I had my first “Silicon Valley” moment about 8 years ago. After I hacked together the Muni Sign, I mostly got some mentions on a variety of hacker websites. Then, some kind Muni employees invited me to do a tour of the headquarters and bought me a beer. And of course, I received a couple of orders to make a sign for someone’s living room and a bar in England (regretfully, I had to pass). However, that was not it.

How I built a San Francisco Muni sign that shows train arrival times at home

Someone has contacted me, asked me questions about the project, and invited me to meet. I wasn’t sure what that was about so I showed up at a coffee shop in Castro (a San Francisco neighborhood) in full cycling gear, on my way home from a bike ride. Turns out, the stranger wanted to make a startup, and wanted to join forces as cofounders.

Throughout our conversation, he mused that techy art is going to be a thing. He was right, I now think, after seeing the $800 levitating clock, or this $2,000 wall art, or other similar projects.

Back then, the timing was not right, my passion for robots was not there, and myappreciation of the importance of home decor lacking. We went our own separate ways, and we both are doing okay. But a good idea never remains unimplemented for long.

What prompted me to write this was Tidbyt‘s instagram ad I saw the other day.

The folks are making a legit and upgraded version of the always-on customizable connected retro-style display! Not just the arrival times, but stonks, calendar, party mode, everything!! Wow!

Their kickstarter is sold out, but if successful, the sign can be yours for $200-ish.

I’m not affiliated with the authors of Tidbyt so I don’t know how good or legit their project is. And in no way am I alleging any sort of copying! I’m really happy that someone has brought this idea to fruition, and I’ll probably be ordering one myself some time.

Excited to see what Tidbyt’s crew is going to come up with next!