5 months ago, we had a prototype.
We had a halfway decent case.
All the various parts and wires actually fit in the case :)
We felt proud, but…
It was time to hand our baby over.
When you have a great idea, it is like a treasure, you want to hold on to it. When you have been working hard on this idea, refining it, building it, thinking about it and building a startup from it, it is be hard to let outsiders poke around at your idea . It is hard to hand that baby over to someone else. It's even harder with hardware - It is an actual physical thing; it feels like handing an actual baby over!
Nonetheless, despite our qualms, we entered into partnership with DesignCORE, a design and product innovation centre in Carlow, Ireland. This involved road trips from Dublin through the Irish countryside to Carlow — good for getting our CTO and CEO away from the electronics and code for a few hours also!
It can be daunting to consult with people who have become experts in their field; but it can also be quite affirming and inspiring. The team at DesignCORE were very positive and helpful from the very beginning. In fact, they went beyond what we expected, giving us a very public thumbs up:
Working with such an experienced, professional team has enhanced our understanding of the social and human aspects of our open-source smart-home and how it will connect emotionally with our users. It has brought fresh perspectives to the shape and design of MyOctopus.
It has also inspired us — there is nothing like seeing your ungainly prototype transformed into a sleek beautifully designed product.
It was a pleasure working with them. We benefited in more ways than we expected. The process helped us with aspects of design, architecture and assembly, but also affirmed that we were on the right track in our ‘user-centric’ approach, where we consider each user and home to be unique. As an open-source company, users are at the heart of everything we do. People live in smart-homes!
DesignCORE were amazing to work with; warm, friendly, informative, and available every step of the way. We felt supported throughout the whole process; and very reassured; our baby was safe, and was looking fantastic!