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Accounting for Making Objects

June 22, 2024 11:30 AM - 12:20 PM

Talk track 1

You’ve made your hardware idea real: you’ve built a prototype for yourself, and a few more for friends. Now you’re at Teardown because the time has come to bring your project to the world.

Scaling from shipping dozens of things to hundreds or thousands requires leveling up your logistics, but it also requires leveling up another, less talked about skill: your accounting. Whether it’s understanding margin and markup, managing cash flow, producing inventory or determining cost of goods sold: your success in building a sustainable hardware business depends as much on spreadsheets as soldering irons.

In this session I’ll introduce accounting basics — no prior experience required! — before delving into pricing things, accounting for inventory, production and sales, understanding cash flow, and even paying yourself at the end if there’s any money leftover. I’ll use real-world examples from my open hardware practice, Oddly Specific Objects, and our Crowd Supply campaign, Sensor Watch.

Joey Castillo is a software and hardware engineer based out of Brooklyn, New York. While he doesn’t identify with the term “Full Stack Developer”, he has engineered products from circuit board to product launch, with everything from firmware and UX to manufacturing and marketing in between.