Twelve years later, SparkFun employees each month build 80,000 to 100,000 circuit boards — in signature red — at their Niwot headquarters. Its online store offers 2,000 different products, and revenues last year were nearly $33 million.
Last weekend, the company opened SparkFun Emporium, its first offline store at its headquarters here.
The boot-strapped SparkFun, which employs about 140 people, caters to the small guy. That’s why it opened the store. After tours of the manufacturing facility, visitors want to buy kits and parts.
“A big driver of the maker movement is the availability of components,” said Dale Dougherty, the magazine’s founding editor and Maker Media’s CEO. “You and I both might have different projects in mind, but we use the same Arduino board. SparkFun, along with a few others like Adafruit, make this approachable.”
… it’s time to relinquish the reins of SparkFun to someone who adores setting strategy, daydreams about tomorrow without distraction and enjoys herding cats (a.k.a, managing people). It’s time to get back to building cool stuff and doing something silly with it.
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.
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.