In this issue, we bring you exclusive early access to the informal Hardware Handbook, and we're also delighted to share a few client and member highlights from Q2 of 2024.
The informal Hardware Handbook

Ever since co-founding informal in 2019 with Sam Holland, we've found ourselves having the same conversations with clients every few months. To clear up some of these persistent questions, we put together the informal Hardware Handbook, which focuses on current trends, challenges, and tools needed to bring a project from conception to completion.

One thing we love about the handbook is that it's driven by our freelancers' collective experience, covering a massive range of hardware concerns at different stages.

The handbook is made up of advice from experts in a variety of areas within the industry, giving critical direction that can make or break any project. We're excited to have sourced this information within our informal community and to share the knowledge with you!

By no means do you need to read this guide in any particular order. Feel free to pop around to the articles or sections that are most relevant to you at the moment. If you ever need advice, direction, help, or support, please don't hesitate to reach out to us! We love talking hardware, learning about the challenges teams are facing, and helping make the most kick-ass products.

Dave Fustino

Industrial designer Dave Fustino has been an incredible asset to the informal collective since he joined, not only for his concept-sketching skills, but also for his involvement in the Boston Hardware Meetup group. Dave's knowledge and talent in helping clients establish a clear picture of what their product can be is invaluable.

Dave has a real superpower in being able to quickly iterate through sketching before moving to CAD. Sketching is a fast, effective way to work through complex mechanical needs and form development and overall design constraints before jumping into CAD.

Some ideas are too difficult to describe with words - especially a product that doesn't exist! Sketching "what could be" empowers a productive conversation and gives our clients an equal opportunity to discuss their interpretation and thoughts around a "visual roadmap" of sketches to establish clearer outcomes.

We're glad to have Dave at informal! Check out his full member feature here.

Hire Dave and others like him!

As a new parent, Kevin Lavelle made a frustrating discovery. With his infant son asleep upstairs, the baby monitor video camera and app he relied on had shut down without warning. He wasn't sure how long it had been off and raced upstairs to check on his son. All was well, but it left Kevin wondering how these baby monitors could claim to be so reliable and yet full of limitations.

Fast forward seven years; shockingly, a lot has stayed the same in the marketplace. Baby monitors are still tied to apps that run on a phone and often don't have record, rewind, or remote viewing capabilities.

Kevin set out to change all that. With his cofounder, Charlie Hill, he launched Harbor, a baby camera and monitor system unlike anything available today with a revolutionary "remote night nanny" platform to help parents sleep easier.

Read more about their journey, including how and why they partnered with informal to help bring their product to market.

Read the full Harbor feature

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