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In Silicon Valley, Hardware Is Hot Again - Businessweek

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 06:20 -- rprice

It’s become much less painful to build gadgets, even for the little guy. Marc Barros, a co-founder of camera maker Contour, says retailers like Best Buy (BBY) might eat up $70 on a $200 device. In the age of social media and e-commerce, he can sell directly to consumers. If professional investors won’t risk their money on a hardware startup, entrepreneurs can turn to Kickstarter or another crowdfunding site and walk away with millions. And an ecosystem of hardware service providers are helping to streamline operations; Barros is in talks with PCH International and hopes to reduce his “non-product cost” (such as warehouses and shipping) from 15 percent to 5 percent of the sale price.