April 2nd, 2013

Hardware is Real: Living it at Grand St. and Growing Up (Just a Little)

Today we announced the Grand St. seed round. We are incredibly excited to be working with some of the smartest investors in hardware, commerce and digital communities around and are delighted to have the opportunity to grow the company and build more dope internets for our community. Much love to our earliest users, customers (!!) and friends for all the support so far.

In a way this moment in our (admittedly short) history has made all of us painfully aware of how much we want to accomplish. The hardware revolution is truly just beginning, and there is much to be done. This financing will help us grow our team (now at 7!) and continue to make the experience better. 

Since December

There’s so much amazing innovation happening around new hardware, and our sole goal at Grand St. is to build a store that is just as innovative and delightful as the products we sell. 

We launched Grand St. v0.1 on December 14 to the few thousand people who were on our email list. One of the best moments in the life of any small company is the moment when someone who is not your mom or your friend or your cousin buys something. Here is a random stranger who decided that you built something legit enough to hand over their credit card information (which btw is VERY SAFE TO DO thx stripe) … little do they know that four people are crouched around a computer screen cheering and mostly doing this. That day, we sold many thousands of dollars of creative technology to people across the U.S. and realized that maybe we weren’t the only ones who wanted a site like Grand St. to exist.

Creative Technology is Real

The democratization of hardware/consumer electronics is very real and should not be underestimated. Think about the number of really fantastic products that have launched in the last 12 months. Over time, that number will grow aggressively and the number of new products available not the market will become more and more impressive. 

We feel privileged to work with so many independent (and even a couple of established) inventors. Putting together our April Fools roundup, I realized that 10 years ago it was an unthinkable fever-dream to try and launch a new electronics product. In the same way that the music industry has transitioned from top-down to bottom-up, the same thing is happening with consumer electronics. 

The Future

Though by now we have had many customers who aren’t our friends or family, each and every new product sold is still exciting for us.

The future of Grand St., though, and the most profound thing for me (and Joe and Aaron too) is our fast-growing team. We are excited to show up every day mostly because everyone is effing genius-level talented and inspires all of us to work harder and better.

Like Phin said, we hope “…technology makers can focus on crafting experiences and utilize platforms to dramatically reduce the friction in their businesses. This means more craft and less commodity activity for the maker and it means more choice and creativity reaches the consumer.”

In some ways, we all know we have always been living in the future, and now we can get paid to do just that.

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