Photon Setup Failed at "Verify Product Ownership"

Which blog, or are you referring to this forum? And the successful steps were: resetting and decreasing the range?

Different people have different skills. Nothing wrong with that. You can learn as you go, but expect thing to go a bit slower than when you would've started with some know-how. I'm not saying knowledge of those things is mandatory, but if you've got it, it certainly won't hurt.
The Spark Core was my first microcontroller, and I've learned a lot since. Most of the time I'm still winging it and hoping for the best, but hey, that's how you learn.

How exactly is the fact that it's sold by Particle related to the arduino being suitable for the hobby market? Genuine question, as this may help in clarifying things in the future. The Particle products are (also) aimed at the hobby market, but are suitable for commercial products as well. Both have already seen plenty of successful projects.

The "no experience required" quote is actually from the setup process, not the general usage of the products. If someone told me.what buttons to press, I'd probably be able to jump-start a Particle accelerator. That doesn't require experience with working with one. But it's not fair to expect that I'd then be able to (fully) use it to its potential. So, depending on what you like to do with it, you may need more or less experience, which is not unreasonable.

I'd have to disagree. Like it said, the Core was my first microcontroller, and I've managed just fine, no prior programming experience. It is most certainly intended for the hobby market, and many people have already been able to use it as such. We've also already helped countless people in getting it up and working, so it's certainly doable.

This product as a whole is quite a bit more complex than your average Arduino. Connectivity needs to be handled appropriately, and things are generally a bit more complicated. That said, there's the Web IDE, which is a "no-key" instantly available IDE. There's also Particle Dev, which is an IDE based on the ATOM IDE, which might be interesting. Then there's also the CLI which you can use. Finally you can set up your own tool chain with your preferred IDE and tools.
Then there's the fact that no single IDE will be able to please everyone. And considering Particle makes Cloud infrastructures and microcontrollers, I don't think it's fair to expect them to build fully fledged IDEs, something which entire companies are based on.

Apart from the statistics... if you've got no programming/computer experience, then it's also unlikely for you to be playing around with microcontrollers. If you do want to play around with those, you'll somehow need to install the necessary software, which is a reasonable requirement.
If you want to work on your car, you don't say:
"The average car user (99.9% of whom are not mechanics) will have no knowledge of what a driveshaft is nor will they ever have even seen 'brake fluid' or used a wrench, so why expect me to?", would that seems fair?

I'm not saying that you should know them, but I think it's reasonable to expect that when you're working with advanced microcontrollers, that you're able to (partially) work it out, or learn-as-you-go. Or that you're at least willing to learn new things, and make an effort.

That's noted under the "Prerequisites for Setup", not the general usage of the product. To be able to drive a car requires you to be able to turn a key. That starts the thing. When you then want to use it, you might require additional experience which you may or may not have.

Have you seen this tutorial? Tutorial: Particle-cli on Mac OSX [26 Sep 2015]

None of the above is meant negatively, just pointing out my view on the case. If you've got ideas for improvement, then please do share them, or better yet, contribute them to the open source code. That way, everyone benefits :smile: