2012 was the year of many spectacular things for the tech world. Famous IPOs (among them, the one of Facebook), the exponential development of web accelerators, the reset of investment funds (small funds & super funds), the accelerated development of big data and many more.
But for me, the year 2012 was very interesting from another point of view: the birth of hardware startups.
A few years ago, hardware development belonged solely to the big companies and R&D centers. Prototyping was expensive, the go-to-market cost was very high, iterations were hard to deliver. The investment funds were extremely cautious in financing hardware companies (mostly because of the high inventory costs), and the development of independent hardware seemed like fantasy.