I thought, given the bold implicit claim on this blog’s mast-head, I ought to at least mention in passing how far towards its mythical future $1bn valuation Nanodome has progressed over the last few months. The honest (i.e. startup theatre-free) answer is: it’s hard to tell – as always, there’s good news and bad news…
The short-term good news is that Nanodome’s electronics all work fine (all that I’ve tested, anyway; thanks Bob!), insofar as the two bootloaders, the firmware, Linux, the video display & basic image processing are all functioning fine. Today, I’m plumbing the image sensor into Linux’s V4L2 layer (but wondering why the keyboard handler is so stubbornly silent). Of course, every startup worth its salt has a near-endless supply of Walls to get past, so none of this is really huge news, but all the same it’s always nice to have new stuff working.
The short-term bad news is that I’ve been engaged in a bit of bootstrappery, i.e. doing basically the same kind of insanely high pressure getting-the-hardware-and-software-all-working-together for another UK security camera startup (albeit only for a few days a week). The reason I think bootstrapping is a problem is that – though it does pay the bills, which is great – it almost always slows your main development down to a snail-like crawl (or do I mean ‘ooze’?): it can also be a hard habit to kick once you’ve started. Still, what can you do?
The long-term good news is that I’ve recently had a bit of a conceptual pivot, in that I’ve worked out how to apply a fair-sized part of Nanodome’s core tech development to the gigantic fixed camera market: and now have a distinctly contrarian view on what cameras in that segment should be aiming for over the next five years.
The longer-term bad news is that this means my level of ambition for Nanodome is now approaching VC grandeur levels, at a time when – despite sky-high government pro-startup rhetoric – new companies find it hard to borrow even £25K from a bank, all the while UK angels’ wallets continue to accumulate more dust than new investments. Still, with IFSEC coming up in mid-May, the best business development play will probably be to put together some kind of deal there – with a bit of luck, Nanodome will have plenty to show by then. 🙂