A chance encounter with Alphabet Inc.’s Google chairman Eric Schmidt in January 2013 led the head of a British nonprofit that makes bare-necessities computers to ditch his plans for a more expensive version of its popular $35 computer, the Raspberry Pi. The Cambridge, U.K.-based Raspberry Pi Foundation had received a $1 million grant from Google to distribute 15,000 units of the build-it-yourself, programmable Raspberry Pi computers to schoolchildren.
At an event announcing the donation—Schmidt happened to be in the U.K. at the time—the Google chairman wanted to know what the foundation was working on next.
“I told him we were thinking of making future Raspberry Pi’s a little bit more expensive, up at about $50 or $60, and a bit more powerful,” Eben Upton, the foundation’s founder, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.
Mr. Schmidt, says Mr. Upton, said that was the wrong thing to do, and told the foundation’s founder he should aim for as low cost a computer as possible.
“He said it was very hard to compete with cheap. He made a very compelling case. It was a life-changing conversation,” Mr. Upton said, adding that he went back to the lab and scrapped all the engineering plans for more expensive versions of future Pi computers. “The idea was to make a more powerful thing at the same price, and then make a cheaper thing with the same power.”
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
8-6-2021 (August 6, 2021) is the Snakiest day of the year and it’s also this year’s CircuitPython Day! The day highlights all things CircuitPython and Python on Hardware. See you there!
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.