I'm building a hardware device for the consumer market. How do i protect the platform?

I'm simply using Linux OS, same as everyone else. i don't want to have a chinese me-to company clone my code overnight and i still need to have this easy to implement and test during the build process. My code is 80% of MVP (outsourced) but i'm an EE and am not highly fluent in code myself. I plan to take the code open source at a later date but i don't want a knock-off company to poison the well before i can build a respectable community. I want a robust but re-flashable codebase with safeguards in place to minimize the risk of "bricking" a customer's device. Anyone on Clarity have advice on hardware platforms and best practices?


Your question is stated in an extremely confusing manner, but what I think I understand is that
1) you're developing a hardware product, and
2) you need to pay someone to write code for it, but
3) you're nervous about outsourcing the code development outside the US because you don't want someone else to copy you?

Let me know if that's accurate, and if not, please state your question more clearly so I, or someone else can answer it correctly.



Answered 7 years ago

Unsure if you're building a laptop or some sort of embedded device like a Roku player.

Stating the function of your device will likely assist having your question answered.

Answered 7 years ago


There's a popular misconception in a lot of startup technology entrepeneurs in thinking that the IP (the code, the idea, even the list of customers) is what is of value or what makes the product.

It isn't.

What makes a customer buy your product over someone else's product is not that your product is unique, or can't be copied, or that they can't find the solution somewhere else...

It is that your product solves the problem in a way that is easy to use and most importantly: pleasant to use.

Basically, people want a product that implements a solution to a problem they have in the most painless way possible.

Hence, if you think about it, it is not your code or the idea of what your product does what is valuable. It is the execution of that idea.

Even so, I understand your concern of people simply reproducing your code and basically not paying you for it.

How do you plan on distributing your code? If you distribute your product's software as an executable or as code already flashed into your hardware board PCB or whatever the likelihood someone will take the time to decompile your code into something meaningful is minimal.

So to make a long story short: if you don't distribute the source code, the chances of someone copying your code is minimal because the effort of reverse-engineering your code is quite surely much more than simply writing the software from scratch for themselves.

So my advice to you is: develop your product without worrying about copy-cats. If you offer superior support, ease of use, and a general great user experience it is THIS what will give you the market edge. Remember, your software is not your product. It is a component of your product. And your product is not what gives your company value. Your solutions as a whole provide value for the customer, and the people you hire are what create value for your company.

Let me know if you'd like to chat more about this, I have oodles and oodles of real-life examples to tell you about!

Answered 7 years ago

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