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Author Topic: advice for robotics startup?  (Read 1253 times)

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Offline mechahunterTopic starter

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advice for robotics startup?
« on: September 08, 2011, 07:45:20 AM »
I hope this isn't a dumb question but here goes: I am an incoming graduate student in Physics, but I have recently considered quitting my graduate studies since I would rather work on more interesting practical problems. So I am considering quitting the program to start a startup, possibly related to computer software or robotics. I would like to get rich like many others have in Silicon Valley. I am also considering staying in my phD program and just doing research in an area of Physics that uses lots of programming, such as computational materials science or astrophysics, as opposed to string theory.

I have read a few of Paul Graham's essays, and I think starting a startup would suit me well because I am willing to take the risks involved in it and work the long hours to have a chance at winning the LOTTERY, as opposed to taking a low-stress, comfortable good-paying job working in a cubicle. The main problems at the moment are that I have poor programming skills (and have taken no classes at all relating to robotics)and that I have no friends that are interested in programming, robotics, or in a startup. But I have been considering joining a club on campus with other grad students that are interested in forming a startup

I have always been fascinated with robots (since I used to love anime like Gundam) and I have recently been more interested in robotics startups, but I can't find much information as to how previous startups formed. I just know that the founders of Irobots met as EE grad students at MIT. Does anyone recommend any books that describe how previous robotics startups formed and became rich?

Offline waltr

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Re: advice for robotics startup?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 09:18:03 AM »
Do some goggling on Kiva and the names in the following link. I did read how this company got going, it is an interesting story and just what you asked about.
http://www.kivasystems.com/resources/videos

Google different recent companies and then goggle the names of founders should get you a few stories. Another source is the magazine 'Wired'. They always have articles on start-ups so check the library for back issues.

If you still need some elective credits then take a few programing, comp-sci or applied math (with programming) courses.

Good luck

Offline Gertlex

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Re: advice for robotics startup?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2011, 10:45:49 PM »
So no one else feels the need to waste their time, same thread with other replies: http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?5053-advice-for-robotics-startup&p=49225#post49225
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Offline oversee

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Re: advice for robotics startup?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 08:08:39 PM »
So you posted the same question on multiple forums. That's OK. You'll get more answers that way.
I worked for many years as a computer programmer and then I worked for a company in the Middle East so I could save up enough money to start my own company. First lesson: you have to have some start-up capital.
I have a son who started his own website that over many years and lots of hard work became successful. He didn't even graduate college but he found something he really liked doing and worked very hard to become good at it. He also had a great idea that no one else had thought of yet. He didn't start it to get rich. He devotes almost every waking hour to it, which is what it takes. He doesn't mind because his hobby is his job. By the way, he has been working on it since he was 13.
You have the wrong idea. You can't just decide you want to be rich and then with no plan in mind expect it to happen. You have to have a great idea and implement it better and earlier than anyone else. So unless you already have a great idea, finish your education and get a job until you figure out what exactly is going to make you money.
The founders of Irobots went to MIT. They are probably smarter than you, no offense.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 08:12:12 PM by oversee »

Offline WaterPig Master

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Re: advice for robotics startup?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2011, 01:26:18 AM »
Agreed. 'I want to get rich' is not a valid business goal, and I would not recommend trying to set up a business until you're at least competent and have some experience. Passion and a willingness to take risks is not (and never will be) a replacement for competence!

Do you have apprenticeships in the US (or wherever you are)? It sounds like you would be more suited to an apprenticeship than 'real school' I certainly am benefitting hugely by being an informal apprentice, and going on a short course in Guitarmaking, rather than doing 6th form, then going to uni, etc.

Being an apprentice/workshop hand will also help you decide if this is really where you want to work.

Thanks,
Barnaby


 


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