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The DIY Computer: A Discussion with Kano

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Alex Klein
Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Kano

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Ariana Dugan
Online Education Producer, General Assembly

Questions? Read our FAQs

About This Class

Alex will share how the concept for Kano’s first computer and coding kit came to be -- a challenge that stemmed from his six-year old cousin, Micah, to build a computer as simple and fun as LEGO, “so no one has to teach me.” That ask soon became Kano, a DIY computer kit based on a small computer board called the Raspberry Pi. Alex and his cofounders took to Kickstarter in November 2013 looking to raise $100,000 in 30 days and wound up getting that much in just 16 hours. By the end of the campaign they had raised $1.5 million from backers in 86 countries, including Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak and Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler, and to date have shipped more than 40,000 of the $150 kits around the world.

Chapters

  • The DIY Computer: A Discussion with Kano 56:57

Takeaways

• Learn why and when Kickstarter makes the most sense • Understand the guidelines to grow and navigate a business • The importance of community, and keeping yours happy

About the Instructor(s)

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Alex Klein
Co-founder and Chief Product Officer
Kano

Alex leads the Kano product and story, from ideation in its record-breaking Kickstarter, to the design and development of its award-winning computer and coding kit. The first "computer anyone can make" was inspired by a challenge from his seven-year old cousin Micah: create a computer he could build himself, "as simple and fun as Lego." Before Kano, Alex was a business and technology writer for Newsweek. His reporting and essays on technology, society, cults and communists have appeared in The New Republic, New York Magazine, The Nation, The Times of London, BuzzFeed, and other publications. Alex was honored as an emerging thinker shaping Britain’s future by CNN, a USA TODAY Change Agent, and featured as Forbes magazine's standout "30 Under 30" in Education for 2014. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University and a Masters of Politics and Philosophy from Cambridge University.

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Ariana Dugan
Online Education Producer
General Assembly

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