Life

I don’t often share personal details here, but I figured as long as people are coming here, whether to buy an aux input kit for their BMW or to check on the bluetooth module status, I’ll give some personal background. As some of you know, I’m pretty passionate about the BMW brand, but it didn’t start out that way. When I was growing up, this guy whose brother was my age always had beater BMWs and loved them, specifically some of the 6 series shark nose cars from the 80’s (which now are classics!), but I wasn’t too thrilled with them at the time. I always thought the 80’s BMWs were stodgy and underpowered from my experiences with my buddy. That all changed in the early 2000s in college, when another buddy showed me the e39 M5.

From that day I was hooked – I was going to get my hands on a BMW when I graduated engineering school. After college, I got myself a ’97 528i in Aspen silver, manual transmission, and rebuilt title. But I loved the car – in spite of overheating adventures, it led me to an ’01 530i sport, then finally I got my hands on an ’02 M5. I had all the add ons I could get including MK4 nav, BMW Bluetooth ULF (phone only), and the Intravee/Alpine iPod integration. Even with this, the integration wasn’t that great, and I started playing around with whether I could do something better myself in about 2011.
I started playing around with small microcontroller boards (Arduino) and got a basic CD changer emulator functioning using the great resources available from those who went before, and a lot of hard work. The goal was and is to have bluetooth integration, but along the way, I figured I’d try to sell a productionized CD changer emulator to help those of you who don’t have an aux input. I figured I’d sell a few, and it would be a stepping stone to offering the bluetooth integration. Mind you, Quidzel was (and is currently) a side project that I did in my free time before kids – my day job was as an EE in aerospace R&D. So the aux input started selling more than I thought it would, and I was hopeful that this was my big step into entrepreneurship, something that I’ve always dreamed about. I took some time off work, and focused on this for a few months. During this season, my wife and I were blessed with twin boys, which slowed development down a lot. I went back to work as selling aux inputs for BMWs doesn’t exactly replace an engineering salary, which slowed things down more. Most of the development work I’ve done happened before April. Since then, working full time, buying a new house, and we have a 3rd addition to our family hasn’t helped things. I also had sold my M5, bought an e46, and then I recently got a BMW i3, which actually has pretty good bluetooth integration.

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