I had started my electronics design business for the consumer product in 1983. At that time, the main product was Radio and Cassette Tape Recorder. One of my designed products was sold over a couple of million.
1983 is the times when a microcomputer has begun to be embedded in consumer product for the UI In the case of Cassette Tape Recorder, it was used to control the tape driving instead of a mechanical component. Since this time, I wrote many codes of microcomputer that are called embedded system today. Hence I know that direct communication with the technology support of the chip vendor is very important.
The open platform such as Raspberry-PI simplified the plot typing of electronic product drastically today. However, some of engineers do not have a chance to understand more about the details of the target chip. If someone wants to make a really innovative product, something different to improve the performance of hardware is required. That time, the direct support of the chip vendor becomes useful.
Today I had to meet with the technical support team of one of the main component that is incorporated in EveryStamp. In this meeting, I realized the importance of the tech supports again.
Actually in the case of developing my first cutting edge product that is Spread Spectrum Radio in 1993, I started the project by visiting the company of base band processor in Silicon Valley.
This is quite different of business culture between Silicon Valley and Japan. In case of Japan it is so difficult to contact right person of chip vender, Usually we only have the chance to meet an engineer who does not fully understand in deep end of the chip.
For a startup company, it is not easy to contact the chip vender without concrete plan of mass production even if it is a sales person.
From my personal experience, I know that always the door is opened for innovative people who have respect all of partners resources in Silicon Valley.