This month we meet businesses ranging from Patagonia to Pigeonly that have a social or environmental mission at their core – which in itself helps build market value. As Ayah Bdeir of littleBits points out, building a business with a social goal (in her case, to let anyone be an inventor) is wholly compatible with a focus on profit: “Making money is important,” she says. “Money is freedom for a company.” But purpose is what brings Google employees to take pay cuts to join, and what boosts morale during a startup’s stress points. If a company optimises for both, Bdeir says, “It feeds your head, heart and pocket. There’s no better way to live your life.” No wonder the WIRED team have been feeling particularly uplifted while preparing this edition.
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.