To everyone in the Grand St. Community –
Today we are announcing that Grand St. has agreed to be acquired by Etsy, subject to closing conditions.
As you may know, Etsy is an amazing company for handmade goods and a true pioneer in both marketplace development and the maker movement. We have always admired them from afar, especially their dedication to craft and their commitment to their B Corp certification.
While this is a big step for us as a company, we plan to change very little about the site and your experience of Grand St. in the near term. We exist to bring you the best in indie electronics from designers and makers all over the world, and we’ll continue to do that at grandst.com. We will continue to launch new features and have a few coming out soon that we think you’ll love.
Simply put: the rise of the individual, small-batch maker is changing product development, production and commerce. The process of making physical goods is shifting as consumers are more interested in unique and personalized products. This leads to a greater variety of products, and a fulfilling path to growth for creators. Etsy knows this and everything they do is designed to welcome this shift and embrace it.
We are very excited to be part of a company with such overlapping values, where we’ll have a chance to accelerate our mission of helping independent makers grow and scale. Thank you for your continued support, we really appreciate it.
Amanda, Aaron, and Joe
PS — Questions? Email us at email@example.com, we always love hearing from you
Our goal has always been to create a better way for hardware creators to find an audience and get their products to market. For this new version of Grand St. we wanted to create a flexible solution that addressed indie hardware makers at different stages in the development cycle. We are launching a self-serve platform today that offers three ways to discover and distribute new hardware:
1. Pre-Orders: These are products that are not yet widely available, but will be in 1-6 months. If you are listing a Pre-Order, note that Grand St. takes 0% commission on these sales. This is possible because of the percentage we take on other types of products — our goal is to grow the entire ecosystem. We know that as a consumer, pre-orders are risky, so we are doing things a bit differently. We hold onto the funds until the product is shipping, so if the product fails to ship you will be refunded.
2. Beta: With Beta products, you can help contribute to the product development process. Beta products are evolving based on user feedback. When you purchase a Beta product, you’ll have access to a special discussion section with the testing group. For makers, the goal is to use Beta as a way to build a better product and to gather momentum, whether the next stop is crowdfunding or straight to retail. Grand St. takes an 8% commission on sales for Beta products.
3. Shop: This is for consumer-ready products that are 100% functional, offer guaranteed customer satisfaction and are currently shipping. It’s the gadget shop of your dreams, but for real. Grand
St. takes an 8% commission on sales for Shop products.
In addition, you’ll notice we completely re-designed the site to make room for these new products, and today we are launching with hundreds of new products…more than we have sold in the past year.
Hope you love it.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback!
When we started Grand St. we wanted to build the best way to bring creative technology to the world. Over the past year, the community that has come together around Grand St. has been amazing, and fuels the work that we do every day. Thank you for your support, we
As we look forward to the year ahead, I wanted to glance back at a few of our favorite moments from 2013.
1. We released our Android app in June. Our team is extremely passionate about mobile and our goal was to make a mobile Grand St. experience that was beautiful and easy to use. We were selected as one of 11 “Most Beautiful Apps” by the Android Design Team for both their summer and winter lists. Go download it here if you haven’t already.
2. We launched Grand St. to the public in July. After a few months of closed beta, we opened Grand St. to the world. The most exciting moment for us was seeing orders come in from all over the country and the world. Grand St.’s community grew a lot in the second half of 2013.
3. We worked with hundreds of creators. The core belief that informs everything we do at Grand St. is that anyone with an idea should be able to make and sell a product, and our goal is to make that easy. What excites us most is the amazing lineup of products we have for 2014.
4. Released some super cool hacks. We sell creative technology, emphasis on creative. And we have fun doing it. Check out these posts on jsTar and Mindwave Mobile. Our #impcube twitter contest was a worldwide trending topic in October.
5. Put together an awesome holiday box for our very first holiday season. The tweets, photos and emails that we have seen from all the Grand St. gifting has made us smile.
Keep an eye out for us in 2014….we are looking forward to introducing you to more awesome products and creators this year.
7) Maker Shed
10) Grand St.
It’s our first Cyber Monday at Grand St., and we are excited to feature a great selection of indie electronics this year. If you haven’t already, check out the site for some amazing gift ideas.
This year, we are also trying something new. Grand St. is all about introducing you to new technology products, and for our friends and fans in Manhattan, we put together an On-Demand Pop-Up Shop, powered by the fine folks at WunWun.
Download the WunWun app and hit “Request Pop-Up” and a WunWun Helper will come to your location with a selection of Grand St. products that you can test, play with, and purchase.
We like to think of it as bringing the store to you.
After all, the best part of experiencing a new product is to see it in person and play with it yourself. Try it out! Supplies are limited for now but our enthusiasm certainly isn’t.
Some words about audiovisuals and stuff
While I was in college back in 2010, I attended an event put on by Robert Henke, one of the developers of Ableton Live, and Tarik Barri, creator of the powerful Versum audiovisual composition software, to view their collaborative piece called Monolake. The exhibition (or I guess you could call it a concert) involved spacial sound design (think surround sound audio) paired with visual representation of the soundscape Henke created, projected on all sides of the studio we were in. The environment created made it feel as if one was drifting through an environment governed by sound. I had seen visualizers before, but it definitely did make me recognize and admire the almost jazz-like freeform factor of audio visualization in live concert.
While you definitely can’t play with your visuals as fast and loose as Coltrane on a trumpet, it does allow for considerable improvisation, making each experience unique and different from the next. Most large concerts rely on lights and interesting visuals that have for the most part been pre-rendered (Deadmau5 comes to mind), but no one I’ve seen (aside from Robert Henke) is touring or has toured with someone who visualizes their audio on-the-fly (feel free to point some out, though!). I feel like a lot of people think the buck stops at programs like XBMC or iTunes, where you can “visualize” your music library, but it’s actually fairly easy to stream audio or MIDI into a visualizer using the right programs or language.
The first visualizers were made for DOS, so the idea is neither new nor difficult on early PCs, but these basic visualizers like MilkDrop or Cthugha didn’t allow for the human element or entropy that made the visualization of music as orchestrated as it was in Monolake. More recently artists have been using programs like MaxMSP with Processing and Ableton (Which are the tools Barri and Henke incorporated) to produce both
sound and audio together, and other end of the spectrum you have guys like Dr. Bleep creating hardware dedicated to audiovisual synthesis. Seeing it in everyday concerts, though? I still believe it’s a ways off from being labeled anything other than “experimental”.
As we approach the end of October, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy making landfall in New York City stirs some scary memories. Power outages for weeks, dead phones, commutes home in the pitch black, and even an apartment fire, to name a few. Below are five products that are perfect for preparing for any emergency situation. Whether you’re on the coast or in the heartland, these helpful tools will better equip you to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Continue reading
I often think about that Forbes piece “Why Best Buy is Going out of Business…Gradually” that was published nearly two years ago. You probably read it too; as of today it has around 3 million views. The emotion that author Larry Downes generated with that prescient article was overwhelming — like a collective “we can do better” echoing through the internet.
Two years later, and Downes is more right than ever. Through Grand St. I’ve had a front-row seat to the emerging hardware movement, and the big realization I’ve come to is that it’s not just Best Buy that’s going to fade away, it’s our entire notion of “Consumer Electronics”. It will be gradual, but there are already signals that indicate a shift is happening.
It’s a tailwind that’s supporting a growing long-tail of hardware and a new kind of creator. Continue reading