Adafruit Targets Tinkerers With ‘Open-Source’ Electronics Kits @ Bloomberg’s Entrepreneurs: Newsmakers section!
For each kit, the company publishes the computer-aided design files, schematics for circuit boards, and the firmware or software code that runs inside a device. Anyone can use this material under a Creative Commons license, provided they credit the source and publish any related works under a similar open- source license.
In addition to publishing designs, the company offers online tutorials, and Fried co-hosts a weekly video chat with Adafruit designer Phillip Torrone to teach lessons and answer questions. “She’s really educating people. It’s almost like she’s running a school in addition to everything else she’s doing,” says Alicia Gibb, another organizer of the Open Hardware Summit who works as “gadget wrangler” at Bug Labs, an open-source hardware company developing wireless devices.
Fried says her mission as an entrepreneur is to spread the kind of innovation that flows from opening up electronics and learning how they work. “We have so little connection to what’s in these plastic boxes,” she says. “The point of the company is to teach people and to learn. It’s not just to buy and consume.”