Adafruit – One of Entrepreneur’s “100 Brilliant Companies 2012”


100 Brilliant Companies 2012 @

Brilliance expresses itself in many ways–from the esoteric tinkerings of a mad genius to the profit-heavy balance sheets that illustrate the work of astute executives. Sometimes brilliance is merely a deceptively simple, why-hasn’t-anyone-thought-of-this-before solution to a nagging problem.

The products and services represented by our annual roundup of 100 Brilliant Companies are a little bit of all of these. It should come as no surprise that our list is heavy on digital technology, with apps, development platforms and gadgets related to mobile phones, social networking and health care, as well as some mind-blowing inventions that are just plain cool.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we found much to admire in low-tech brilliance–most notably that with retro hipster appeal, as chronicled in our new-this-year category Geek Chic. Throw in a bit of fun from food, shopping, music, art and travel, and you have our list of the best ideas, the brightest innovations–and, yes, the wackiest notions dreamed up by businesses in the last year.

But brilliance is not merely subjective: In some cases, it can be quantified in dollars and cents. This is not to say that these companies are necessarily the most lucrative in their fields; few of them, if any, are that. But to get a sense of the potential value of the businesses on our list, we spoke to leading venture capitalists to find out what qualities they look for in investment targets in several of our categories. It’s a fascinating window into the minds of the people who are betting big on tomorrow’s brilliance, today.

Our hope is that, as you dip into our 10 categories, you’ll find ideas that inspire, excite and delight you–and, more than anything, perhaps galvanize you to create a bit of brilliance yourself.

Last night we received notice that Adafruit was named one of Entrepreneur’s “100 Brilliant Companies 2012”. We’re so thrilled about this and to be listed with so many great companies & people. We are especially excited to see Synn Labs listed as well! Congrats!

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

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, 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.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm 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!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

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


  1. Congrats!!! That’s huge!

  2. Well deserved.
    Your tutorials are the best. I’ve been using your kits to introduce my Middle School Grandson to electronics.

  3. Congratulations, Limor!

    Well deserved. Keep up the good work!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.