Rob Coneybeer on Nest and the next big thing in hardware

The O’Reilly Hardware Podcast: Virtual reality, robotics, and today’s hardware landscape.

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In this new episode of the Hardware Podcast, David Cranor and I talk with Rob Coneybeer, managing director and co-founder of Shasta Ventures, one of the critical first investors in hardware startups including Nest, Fetch Robotics, and Turo (formerly RelayRides).

Discussion points:

  • Why Nest looked like an appealing investment back in 2010
  • Coneybeer’s focus on virtual reality and robotics as the next big things for hardware startups.
  • Why it’s essential for hardware startups to have a long-term plan for improving products after they’re in place, and the importance of over-the-air software updates.
  • The consumer psychology of selling a compelling hardware product, and when to aim for high price and high value. “People are willing to spend money when there’s something that’s really revolutionary,” says Coneybeer.
  • The current state of venture capital investments in hardware startups. While raising later rounds is becoming more difficult, Coneybeer says: “the most interesting, innovative hardware companies will always find capital.”

This week’s click spirals:

shasta lake levelsshasta lake levels
On the left, Shasta Lake on November 11, 2015. On the right, Shasta Lake on February 19, 2016.

Main art image source: Pexels

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