Commercial projects?

Okay, so I’ve seen several people pop into the forum with “Im doing such and such for a client” or “Such and such has been running for my client for X period of time”

I am generally curious - how many people here are independently designing products for customers?

Do you have a consulting business of your own, and create devices for a specific clientèle?

Do you advertise? How do you get leads? Pure networking?

There seems to be a lot of opportunity for those entrepreneurial-minded peeps, who would like to make netmf or even gadgeteer-based devices for commercial use.

How is this being done? Do you come up with an idea, make a product and look for a client? Do you look for a client and see what he would like and come up with a product? Do you sneak around in bars and chat up bartenders with “Hey, so, heard anything that needs doing, wit’ netmf, know what I mean?”

In general, if you were planning to start up some sort of consulting business to leverage your gadget-y knowledge and enthusiasm to create end-user devices based on gadgeteer/netfm/arduino/rpi, how would one go about doing this?

If you were going to teach a class of bright young makers how to make a viable business out of their skills, where would you start? Or a class of older seasoned coder aspies with no business/sales sense?

Can any of you offer insights here?


@ mtylerjr -
Use your skills and create something that solves a real problem, or at least make that less challenging problem.

For example: you can ask that bartender on what are his challenges at work, and if he had the power to fix them what would he do?

@ mtylerjr - I have some .netmf projects that I have done for customers. In some cases they are one off projects. Others have been or are proof of concept projects where I make a small number of devices to proof the idea and work out the details before dedicated hardware is built.

In my case the bulk of my business comes from a few primary products that I sell. That .net mf devices fill in the gaps and provide solutions to those customers for custom projects or for new products I am thinking of releasing. Most of the projects have to do with small control applications or cloud based data collection.

I don’t do any advertising for my custom work as I am too busy as it is. I am in the process of redesigning my primary products with the G400. Currently it is based on a Rabbit 3315 from


I run a small 1 man operation doing custom work for clients looking to find a turnkey solution. I’ve used NETMF in 2 real world projects to date with 2 more in development right now. I’ve also used NETMF to prototype and show a potential system to a number of clients.

I don’t do much in the way of advertising of the custom work other than what is on my website as being 1 man I don’t want to be overloaded with work and turning away work is not a good idea. When I am finished with a project and looking for more work I will go out to look for it through existing clients or their referrals.

Like skeller, the bulk of my work comes from existing products from the original parent company and in supporting this. I am hoping that the 2 new NETMF developments will become the primary products for my company and 1 of them is looking very positive so far.


I’m constantly building stuff, but I am starting development of what I hope are two commercial products, one using .NetMF, the other, we’ll see as its a little more CPU intensive. Usually I gave away my ideas and prototypes etc, but these ideas were just too good to give away.

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We use NETMF components as sub components for our products, which are usually Windows PC based.
For some simple devices it’s mainly only the NETMF device.
Usually we have a need, or we have already a working Solution where we not happy with. Then we think how we can solve or optimize it. In some cases we decide to use an µ controller solution. If it is a more complex need, then we use NETMF controllers (G120 so far).
These controllers are connected the main PC and/or to the environment by Ethernet usually.
We do not actively advertise this, as we also do no classic advertisement for our whole products as well.
Usually we do something for one company, which tells someone else that they could ask us to help them.
Sometimes a plant using our products shuts down, so the people from there distributes to other plants and companies, and by this spread the word for us.
This works that well, that we are sometimes happy if someone who is generally interested buys somewhere else.
If this is one of our main competitors, then that’s not that nice, except if he fails :smiley:

Oh, we build EndOfLine testing equipment to the automotive industry: Car seats, doors, I-Panels, … as well other stuff like data collection devices, …

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