Pinkston. It’s called The Hardware Startup: Building Your Product, Business, and Brand. The first four chapters were just released at O’Reilly Solid. The pre-release stamp is pretty funny – Raw and Unedited! Makes it sound like a sordid tell-all. 🙂

It’s been the most time-consuming project I’ve ever undertaken. Both of us want the book to be genuinely useful to hardware founders. Software startups have some great roadmaps, such as “Do More Faster” and “Lean Startup”…there isn’t much long-form material out there for founders working through manufacturing challenges on the product while simultaneously building a business. We’ve been packing it full of case studies with entrepreneurs who have worked through some of the really complex processes unique to starting a hardware business.

Putting out an unfinished pre-release teaser was challenging for me, since I like things to be polished before they see the light of day. It’s kind of a minimum viable product for the book, though, and the goal is to get feedback (which includes negative feedback). If you’re a hardware founder and you have thoughts about what you’d like to see, feel free to comment.

Anyway, tying this back to my last post…I had this crazy idea that I’d be able to get the book done while pregnant. That didn’t happen, but it was primarily because I decided to pack in a bunch of work-related travel right up until 36 weeks. After China, I did a bunch of stuff within the US and then went to a conference in Turkey. My flight back to SF was on the last day I was legally allowed to be on an airplane. 🙂 (The Air Berlin folks weren’t pleased.)

Then I had our baby – I’ve blogged about that a bit on my personal/DIY project blog, and will eventually post something here about the maternity leave experience. In brief, though, Xander was born on December 18th. He’s now 5 months old. He’s a real handful but getting more fun by the day. Obligatory proud mama photos below.

In the hospital

2.5 mo family photo shoot

Yesterday at just past 5 mos.

I also thought I would get the book done while on maternity leave, and that was even more laughably unrealistic. For me, writing requires sustained focus and a big chunk of time. I was able to keep up with email and meetings and discrete tasks, but with a baby who woke hourly and never napped, writing was pretty difficult. I was relieved when we started daycare; felt productive again.

So! Now that things have settled into a routine, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the book and I’m looking forward to posting here more regularly.