Hello Blink Show

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Engineer, maker, and entrepreneur Darian Johnson joins us to talk about his latest project, a low-power LCD digital assistant. We offer some advice on how he might search for a product-market fit as well as create some inbound marketing content prior to running a kickstarter campaign.

Show Notes

Darian Johnson joins the Hello Blink Show crew for a live brainstorming session. He is working on a low-power, battery-operating LCD digital assistant. He plans to fund manufacturing through a crowdfunding campaign, but he needs help figuring out how to market the device first.

Darian starts the episode by sharing a personal story about how he encouraged his 12-year-old son to build his own TV. Rather than simply buy a TV, he gave his son a Raspberry Pi and a monitor. The son had to install the operating system, connect all the components, and load streaming services.

One of Darian’s recent projects was a set of smart candles made with real wax, which you can read about here: https://darianmakes.com/scent-terrific-smart-candle/. These were turned into a product called the Pyllr

He asks Harris and Shawn for ideas on how to market his LCD digital assistant. Harris mentions that blogging or sending prototypes to beta testers is a great way to gauge product-market fit. Even if it is not open source, sharing the journey and process is a great way to build an audience. Sites like https://hackaday.io/ or https://www.hackster.io/ offer good platforms for sharing projects and journaling the process.

Since recording this episode, Darian has started chronicling his efforts at https://hackaday.io/project/178328-always-on-low-power-digital-assistant.

We want to thank Twilio for sponsoring this episode! Twilio is a cloud platform that helps developers automate phone calls, text messages, and other communications through their web API. Check out twilio.com/go/helloblink for more information about using Twilio for automated messaging and IOT applications.
List of Resources
Website - Hackaday.io
Website - Hackster
Guest Information
Darian Johnson is a managing director for a large technology services company, where he leads major cloud computing initiatives. Darian is also a hobbyist maker of IoT (Internet of Things) projects. His projects have been featured in numerous publications and won multiple awards. His most recent project, the Pyllr Trio Candle, is scheduled for a crowdfunding launch in the Spring of 2021. 
Guest Contact Information
Website - darianmakes.com
LinkedIn - Darian Johnson
Twitter - @darianbjohson
Host Contact Information
LinkedIn - Shawn Hymel
LinkedIn - Harris Kenny
Twitter - Shawn Hymel
Twitter - Harris Kenny
License Information
“Hello Blink Show” by Kenny Consulting Group, LLC and Skal Risa, LLC is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Intro and outro song is “Routine” by Amine Maxwell is licensed under CC BY 3.0

What is Hello Blink Show?

Welcome to the practical podcast for technical people who want to start their own company. From founding to building your business, we’re here to help.