Got a Startup Tech Hardware Product to Sell? Try Grand St.

grand st.10

Grand St. aims to give independent hardware manufacturers a place to sell their products and to test prototypes.

If you’re looking to get any consumer electronic to the marketplace, there’s an arduous process involved. One of the biggest obstacles is getting funding for a venture that could miss the mark. Another is finding customers interested in your product.

Grand St. provides potential solutions for both problems.

Right now, the site is the place to get The Loop, a leather organizer that can charge your iPhone. There’s also a hackable alarm clock kit and an iOS enabled guitar for sale there, now.

Fortune says that the addition of independent manufacturers selling their gadgets on the site has turned it into the Etsy of the electronics world.

grand st.

On the official Grand St. blog, co-founder Amanda Peyton explains:

“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.”

The company says it now has about 200,000 users. And indie gadget makers have three ways to sell their new products through the site:

Consumer Ready

When you’re ready to sell the gadget you’ve created, you can list it through the Grand St. Shop. Grand St. says it previews and must approve any new listing. If a product doesn’t make the cut, Grand St. notifies the maker of its reasons for rejection.

If a product is approved and listed, the site takes an 8 percent commission on all sales. It takes the same commission on Beta sales. These are products that haven’t received any customer feedback and aren’t quite ready for a mass audience.


A Beta product maker can pick testers for the products and await their feedback. Based on the feedback, Grand St. says the maker of the product can then decide to seek more funding for changes or get the product ready for the marketplace or pre-order sales.


If a product is within six months of being ready for the marketplace, it can be sold through a pre-order feature on Grand St. The site doesn’t take a commission on those sales and there are no monthly fees linked to selling on Grand St.

Sellers need to handle all their customer service and shipping commitments, the company notes in its seller guidelines.


Not an Artist? Try the Easy-to-Use, Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet

Not an Artist? Try the Easy-to-Use, Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet



Given its price, features and functionality, FotoJet is one of the leaders in this space, especially for time and cash strapped small businesses.

You only need to spend five seconds on the web to appreciate how much people love visuals. From social media to websites, the Internet is plastered with more images than a big city fence covered with playbills.

In the business world, this love of images translates into visual marketing, a very effective approach to building your brand and attracting your targeted customers.

Unfortunately, many small businesses face a hurdle to effective visual marketing: creating the images. Most lack the expertise in house and the money to outsource those skills.

Fortunately, a number of solutions, such as Canva and Visme, have stepped up to help with drag-and-drop image creation software that’s easy for non-designers to use. Today, I’m going to take a look at the latest of these, FotoJet.

Free Image Creation Software

FotoJet is actually three tools in one and includes a:

  1. Collage maker;

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Photo Collage Examples

  1. Graphic designer; and

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Graphic Design Examples

  1. Photo editor.

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Photo Editor Example

Let’s take a closer look at the separate tools.

FotoJet’s Collage Maker

FotoJet’s collage maker was designed to work with your own photos, either uploaded from your computer or imported from your Facebook photo albums.

Using these photos, you can create an impressive array of images including classic collages, “creative” collages, photo cards and more:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Collage Selections

Once you make a selection (I chose “Classic Collage”), you’re taken to the collage maker:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Collage Maker

Here you’ll find most the standard tools (text, clipart, shapes and backgrounds). As you can see above, there are tons of classic collage templates ranging from layouts with two images up to those with eight.

Heading back to the collage maker project selection screen, I selected “Magazine Cover” to show you how the tool works.

Step One: Select the Project Type

After selecting the “Magazine Cover” project type, I was taken to the collage maker:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Magazine Cover Walkthrough - Step 1

Step Two: Select the Template

Next, I selected the template I wanted to use from the ones shown on the left

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Magazine Cover Walkthrough - Step 2

Step 3: Upload and Add Image

Next, I uploaded a couple of images to see which would work and tried both. Here’s the one that fit best:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Magazine Cover Walkthrough - Step 3

Step 4: Final Touchups

Since it was hard to read the black text at both top and on the left, I made it all white to complete my image:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Magazine Cover Walkthrough - Step 4

Step 5: Save, Share and Print

Now that I have a complete image, I can use the bar above the image to save it to my computer, share it via social media or print it:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Magazine Cover Walkthrough - Step 5

And voila, I’ve got a new image to use in my visual marketing efforts:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Magazine Cover Walkthrough - Final Image

FotoJet’s Graphic Designer

Fotojet’s graphic designer tool was designed to use your own images or free images from Pixabay.

This tool is ideal for online marketers as it has templates for the more popular social media site. Here’s the project type selection page for the graphic designer:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Graphic Designer Selections

Once you’re inside, the graphic designer looks much like the collage maker. One big difference are the available templates:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Graphic Designer Templates

Another difference is that you can use free photos from Pixabay in your own images:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Pixabay Process

  1. Select “Stock Photo” under “Add Photo”;
  2. Search for the photo you want and then click the “Add” button;
  3. Now the photo is shown on the left so all that’s left to do is;
  4. Drag the photo onto your image and there you go!

FotoJet’s Photo Editor

FotoJet’s photo editor tool was designed for well, photo editing. It’s an easy-to-use option when you want to touch up your photos.

When you first enter the photo editor, it will ask you to upload a photo to edit:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Photo Editor Start

Once you’ve selected a photo, you’ll be taken to the photo editor where you can work your magic:

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Photo Editor

The Pros – What Sets FotoJet Apart from Other Solutions?

Completely Free

FotoJet is completely free. While there are some features you cannot use without creating an account, registration is also free. You can’t beat that price, especially with the powerful, easy-to-use tools that you’re getting inside.

Collage Maker

The collage maker functionality within FotoJet is very robust. With more than 80 classic collage layouts (simple squares and rectangles), and dozens of templates in their modern, art, creative and 3D template areas, you’re sure to find a way to display that group of images.

So Many Templates and Designs

As you might have inferred from the collage maker section above, FotoJet offers tons of templates and designs for you to use when making images. You’re sure to find something to fit your needs in here which is handy when you cannot create images on your own.


FotoJet has created a number of handy tutorials that will walk you through the creation of many types of images.

The Cons – What Sets FotoJet Apart from Other Solutions?

No Saving

One downside to the solution is the absence of a save button. Sure, you can save your image to your computer however, you cannot save a partially completed image and then come back later to finish it.

Clipart Selection is Inconsistent Between Tools

While you can import images from Pixabay, the clipart available from within FotoJet’s graphic designer tool looks like someone’s left over PowerPoint images from the 1990’s.

Interestingly, the clipart selection in the collage maker is much more modern and up-to-date. Not sure why this discrepancy exists, but it can be annoying.

Free Image Creation Software, FotoJet - Clipart Difference


Overall, FotoJet is a fine addition to the pool of image creation solutions online. Given its price, features and functionality, it’s also one of the leaders in this space, especially for time and cash strapped small businesses.

Take a moment to check out these samples and, while you’re there, play around with all three tools – you’ll be glad you stopped by.


Firefox Will Try to Show You Saved Archive of a Page Instead of 404 Error

Firefox Will Try to Show You Saved Archive of a Page Instead of 404 ErrorFirefox Will Try to Show You Saved Archive of a Page Instead of 404 Error
The new add-on is called No More 404s
It replaces Error 404 with archived snapshots
The add-on is powered by Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine
After introducing a big update for its browser users, Firefox has added some new features to its Test Pilot platform. The most significant is a new add-on called No More 404s that replaces the age-old Error 404 on a missing webpage, with saved archives from the Wayback Machine.

Normally, when presented with a missing link, the browser shows the 404 error. However, Mozilla’s No More 404s add-on will give Firefox users the choice to see old Internet snapshots saved in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. This is especially handy for users trying to do research or just dig up some old graves due to curiosity.

For now, this add-on is only available in Firefox’s experimental Test Pilot platform, with no details on availability for regular Firefox users. Interested users can install the test version here. Apart from this, the Test Pilot platform also introduced improved search results through the Awesome Bar, redesigned the Tabs bar to the side, and even tweaked the history feed.

At the beginning of this week, Mozilla began rolling Firefox 48 for its desktop and Android users. The update is significant on desktop because it introduces a new multi-process Firefox feature to ensure less lag and fewer crashes of the browser.
Firefox for Android saw few changes like the Synced Tabs moved to the History panel, Bookmarks and Reading Lists merged together, and also the ability to pause a video playing on the browser when the user receives a call. The update for iOS users came last month with several improvements to the search engine, a redesigned toolbar, and the ability to use less RAM and CPU for increased battery efficiency.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, Firefox Test Pilot Platform, Mozilla, No More 404s


Keep Falling Sick? Try the Health-PIE App

Keep Falling Sick? Try the Health-PIE App

For someone who falls sick often, keeping track of your new medicines and making sure you have them on time can be a problem. A chronic illness where you need to have the same medicines daily is bad enough, but when you’re on a new schedule of pills once a month, it can be very hard to keep track. Keeping track of all your prescriptions for doctor visits can be another problem, at least for some of us.

That’s where the Health-PIE (the PIE stands for Patient Information and Empowerment) by mTatva comes in. The app, which launched late last year, was highly recommended by an acquaintance so we decided to try it out as well, and see whether it would make a difference. The answer, it turns out, is both yes and no – this app is actually pretty useful in some scenarios, but there are definitely some areas where it can get better.

The app itself is pretty straightforward – when you start using it, Health-PIE asks you to set up your reminders, and you can do this either by uploading a scanned image of your prescription, or snapping a picture of it. You can then set up reminders based on the prescription, so that you get a notification every time you need to have a pill. In the app, you can look at the different records – that is to say, the prescriptions you’ve scanned, or written and uploaded yourself – and the different reminders you have set up.

The records are useful to keep track of the different medicines you need to have, but also if you’re going to a doctor for any treatment that requires multiple visits and you need to carry records of all the different prescriptions you’ve been given. With the app you get everything in one place for easy reference. It could also be useful if you’re falling sick frequently, and want to be able to easily pull out a two or three month old prescription for reference.

Of course, you could just do this by keeping a folder with all your documents (which is probably the best idea since no doctor is going to enjoy peering at a small phone screen to look at old prescriptions) or even manually set up a notebook in an app like Evernote with all the notes of different illnesses if you wanted to, but unless you’re already making use of Evernote for multiple uses, it’s easier to just use a specialised app like this one to get things done.

healthpie_screen2.jpgThe app also a couple of additional records that could be useful – a vaccination chart that parents might find handy, and a health-info section, where you can input details such as your height, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and so on, to create a user profile and charts over time. There’s also a Health Info section where you can see things like advice on de-stressing, quitting alcohol, or managing diabetes. We didn’t personally find that section too engaging, but of course, that depends on what you are interested in.

However, there are some definite areas where the app could improve. For one thing, if you’re typing in the names of medicines yourself, it makes the record less useful as an archive of your medication, as there is no guarantee that you’ll type the right names in. Some kind of drop down list or database would perhaps make this less of an issue. For reminders, it of course doesn’t matter if you make a small typo when writing down the names of your medicines, so that part of the app will work fine anyway.

And the app itself is pretty useful if you’re the type of person who gets confused and has to re-read the prescription every time you’re about to have your medicines. The app will remind you which pill to have and when; this basically means that you just need to follow the guide you’ve saved on your phone instead of trying to remember whether you had to have a particular pill twice, or three times in a day.

One small problem is that you can’t set a lifetime reminder for medicines like Thyronorm of Gemcal, which you’re supposed to have as a daily supplement. We set up a 999 day reminder, which is a good enough workaround.

Where it falls a little short is in making sure you’ve actually had the pill or not. There’s a reminder, and you may have the pill then, or if you’re busy, you might just swipe it to “taken” just to stop the notification, and think that you’ll have it in five minutes once you’re done working. And then of course, later in the day, you’re counting your tablets trying to figure out if you had your medicine or not.

Classic case of PEBKAC (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Computer, or user error) we know, but a common enough one amongst the people we spoke to. It’s hard to think of a good technical solution to this problem either, though a very low-tech solution works well for this problem – the pill organiser.

Spend just about Rs. 100 and you’ll get a pill box with 28 containers – so you can put in the pills you’re supposed to have in the morning, afternoon, evening, and one spare, for all seven days of the week. You can get smaller and bigger organisers depending on your needs, and then you don’t need to remember anything else, just set a recurring reminder on your phone to check your pillbox and you’re set. One glance tells you what pills you need to have when, and it also makes it easy to track if you’ve had your last dose or not.

Overall, we think that the Health-PIE app is a fairly simple and easy to use app that could be replaced by other alternatives as mentioned above, but if you’re the kind of person who keeps falling sick and has trouble staying on top of prescriptions, then you should certainly check this out.

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Tags: Android, Healthcare, HealthPIE, Mobile Health, mTatva, Reviews