Goodbye Nextthing.co

This is only tangentially about the GruePhone.  It appears that NextThing computer company has folded (probably actually ceased operation months ago)… apparently it has closed up shop and left a lot of people with outstanding (paid-for) orders unfulfilled.  This is sad on many levels.  It certainly sucks for people who are out the cash, but also because the device had so much promise.

The C.H.I.P. computer, despite its flaws, was a really nifty little device for an incredible price*.  It preceded (and may have driven) the development of the Raspberry Pi zero (and zero-W, which is closest to the C.H.I.P. in price and features.)  The integrated battery management made the device ideal for GruePhone 2.0.  Future phones will doubtless use either a Pi 3 or Pi Zero-W, but the lack of battery management means that I’ll either have to come up with some other solution or have the devices tethered to an external battery pack, neither of which is ideal.  I hope the C.H.I.P. in GruePhone 2.0 stays healthy.

[*] Maybe the price was a little too incredible.  Lack of profitability is the leading cause of failure in start-ups, and I think they priced it more on the cost of manufacture rather than the total cost of development.  Maybe they couldn’t sell enough of them to make ends meet on such narrow margins. If that’s the case, I wish they had charged $15-$20 and were still around.

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