IDEO Redesigns the Bug in the Open

I’m an investor in Bug Labs (personally, not through our funds).  When I first met with Peter Semmelhack, the CEO, on an introduction from Fred Wilson (the lead investor) I immediately got it.  After about 15 minutes, I said to Peter something to the effect of “ah – today’s version of the Healthkit.” 

Peter’s vision was that in addition to being a completely open source hardware product that allows you to prototype any consumer electronics device (or – more simply – any “electronic gadget”), all the software and design would be “open.”

Bug has just announced that they will be working with IDEO to redesign the user interaction of the product out in the open.  This is more than an open source software project – it’s actually a public hardware UI redesign that involves anyone in the Bug community.

I love the notion of the open source hardware movement as it is completely in line with the Ph.D. research I did at MIT under Eric von Hippel.  Bug Labs agrees and actually created the BUGvonHippel module to honor Eric!

If you want to participate (or just play along at home) hop on the Bug Blog, Bug Community, and the IDEO blog.

  • Hey Brad,

    I think Bug Labs is a great idea, and I'm glad to see them keep the redesign process open, so everyone can learn together.

    Random question… How do you make the decision to invest personally in a company, as opposed to through your funds?

    • I invested in Bug Labs before we raised our Foundry Group fund. I am no longer permitted (by our fund agreements) to make investments separately in the types of companies our funds would invest in, so I don’t actually have a decision to make. However, there have been several times when I’ve been outside the “active investment period” of our funds (e.g. before 1997 when we raised the first Mobius fund and in 2006 and most of 2007 before we raised the first Foundry Group fund) where I could invest my own money (as an angel investor) in technology companies.

  • reminds me of an iPhone/iPod extension battery pack that was built "open source" style. team of ppl collaborated across the web on design, manufacturing, marketing, production, etc. great success in the end, and great product!

    I miss not having IDEO in Boulder. loved that energy. I'm biased though because they designed the Tivo peanut remote (I met/shook hands w/ the lead designer); god's gift to the TV/device remote control. _perfect_ design.

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