Maker Faire 09 is complete! We had a fantastic time and we’re pretty exhausted. It was great to see all our old friends and meet new ones.
Stats from this year:
I don’t have cash very often
ever, so it was pretty amazing to see the pile of money accumulating over two days in the donation jar at our booth.
Let’s go to Vegas!
SparkFun donated all the kits
for the weekend. The makers who visited our booth could donate 10-$20 and we would teach them to put the kit together. All the cash went to two local non-profit groups. Which of course begs the question, how much does a million dollars weigh?
Here are 50 x $20s, used, no wrapper. You can make out 0.1079 lbs on our nifty precision/parts counting scale. If $1000 weighs 0.1079, that means a million dollars in twenties would weigh 108lbs! That’s a monstrous piece of luggage. We’ve all seen the movies where a person is held ransom in exchange for $5 million in unmarked bills. I hope they used $1000 bills
(10.8 lbs) or Benjamins
(108 lbs), because $5M in twenties
would need a forklift (540lbs).
I did not take nearly enough photos! But here are a few shots from my cheap-o camera:
Faces to the company! Left to right: Trevor Zylstra (Chief operations officer), Chris Clark (director of IT), Matt Bolton (director of production), Pete Dokter (director of engineering), AnnDrea Boe (director of marketing), Jordan Hanie (chief financial officer), Nathan Seidle (chief executive officer). These are the seven people that make SparkFun groove.
The night before we left for Maker Faire, SparkFun attended an awards ceremony for Mercury 100
- to award the fastest growing companies in Boulder County. SparkFun ended up 8th in the ‘above 2M’ in revenue category. A lot of organic and solar companies have been doing fabulously over the past few years so we were ecstatic to get 8th!
14 SparkFun crew descended on San Mateo the following day. Friday afternoon was our chance to setup the gear (including two giant SparkFun tents) and meet with all the other makers. The paella
was fantastic and the makers and projects were phenomenal.
The calm tent, before the storm. We had seats, tools, and irons for 28 people. We were completely full with a wait for most of the weekend. People really enjoyed getting the chance to build something and the entire SparkFun team had a great time teaching them.
We even had a few repeat visitors from Austin-08
! These students really enjoyed putting together a ClockIt
and a MetroGnome
. Students of all ages went through the class in 20-30 minutes. I believe the youngest was five and a half years old, with an average age of ~13! We had a ton of kids and they did a really great job learning and having fun.
We maxed out all but one SMD soldering class! 125 participants put together Simon and learned that you really can hand solder SMD parts.
Anyone know what the final Maker Faire 09 numbers were? Last year was around 60,000 people. It felt busier than ever this year! I hope we didn’t break the maximum occupancy of this bathroom.
Matt tries to catch a ride with a super helpful Make staff member. It didn’t go well.
I especially enjoyed the Applied Kinetic Arts
booth. This was a giant sculpture made out of re-used 2-liter bottles that were rigged to slowly raise and lower in a sort of wave motion. It was a fun piece that people really enjoyed.
After a hard day a of work Saturday, we found our way to In-N-Out Burgers
. It was perhaps the best burger I have ever had. But then again, we were all so tired that cardboard covered in salsa may have tasted swell. There was a monstrous power line tower directly outside the restaurant, so instead of a fence, they covered the tower in some ferocious looking spikes. Mmmm, In-N-Out.
Sorry I didn’t take more photos of Makers! Please feel free to post sites with good photos.