A few months ago (wow, was it six months ago already?), the Raspberry Pi Zero was released, and I wanted one badly. A $5 computer the size of a stick of gum? Who wouldn't want one? I started imagining the infinite IoT projects I could build and have scattered all over my apartment, automating all kinds of tasks. But when I went to buy them, they were sold out. Sigh.
Apparently these things sold out instantly. According to an article on The MagPi, "The scarcity of the Pi Zero has led to a ‘black market’ of sorts appearing." Demand was beating supply badly, and the cost of getting your hands on one of these things skyrocketed.
Raspberry Pi recently announced that they would be adding a camera connector to the Pi Zero. In his blog post, Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton also admitted that they were "blindsided by the level of demand" for the Pi Zero, and that they would be greatly ramping up production, "making thousands more each day until demand is met."
Which brings me to the other day, when I found out that Amazon would be releasing a version of the Amazon Dash for developers: the AWS IoT Button. How cool; no longer do you have to work around Amazon's presets on your Tide Dash to turn on your entertainment center or order a beer. Who cares if it's just a way to push AWS? (I know that some of you probably care.)
I went to the AWS IoT Button page as soon as I found out about it (probably a few hours after it was announced). But clicking "Buy Now" led me to a product page of a sold out product, with the option to get emailed when more were available.
There are a lot of options out there for building IoT applications, I know. There are a hundred other ways I could get a button to do what I programmed it to, if I put the effort into it. But I get caught up in the excitement around these products (along with plenty of others).
So what is it that's making these sell out so fast? Is it really that these organizations don't foresee the kind of demand their products will have? Are developers, tinkerers, and IoTers just that ravenous for new products to experiment with? I'm sure it's a bit of both, but I think either way it's helping to prove that interest in IoT development is growing quickly. And I hope that more organizations realize the traction it's gaining (and that supply will begin to reflect this more).
In the meantime, I guess I'll wait for some in-stock emails to come in.