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Capital Ideas

The thoughts of Matt Olson, a systems thinker, hacker, and social entrepreneur, on retooling consumer culture

A Brief Year In Review

Open Source Hardware On The Rise

Limor Fried

Limor Fried, the fearless leader of the open source hardware movement, and an inspiration to makers and hackers worldwide, has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by Entrepreneur magazine, and I can’t think of a more appropriate recipient. Last year, her company Adafruit Industries sold $10 million worth of DIY open-source electronic hardware kits. With 200,000 customers, she has inspired a new movement of hackers and makers to treat circuits and electronics in the same way open-source software designers have been treating code for decades. Publishing your designs and encouraging others to use and improve upon them has proven to be a major force in the software world, and this same community effort has now come to the hardware world as well. I am part of a nascent maker community here in Chico that has been putting Adafruit products to use, collaborating freely and publishing our designs and source code for others to build on, and I believe this exciting trend is here to stay.

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