They're right though, it's definitely going to be a growth market. Looking forward to learning more about what Grand St. is doing.
Consumer products are still, and will be for a few years, made in traditional ways. The lower cost of production in China being the biggest factor today for the last step of concept to real.
Pumping money into a sector will accelerate it, but the heating funding environment for hardware isn't a fundamental change.
To draw an analogy to software you really need to compare timescales and access to sufficient technology.
A talented developer can rent sufficient technology to support thousands of customers a day on a website and build the product in a week for a small launch.
On axes of both time and money hardware idea to product are still at least an order of magnitude higher. Which, to be fair, is still much better than it has been, and a welcome evolution of the market.
If I can produce a casing for a development board that looks as good as some overpriced Apple junk or locked down Microsoft OEM crap, there's no need for me to jump through all their silly hoops. I can make my own device to do just the things I want it to do. My way.
re: the electronics of today's hardware: It's all the same stuff, more or less. How many factories are there? How many chipmakers? Oustide of uber-geeks, people are not that fussy about what's on the inside of their devices. Give them the power to make their own gadget that is personalised and programmable, and many of them will have no need to play games with Apple or Microsoft.
If these terms can improve then that working capital requirement can drop and then you'll see a much greater impact on the market. I would argue that things like arduino are great for prototyping but they are actually making the electronics design for manufacture step harder as you are one more step removed from the in production components than you would be going down a slightly older fashioned route.