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pianocade Maker to Entrepreneur: Pianocade

Very interesting piece on going from maker to entrepreneur by Pianocade creator Jonathan Guberman. We wrote about the beautiful little open-source chiptune synth back in August of 2012 when he began taking pre-orders, and has just now finished fulfilling those orders. As Jonathan notes, making the move from creator to seller can be difficult, so he decided to share some of those challenges on his blog.

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 about it at Up, not North.

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at jpixl.net and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.


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