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The vagaries of a hardware startup  

In case you're crazy enough to want to build hardware, here's a good "diary" type of article by John Evans describing all sorts of problems that one entrepreneur (David Argentar) faced while attempting to get his solar energy startup off the ground.

Choice extract:

My student engineers and I have run into a little crippling problem with the prototype light concentrator array we're building: the bare solar cells are too fragile to handle. We've broken most of ones we had trying to mount them, even handling them with tweezers. So, I'm looking for ideas on what to try next. I figure somebody who reads this must have some experience working with fragile things. …anybody got other ideas?

Obviously, they should switch to Rails. Or make an iPad app.

More from the library:
Product vs Business vs Company
Freely available programming books
Random acts of violence