Author of TFA here. Actually the guys behind Sparse are bootstrapping the company with their own money and "sweat equity" and one modest SBA loan. I don't think Colin Owen was whining at all. In addition to telling the story of a scrappy company with a cool product, I wanted to frame Owen's experiences in a way that might help tamp down some of the recent hype around hardware startups. They are still *a lot* harder to build than software startups.