Limor Fried of Adafruit: MIT electrical engineer Limor “Ladyada” Fried founded Adafruit Industries to bring the world of electronics to anyone willing to learn. Ever think you’d be able to be a robotics hobbyist? Or build circuits into your clothing and light your suspenders up with LEDs? The company sells do-it-yourself open-source electronics kits and educational materials for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit has never needed to take loans or investments of any kind, Fried tells Newsweek…
Adafruit has more than 1,800 products for sale and is engineering new ones all the time. It recently launched a new children’s show about electronics called Circuit Playground. An investor might consider all those diverse focuses “outside the core business” of shipping out kit orders, but it’s just how Adafruit does things, Fried says.
“Had we taken investment and not constrained growth, we could have made some mistakes with hiring and space. It’s given us more flexibility to not have the pressures of a return on investment from an outside group. We’re growing at our own pace and on our terms,” Fried says. “There hasn’t been a challenge that a cash infusion could solve. And we know that taking on investment and investors would take one important thing away that cash definitely cannot solve: time.”
It’s a lesson women and men could take to heart.
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