Retrosparktive Part III - Growing Up

We continue to grow at our home at Longbow.

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It’s time for week three of the SparkFun Retrosparktive, a series of posts taking a quick look back at SparkFun through the years as we prepare for the move into our new building. If you missed the first two posts, you can see part I here and part II here.

First, let’s talk sales! We are continuing to offer $10 off orders over $40 - just use the promo code RETROSPARK at checkout. We’re also putting a new set of SparkFun products on sale. These will be discounted from today until 8/24/2014 at 11:59 p.m. so get ‘em while they last! Here are this week’s items:

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Beaglebone Black 7.0" LCD Cape - Normally $89.95, Now $77.00

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Arduino 4.3" Touchscreen LCD Display Module - Normally $144.95, Now $121.00

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ID-12LA RFID Reader - Normally $29.95, Now $21.00

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ID-20LA RFID Reader - Normally $34.95, Now $25.00

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Nokia 5110 Graphic LCD - Normally $9.95, Now $6.00

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OBD-II Connector - Normally $3.95, now $2.50

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Arduino Yun - Normally $71.95, now $60.00

Phew! That’s a pretty solid selection, if we do say so ourselves (and we do). We hope there is something there that helps make your next project just that much better!


So if you’re still with me, let’s talk about SparkFun’s time at Longbow. When we first moved in, we occupied only part of the building. But as we grew, we slowly took over the entire space. Our production and shipping teams moved downstairs and we had real-live loading docks (which made our shipping/receiving lives so much better). Before we knew it, we were suddenly over 100 employees and we had a whole new set of safety regulations we had to pay attention to.

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Notice the safety mirrors in our docks. And don’t you even think about wearing open-toed shoes here or our Facility Manager Jesse will let you hear it.

As we grew, we also had some growing pains. This included some modifications to our dog policy - most notably the creation of the Dog Tribunal.

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Jennifer from Customer Service, comforting her pup Harley after a scolding from the Dog Tribunal (not really - Harley is a model citizen).

As we grew, we also had to seriously ramp up our production capabilities. This included getting a couple of pick and place machines. Watching these machines in action makes our geeky hearts smile with joy.

And now here we are - 152 employees strong and outgrowing our space. So in the next few weeks, we’re going to be moving homes. Thank you for standing by us through all our changes - we’re very excited for what this next one will bring! Check back next week for Retrosparktive #4!


Comments 8 comments

  • Not the fastest pick & place machine I’ve seen, but it would sure beat the heck out of a “bio-robotic” human with a pair of tweezers (by more than an order of magnitude)! (I’ve done my share of manual p&p, and probably will do more.)

    • Yeah, I’ve never used one myself, but I went on a tour of the Motorola factory near Boston where they made a bunch of codex modems and other comm gear back in 1991, and my memory of their P&P was probably 5x faster than that, but that was part of a full blown automated assembly line, making probably thousands of parts per day, and WAAAY more expensive, I’m sure!! Still.. very cool - I wish I could have one!! :-)

  • Expansion means more and coming from SparkFun, I can’t wait to see!

  • Were there ever any other posts about actually building the new building? I saw https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1122 , then nothing else… I was pretty interested in reading about the process!

  • Why no love for the Raspberry PI 4.3" display? I’d love a discount on that!

  • When is the move-in date? I feel like the first phase is coming up in a week or so here, and then the rest of the company will move in a week later?

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