I call this the Runner's World problem: the magazine caters to people who are just getting into running. That's a massive market, since there are always people who decide they need to do something and start running. But it never goes beyond that. Read Runner's World for a few months, and the same stuff comes back over and over: how do you keep running after the first few weeks, how do you train for your first 5K, 10K, half-marathon, best shoes for new runners, etc. There's no going beyond the beginner level and it gets really boring and annoying pretty quickly.

The same thing is true for electronics stores like SparkFun and AdaFruit. Many of their accessible projects boil down to putting a bunch of LEDs on something. Virtually every single wearable project is like this: lights on jackets, lights on caps, light-up unicorn horns, etc. It's amazing how many things you can light up with LEDs! These projects often involve microcontrollers, but they're often just glorified power sources or do something simple to turn on NeoPixels or other multicolor LEDs.

There is clearly a market for people new to electronics. But where do they go next? What do you do once you've lit up all the things you care to put LEDs on? Where are the challenges?

It seems like the approach is often to sell people on being able to do something that's fun or cute, not something where they will learn something of interest, or where they will be challenged. I believe that's the wrong approach. Sure, it gets people in the door. But if the people you get are only there for the most basic stuff, what's the point? And if the expectation is that this is easy rather than interesting, they won't stick around when things actually do get more interesting and challenging.

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