Million Dollar Baby


Limor Fried and Phillip Torrone of Adafruit presented Million dollar baby at Foo Camp East this weekend. They introduced the idea/definition of Open Source Hardware that a group of us have been hammering on. They also pinged a handful of OSHW companies and sorted them into revenue categories.

Phillip and Limor did a great job with 20 slides and 5 minutes (Ignite style). Their original post is here. Their slides are here. With Phillip's permission, here's the list of OSHW companies in text form:

Approaching 1M in annual revenue:

Over 1M in annual revenue:

Over 10M in annual revenue:

Whoa! This is a great list of amazing companies. If you have not heard of them all, do check them out. We're all helping to increase the size of this market. I'm not even sure the name of this market niche. Call it creators, inventors, constructors, makers, builders, you name it, we're all having a pretty fun time doing it.

This is a list of fairly open companies (OSHW was the basis for the presentation). This is not a complete list. There are tons of little and not  so little companies that are doing amazing work (maybe a bit more closed). If there's a company or site that you really like, feel free to share.


Comments 18 comments

  • a few notes :) it’s ignite - we needed to keep the slides to 20, we had 22 so those were added post-preso. each year i do a large list, over 150 projects. so if any aren’t in the list it’s only because the presentation was 15 seconds per slide :)
    all that said, i think it’s a good overview of what’s going on and a great time to celebrate everyone’s hard work. great group - sparkfun is leading the way for many companies, arduino is the foundation for many companies - it’s a good time to inspire, build and share.

  • Pololu?

  • This is great! It’s nice to see that open-source companies are succeeding in the market.
    On another note, congratulations to you guys at SFE!

  • Hey! You forgot droids.it! Life is harder here!!! :D

  • Whoa SFE is in the 10M category?! Awesome! I’ve dealt with a handful of those companies and all of them have been great. I’m glad to see that this niche is growing. When I first started messing with hardware the only place I could parts from was this little shack that sold radios. With massively marketed consumer electronics taking over, it’s cool to see that there are still groups out there that will still make their own designs - just to do it.

  • BernardOfCa: I am curious to know how Arduino is making $1M+ in revenue. Do they get royalties from H/W sold by others? If that is the case, doesn’t this break the principles of openess?
    On Parallax, it is actually sad to see that after all these years (and the Scenix saga) they are only in the $1M+ category. The propaganda on the Propeller IC says: “hand designed one transistor at a time”. Sorry but that’s the way IC’s were designed 40 years ago… It seems that lately they have tried to copy the SFE business model (more sensors, breakout boards, etc).

    The Arduino team makes the Arduino – the design is open, but the actual Arduino board (the one with the map of Italy on it) is manufactured by them, and they sell it and make money on it. This is as it should be. They do not make money on derivatives like the Boarduino.
    As for Parallax, I don’t know what to tell you. Bear in mind that there is a whole $9M worth of leeway between $1M+ and $10M+. And what’s wrong with mimicking another (successful) business model. It’s not as if they aren’t still doing work.

  • I am curious to know how Arduino is making $1M+ in revenue. Do they get royalties from H/W sold by others? If that is the case, doesn’t this break the principles of openess?
    On Parallax, it is actually sad to see that after all these years (and the Scenix saga) they are only in the $1M+ category. The propaganda on the Propeller IC says: “hand designed one transistor at a time”. Sorry but that’s the way IC’s were designed 40 years ago… It seems that lately they have tried to copy the SFE business model (more sensors, breakout boards, etc).

  • It is great to see Parallax on the list. They really kicked off the whole idea of bringing microcontrollers to the masses with the Basic Stamp and Basic Stamp II. They have been around for some time and have been resilient in releasing new and exciting products. The Propeller IC is a great example of what small companies can do when they are they get the funding from selling great products.
    Thanks for the presentation Limor and Phillip.

  • Personally, I think this puts the human quality of SFE staff in a very interesting perspective - they are indeed the 800lb gorilla of this business, yet come across as anything but. Never change, guys, and keep up the great work!

  • Whoo Hoo! SFE is the 800 pound gorilla.

  • Wow! I just went through my “shopping” bookmark folder and found that I had all but 3 of these companies listed.
    Something is working right!

  • Just like my Mom always tells me… “You’re a winner in my eyes!”

  • We are on the ‘board’ too!! A great Come on Mates! for all that companies who believes on Open Hardware/Software.
    http://www.microingenia.com/electronics
    http://www.microingenia.com/electronics/new-products.php
    kind regards!


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