Hello from Waco, Texas–the birthplace of Dr Pepper!
It feels like we haven't written in forever. In truth, it's been about 48 hours. Yesterday was our first pure travel day since setting out on this crazy road trip. The storms we were driving through were so bad that we ended up pulling off the road and hiding up at a little roadside cafe in the middle of nowhere for a few hours. These days, even little roadside cafes in the middle of nowhere serve pourovers and sell Hario V60 drippers.
Once the sun came back out, we got back on the road. Sometime in the mid-afternoon, that bright sun warmed up the Verizon Mi-Fi we've been using to chat with you fine folks from the road so much that it shut down until we unplugged it and dropped it in front of the AC for 20 minutes.
Last night, we overnighted in McAlester, Oklahoma on our way to Dallas for our meetup at the Dallas Makerspace.
At 17,000 square feet, the Dallas Makerspace is among the largest spaces we've visited so far. (Artisan's Asylum is nearly twice its size, at 40,000 square feet.) Some of the amazing things we saw there included the first auto shop we've seen in a makerspace, an aquaponics setup with fish and plants living in harmony amidst some psychedelic lighting, a big pile of loaner laptops for members to use onsite, the best-equipped electronics lab we've seen yet (having Texas Instruments in your back yard doesn't hurt), and a half-dozen pinball machines in various states of repair.
One of the coolest things that was (as far as we've seen) unique to the Dallas Makerspace was their hospital-style way-finding system. Colored stripes on the wall of the lobby were labeled with the names of spaces and workshops throughout the somewhat-mazelike interior of the makerspace. To get to the lecture-hall where tonight's meetup was, you just followed the red stripe on the wall. Really simple. Really effective.
Tonight's guest keyboards were one of Technomancy's Atreus keyboards and a really nicely built little six-key keyboard designed to extend a 60% keyboard. When they said everything was bigger in Texas, we didn't figure they meant the keyboards, too.
At this evening's meetup, we talked a bit about what we think has made our Kickstarter campaign successful so far. We're not experts at this, so take all of this with a grain of salt. To a first approximation, the winning formula appears to be: make the product we want to see in the world, plan carefully, fail to sign on with a PR firm, be honest with our backers about what we can and can't promise, and, um, do something crazy like spend the whole campaign on the road visiting hackerspaces.
There were more Keyboardio fans under 3 years old at tonight's event than at any meetup to date. They weren't terribly talkative, but from what we could understand, they seem to be big fans of the mechanical keyswitches and really, really like the glowing, color-changing LEDs.
We crossed $350k today! As of a few minutes ago, Exactly 1,150 of you have backed us to the tune of $351,652.
We've driven 717 miles over the last two days, bringing us up to 3620 miles since Boston. We've been listening to the audiobook of The Martian. We’ve both already read the print book, but the audio book is really well done. We're hoping the movie is at least half as good.
Tomorrow afternoon, we're in Austin, at ATX Hackerspace. 42 folks have already RSVPed. Come say hi: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-the-keyboardio-model-01-austin-at-atx-hackerspace-tickets-17316021687