You can blame it on Chris Anderson’s book Free. After reading his book, I started kicking around the idea of what we can do that’s ‘free’. Sure, we have free bits (open-source hardware designs, available code, etc.), but we don’t have free physical widgets. Now combine that with our love of creating shear havoc (AVC, C&D letter, Portable Rotary Phone), and you get Free Day.
Nobody gives away a free physical thing. There’s always a catch. So up front: you have to pay shipping. Other than that, it’s open season.
Why are we doing this? It’s not that I want to create hell for the shipping, production, and the IT teams at SparkFun. There’s a multitude of reasons.
Second: We wish we could sponsor more groups but we don’t have a sound way of selecting appropriate projects. Because we can’t afford to say yes to everyone, we have to say no to everyone. It pains us every time we have to do it. So this is a way for us to evenly enable all the students and great minds of the world to pickup a $100 worth of free gear. Go for it!
Third: Free Day will possibly create a maelstrom of site traffic, the likes of which our servers have not seen. At the beginning of December, 2009, SparkFun will be graduating out of its high-chair and moving into a server cluster. We are excited to have the breathing room, and Free Day will help us evaluate just how much breathing room we’re getting. We’ll do everything in our power to keep the site up but please understand that the site may go down.
Fourth: We turn 7 years old! SparkFun is now over 70 employees and is the ripe old age of 49 (in business and dog years). We’d like to celebrate our birthday with a party.
More nitty gritty details:
As we usually do things here at SparkFun, these rules are open for revision. We may need to tweak them as our astute users point out how silly we are. If we have to make any changes to the rules, we’ll let you all know here on our homepage. So mark January 7th, 2010 on your calendars - it’s Free Day!
On another less exciting note, we want to remind everyone that SparkFun offices will be closed Thursday, November 26th and Friday, November 27th in observance of Thanksgiving! We will not be shipping any orders these days, but you can place orders as usual. Happy holiday season to all of our customers and for those of you traveling this week, be safe! Cheers!