"Ask Me Anything" with Nate & Pete

Join us tomorrow for a special AMA.

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Back in July, we hosted a special edition of "SparkFun Live!" with Pete Dokter - our Director of Engineering - and Nathan Seidle - our founder and CEO (a.k.a. El Queso Grande). In case you missed it, you can check that out here:

Due to popular demand, we're bringing Nate and Pete back for round 2! Join us tomorrow (11/18/2014) at 3 p.m. MST for another "Ask Me Anything" with Nate and Pete! You'll be able to submit questions via the YouTube chat during the session or leave them in the comments section below and we'll do our best to select a handful.

Hope to see you then!


Comments 16 comments

  • When will according to pete will be getting back? It really helped a lot of us learn a bunch of new stuff that you just don't find any where else. It would be great to have it back.

    • Oh, man. I need to set a date and just force it to happen. The problem is that I want to be adding substance to the discussion, you know? My voice is grating to me, so I imagine it to be similar for others. If I can't be sure I'm saying something of value, I tend to be quiet. Lame videos dilute the good ones.

      • Worrying about "lame videos"??!!?? You haven't watched any network television lately. Now THERE are some lame videos!

      • How about videos where some random product is picked and explained how it works and why those components are used

        • random product is picked and explained how it works

          This could also involve a demonstration, or a reuse of said random product in an unusual way, like some of the amazing pranks you guys have done over the years.

      • I suppose lame videos may dilute good ones... but so far we don't know if that applies to the According to Pete series -- there haven't been any lame videos, only good ones! Please, get them started again. Please?

  • What would you think of putting together a "Project Box" Competition sort of like the Dumpster dive you drop a "random" parts in a box (each box would be the same parts) and have a Contest on who could make the "Coolest" project from the Box, Judged by you. say 4 times a year.

  • Thought I'd get a jump start on the questions.

    A fluffy one and a serious one.

    Fluffy - How are you liking you new digs and did you get enough space this time?

    Serious - When selling small doodads that can range from a couple cents to something high dollar like a dev board or breakouts with a very expensive single part. How do you figure a price that is a fair deal for both parties yet leave some profit in it for SF? You have to fund what you are doing but still be inline with consumer expectations and competition. That must be a kinda hard calculation.

    Lampy

  • In your opinion, what is the best way to etch your own board or is it better to get a board house make it?

  • How do you determine what products you should sell?

  • I'll be looking forward to round 2. I have a question for Nate, and I'm sure Pete may have a funny story to add about something that blew up along the way. Nate, I have read the story of how Sparkfun got going when you blew up a board and had a hard time finding a good place to buy a replacement online that had good pictures of products, so you purchased $2500 worth of products to sell online and Sparkfun was born. Flash forward to the last few years and it seems a lot of your continuing success is due to becoming a great small run in house electronics manufacturer.

    I am curious how you made the transition to manufacturing boards in house, did you just put some of your designs on your site and then man the soldering iron to quickly build them by hand as orders came in until you couldn't keep up, or did you plunk down cash for external assembly of some designs you bet on to sell. What made you decide to start buying your own assembly equipment and how did you get started? Did you buy used equipment or new?

    Also, did Sparkfun just get going by iteratively growing from money you made back from the original $2500 or did you hit a crossroads where you had to bet the house to go to the next level (ie take big loans, use lots of personal savings)?

    Thanks, Barry

  • On the "tender" subject of doing more "according to Sir Pete": Instead of labeling the episode by date alone, please include a descriptive phrase (e.g. "Detonating Capacitors").

  • In your opinion, what are a couple things that have made your company so successful? To put it another way, what has gotten you to where you are today from where you were ten years ago? Also what is something you know today that you wish you knew when you started out?

  • Great videos! Hoping to see this one tomorrow. It would be also pretty cool to have a video tour of your new building for those of us who aren´t lucky enough to go to the open house days :)

  • Thanks for doing this again, I missed the last one. Question for Nate and Pete: After a Maker creates their Maker project, i.e. (Arduino, BLE, breadboard, etc) and has a successful Kickstarter or Private Investment and has the resources to scale their project to the consumer level. How does a Maker do this for the electronic pieces of their project? Can Sparkfun help do this? Other companies in the US do this ? Any thoughts would be great! Thanks for all you do for the Maker community! Look forward to listening tomorrow. Gary B.

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