Recently, SparkFun CEO/Founder/Fearless Leader Nate Seidle spoke with iTech Post about SparkFun’s roots, its philosophy, and the tech world in general. Check out an excerpt of their conversation (you can click through at the bottom for the full article).
iTech Post: Can you tell us how you came upon the idea of creating SparkFun?
Nathan Seidle: I was teaching myself electronics in 2002 when I burned up my programmer. Searching the internet for a cheap replacement showed me just how bad the state of ecommerce was for embedded electronics. You often had to call or fax your order in, there were very few pictures of these complex devices being sold, and there was almost no support to actually use the electronic bits.
iTech Post: How did that lead you to SparkFun?
NS: I thought I could create a site that had clear photos of the front and back of a device (unprecedented!) and maybe I’d offer the cable or power supply that made the thing work. Luckily there were plenty of other folks having similar frustrations. We had our first order seven hours after we turned on SparkFun.com. We’ve been trying to catch up for over 10 years.
iTech Post: From where did you pull the name of your company?
NS: SparkFun has two meanings. The first meaning is to spark fun within someone. We live to show folks that they can solder a kit together and have fun doing it. The second meaning has to do with pushing your own limits. When you’re going down the path of learning something new, whether it’s painting or coffee bean roasting or growing strawberries, you often mess up.
In electronics, sparks are usually seen as a bad thing. But when I’m so far out in front of the limits of what I know and something sparks, that’s when I’m having the most fun. There’s no faster way to learn than from your mistakes.
Thank iTech for talking with us! You can check out the full article here.