0

Entrepreneurial Innovators Series: Limor Fried, Adafruit

Pt 101519

Entrepreneurial Innovators Series: Limor Fried, Adafruit. This is a repost, sorta, this pervious video is now part of an American Express OPEN effort…

In partnership with Entrepreneur Magazine, OPEN Forum takes you inside the minds and companies of some of today’s most innovative business owners. Hear Limor Fried, founder of Adafruit, talk about how she uses open-source hardware to collaborate with customers on designs that lead to useful electronic products.

Watch video



My name is Limor Fried and I’m the founder of Adafruit Industries. Adafruit’s a company that sells electronic kits and learning tutorials and basically all the things you’d need to do engineering projects that I design. I was motivated to start Adafruit because I love doing electronics and I really wanted to share that excitement of doing engineering and building stuff because I think everyone has a creative side and they want to build and construct and not just consume. 
The most popular project we have right now is called the Mintyboost and it’s basically an iPod or iPhone charger. And you use two double “As” and you put it in this tin — a mint tin, that’s why it’s called the Mintyboost — and then you can charge up your iPhone or iPod and it’s really popular with all sorts of people because they actually will use it every day.

I get a lot of ideas from my customers. So one of the great things about open-source hardware — where I give all this information away — is that I also get a lot of information back from customers. So people will look at my designs and give me some new ideas…um…stuff that they want to see, and I’ll take those ideas and work them into new products.
We did something really weird and counterintuitive, which is that we give away all this information about how to build every one of our projects. And because I’m not secretive about “Well, I don’t wanna give anything away.” I get feedback immediately and people will point me at other people’s projects that I wouldn’t have necessarily seen and say hey y’know what you’re doing is really cool, but check out this, and this, and this. And so we get this big feedback loop and it’s very fast – it’s on the order of months instead of, y’know, years of R& D. People look at what we do and they say…y’know…I’m just going to make these modifications that maybe you’re not interested in, and I’m going to start my own company. So we have, y’know, this tree that grows out of Adafruit.

One thing that’s really important is to have the cause and the reason for what you’re doing. So…y’know…I’m not running Adafruit just because I like running a company. I run it because it provides me the ability to teach people about engineering and science, which is what I want to do.

I think that innovation isn’t something that is just born in R&D labs. There’s people who aren’t engineers and aren’t scientists that come up with fantastic ideas. So I’ve definitely benefited from including everybody into the research-and-development cycle of Adafruit. I take advice from anybody, I don’t just rely on Ph.D.s to give me ideas and so…I think that makes what we do really creative and fun and also really relevant to our customers.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 14,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython 2019!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Robotics manufacturer Anki is stripped for parts

Wearables — Form a flame

Electronics — Calc that whip!

Biohacking — Vitamin-C + Gelatin for Accelerated Recovery

Python for Microcontrollers — See you at Supercon, Python #2 language on GitHub and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython #PythonHardware @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Helping Harry's Heart, CircuitPython meets AWS IoT and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — Lenticular Art Display with Crickit

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



5 Comments

  1. Congrats Ladyada! I love little features like this. 🙂

  2. Just read my above comment, did not really mean ‘little’ in a bad way. Amex is a massive company with massive resources to draw a ton of different people. But they wisely chose you.

  3. hah! it’s all good! we use AMEX too 🙂

  4. +1 !

  5. Cool to see the other people that work at Adafruit.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.