Crowd Supply – Bringing original, useful, respectful hardware to life @crowd_supply #OHM2019 #oshwa @ohsummit #opensource #opensourcehardware @opensourceorg


A ton of great open hardware is always on Crowd Supply, we’ve covered it here on the Adafruit blog, and for open hardware month, we reached out to ask what open hardware means to Crowd Supply.


First up – what is Crowd Supply? From the about page

Our mission is to bring original, useful, respectful hardware to life.

We help creators launch with the funding and support they need to deliver thoughtfully crafted products to delighted backers.

Not all hardware is created equal.

We love projects that are:

A Crowd Supply project should add something new and exciting to the world. Improvements on existing projects are fine, knock-offs are not.

A Crowd Supply project should address a real need. Just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean it should be done – no one needs more landfill.

A Crowd Supply project should honor user rights: curiosity, independence, association, longevity, transfer, discourse, privacy, and security.

What does success look like?
Success at Crowd Supply means delivering products to backers. In practice, this means taking a hands-on approach to helping creators, like shipping packages out of our own warehouse. The results speak for themselves:

100% of funded projects have delivered to backers (or are on track to do so).

Delivery is paramount, but we also care a lot about what gets delivered, which is why we have a Proclamation of User Rights to guide us.

Adafruit 2019 2902

Here’s a screenshot from one of the first instances that the Wayback machine saved from April 2013.

What does open hardware mean to Crowd Supply? Josh, Co-founder & President writes –

While Crowd Supply isn’t the only company to realize that open source hardware makes good business sense, we are uniquely positioned to leverage the natural affinity between open source hardware and crowdfunding.

Open source hardware is central to Crowd Supply’s mission, which is basically about bringing to life products that don’t annoy, abuse, or trick their users. Whereas a lot of products on the market today have an adversarial relationship with users, open source hardware empowers users to learn and do new things. It fights for the user. This is very motivating for everyone who works at Crowd Supply!

From the perspective of Crowd Supply’s business model, open source hardware helps our bottom line by building confidence among technically savvy early adopters that the product in question can be molded to their actual needs, regardless of the original intentions of the product creator or whether the product creator continues as a business. In nearly all cases, the value of a product is not the intellectual property, which is expensive to protect, but in the supply chain and community that
has grown around the product.


Lastly, how did we miss this? Mouser acquired Crowd Supply LAST YEAR.

Open source hardware month @ Adafruit:


October is open-source hardware month! Every single day in October we’ll be posting up some open-source stories from the last decade (and more!) about open-source hardware, open-source software, and beyond!

Have an open-source hardware (or software) success story? A person, company, or project to celebrate? An open-source challenge? Post up here in the comments or email [email protected], we’ll be looking for, and using the tag #OHM2019 online as well! Check out all the events going on here!

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:

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