I have a vision for the future. I have a vision of a world where technology becomes so robust, it disappears into the background. A world in which automated systems control lights, climate, and media, anticipating your every need, becoming an effortless extension of your mind and body. I envision a future in which technology respects its users' privacy while providing all the benefits imagined by science fiction writers since Jules Verne. When the time was right, I embarked on a journey to share this vision with the world.
I began this journey in May of 2009, when I left school and started down what would be the most enlightening, and most terrifying path I've ever traveled. I've had the excitement of seeing satisfied users putting my products to amazing uses. I've felt the pain of trying (but always succeeding) to make ends meet during leaner times. Last year, what was meant to be a one-off hack with the Kinect turned into 15 minutes of fame and, a few months later, my primary product line. I've put everything I've got into this vision. Nitrogen Logic is my brainchild, my baby.
I have learned and built a lot during this time. I've learned that working with a team can significantly amplify one's potential. I've learned what it's like to have an unexpected publicity breakthrough, only to fade back into the shadows. Most importantly, I've learned that there's a big difference between having a vision, and communicating it. In other words, I am not a salesman.
Now, over three years down the road less traveled, I come to a fork. When I started working on Nitrogen Logic, consumer automation appeared to be stagnant. Since then, products and services like IFTTT (If This, Then That) and Belkin's WeMo, and Kickstarter projects like Ubi and SmartThings have filled some of the niches I set out to address. Additionally, home security firms and ISPs are jumping on the home automation bandwagon. I find myself running into the limits of the processing power and USB bandwidth available on low-power controllers. Meanwhile, there are recruiters e-mailing, companies growing, and opportunities knocking. The temptation to rejoin the ranks of the well-paid, salaried workers with strange and unfamiliar benefits like "dental insurance" grows.
As each month goes by, one question looms ever larger in my mind: Do I continue with Nitrogen Logic, seeking new customers and partners to keep the vision going? Or do I move on, put Nitrogen Logic on the back burner, and look for another way to make my vision a reality? The answer to this question may lie with you, dear readers, customers, and fans. Should I shut everything down? Switch to selling software? Go open source?
Have you been inspired by my Kinect hacks? Are you a current or future customer of Nitrogen Logic? Do you work for a company interested in adding automation logic to your products? As I ponder the future of Nitrogen Logic, I welcome your opinions and advice.