Hardware Is The New Software

TechCrunch

Editor’s note: Min-Liang Tan is co-founder and CEO at Razer.

Nest. GoPro. Beats. Jawbone. Oculus. All hardware companies and each of them accorded multi-billion-dollar valuations either in private investment transactions or acquisitions by some of the largest technology companies on the planet.

When the deals first surfaced, more than a few people were puzzled. Hardware hasn’t exactly been sexy for the past decade or so. Until last year, VC and tech talent have been fawning over software companies, which attracted nearly $11 billion in venture capital and saw 1,523 deals in 2013. And how did consumer electronics makers do with VCs in 2013? A paltry $848 million and 31 deals.

That’s because software, once expensive and complicated to make, has become relatively easy. Increased access to open-source services and the cloud mean that two guys in a garage can inexpensively create…

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