×

Our Technical Support team will be out of the office on Wednesday, April 23 starting at 12pm. Tech Support will reopen with normal hours on Thursday, April 24 at 9am. Thank you

SparkFun Year in Review


First order of business is to remind everyone that SparkFun offices will be closed on Friday, January 1st, 2010 for New Year’s Day. Orders will not be available for pick-up and we won’t be shipping anything out. As usual, you can still place orders online!

Now for the fun stuff. It seems that every year goes more quickly than the previous one and 2009 was no different. We’re currently sitting in the final few days of December and 2010 is staring right at us. Unbelievable.

2009 was a great year for SparkFun and as it draws to a close, we want to get a little introspective with the 2009 SparkFun “Year in Review - By the Numbers.”

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/Shenzen-7-M.jpg
Electronics as far as the eye can see.

8 - the number of floors of geeky goodness in the first electronic vendor building Nate visited in
Shenzhen, China. Back in February, Nate went on a bit of a “Tour de Geek” in the ‘motherland of
electronics.’ He met with vendors, toured factories, and saw tons of electronic bits and pieces to inspire him!


We sell more of these than anything else.

100,000 - the number of total orders SparkFun had received from its opening to February 17th, 2009. The even crazier thing? We are now nearing order number 200,000.

http://www.sparkfun.com/images/newsimages/avc3-m.jpg
Onward to victory!

1 - The number of vehicles that made it into the creek during the first annual SparkFun Autonomous Vehicle Competition. This competition was our first crack at an event like this and it went great! We are looking forward to next year’s competition already!

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/Maker-Faire-09/Maker-Faire-09-3-M.jpg
People of all ages visited us at our booth. It was awesome!

400 - about the number of people who attended our soldering workshops at Maker Fair - San Mateo! We brought a crew of 14 people along and they guided people as they soldered the ClockIt and the MetroGnome kits!

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/Maker-Faire-09/Maker-Faire-09-0-M.jpg
SparkFun directors pose for a rare photo-op.

7 - Directors at SparkFun. 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).

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/FireClass-5-M.jpg
When the internet gets slow, we find other ways to keep busy.

2 - The number of Mbps (synchronous) our new internet supplement gave us. As our company continues to grow to meet our customers' needs, we needed more bandwidth! A lot of us stream music at our desks, and we wanted to continue doing so! SkyBeam came to the rescue so Pandora wouldn’t cause our computers to slow down to a snail’s pace. Recently we upgraded even more to a 10 Mbps synchronous from Forethought - our internet is smokin' fast!


The Deluxe Tool Kit. Ooooo!

471 - The number of new products we posted in 2009. Wow. This is up from 390 in 2008. What cool new gadgets will 2010 bring? We can’t wait to find out.


Behind the scenes video of the Moab shoot.

4 - The number of ad photoshoots the SparkFun MarComm team shot during the 2009 year. They took trips to Moab,UT, Las Vegas, NV, Buffalo, NY, and had one right here in Boulder, CO. Look for these ads in MAKE Magazine, Servo, Circuit Cellar, Elektor, or Nuts and Volts.

http://www.sparkfun.com/images/newsimages/Dragon-01-L.JPG
The art of one of our employees.

73 - The current number of SparkFun employees (as I’m writing this…who knows what it will be by the end of the week). We started 2009 with 50 employees. Pretty amazing!


That sure doesn’t look like a WiTilt

419 - the number of comments on the “SparkFun Gets a Cease and Desist Letter” newspost - a SparkFun record! Back in October, SparkFun got a C&D letter from SPARC International for the use of the word “spark.” I’d get into the details, but my head might explode. Read all about it here - and feel free to leave a comment or two!

http://www.sparkfun.com/images/newsimages/facebook_screenshot.jpg

1,806 - the number of Facebook “fans” SparkFun’s page has. We just created this Facebook page a few months ago and have been amazed by the number of fans, comments, and general activity we’ve received. It’s been a great way to keep in touch with our customers.

http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorial/news/SFE-SignInstallation-01-500dpi.jpg
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! (Terrible…I’m sorry)

30 - Approximately the number of feet our new sign is off the ground. We are currently subleasing our space from Polycom, and though they are completely moved out, their sign is still in front of the building until we take over the lease completely. Hopefully this new sign will get rid of at least some of the confusion!

Well, there you have it - 2009 at SparkFun in a nutshell! Thanks again for a wonderful year and we can’t wait to see what 2010 will bring us! Happy New Year to all of the SparkFun Community!


Comments 18 comments

  • 2,500 - Maximum amount of items you could get on Free Day
    (Screw 8-32 Button Head Black - 5/16" at $0.04 for quantities greater than 100)

  • The Moab photoshoot was one of my favourite parts of 2009.
    Now that winter has set in, Jason and I have been wearing our SparkFun hoodies pretty consistently, which has led a lot of people to ask why we have the same hoodie. I think I’ve told the story 3 or 4 times in the last couple of weeks.
    Largely because of my experiences with the WiTilt, electronics became my major hobby in 2009. I’ve now got several projects on the go. SparkFun has been a big help, and at this point you guys feel more like friends than suppliers.
    Best wishes for 2010!

    • That shoot was nerve-racking! I can’t wait to hear about a (successful… please be careful) test run with the wing suite!! :)

      • :-) We are heading to Baffin Island for a month in April/May. Hopefully this will result in lots of wingsuit jumps from 1000-2000 metre cliffs. I’m thinking of putting together an early warning system for polar bears, as we’ll be living in tents on the ice.

  • Nate, just remember that New Years isn’t complete without fireworks. It’s even better when the fireworks are being shot at your UAV, the kids love it. :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh10v52DBLM
    (I’m close to half a million views on this vid, holy cow)

  • Great! Keep growing!

  • hello
    SIR i need to send asic commands data (very short distance and require low data rate )
    can i use
    XBee 1mW Wire Antenna
    sku: WRL-08665
    as transmitter and receiver?
    if yes then i purchase pair of wrl-08665
    kindly explain your answer..?
    i am waiting ur answer to get chance bt this offer

  • Sales are high from January to February because every hobbyist on the planet is deciding what to spend their Christmas money on …

  • The story says Mpbs a few times when talking about . I’m pretty sure Megaper Bits Second is not an actual unit.

  • Would it be unorthodox for me to stop by in person? I’d love to see that sign up close. :)

    • Everyone is welcome to stop by during our regular business hours! Mon-Fri 9-5ish. We actually get a lot of people stopping by to pick up their orders locally…or to just go on a tour of the place.

  • Great, hopefully one day (soon) that Polycom sign will go away, and there will be no confusion, ever, about who sparkfun is :P. Also, wouldn’t feel right not to post on the last day of 2009, maybe i should aim to make a post on the last minute of 2009 ;)

  • I just discovered Sparksfun Electronics and feel this is the coolest, most innovative group of people and company I’ve seen in a long time. Way to go!

  • I certainly hope none of the boards in that badass-looking dragon were functional…

  • you might want to fix that “new products” link in the post
    ;)

    • It’s actually going where I wanted it to - the SparkFun “New Product” RSS feed…very useful to keep up on new products as they are posted! :)

  • Keep up the good work!

  • Nice post, thanks for the recap.


This Week

This Month

Heartbleed

Happy Arduino Day!