Unless you’re already in the know, “Tindie” is perhaps a term you’re not really that familiar with. Though I had a passing familiarity of it as sort of an Etsy platform for electronics, before I started writing here, I didn’t really know what kind of things were sold and who was selling. After a month or so of browsing, perhaps I can help fill you in.
How Did it Start?
As seen in the video below, founder Emile Petrone noticed a steady uptick in Arduino and Raspberry Pi interest. In 2012, he put the question out there: would people support a marketplace for custom electronics? From that humble idea came the idea for this site.
As far as the name, per this interview, it’s derived from “Indie Tech” and “Tech Indie,” leading naturally to “Tindie.”
What is Sold Here?
“Low run electronics” is the obvious answer, but there is much more available here. Some items aren’t really electronic at all. Perhaps you could say that the primary things sold here are items that would appeal to the segment of the population that really geeks out on electronics, photography, 3D-printing, and other technological pursuits. Also, musical devices like MIDI controllers or synthesizers are quite popular, and unique LED light sculptures and jewelry seem to be popping up recently.
To put it another way, things like knitted sweaters or paintings might not fit in here. On the other hand, a robot or innovative tool to help with either pursuit would certainly be a welcome addition! Tindie is the place you go to find bleeding edge electronics without having to wait for those products to make it all the way through the cycle. It’s like getting an inside line on knowledgable-consumer-ready prototypes of the hottest stuff.
Who is Selling?
Like Etsy, Tindie aims to make it easy to go to market with a product before you’re to prove a huge market for the device. According to my interview with Iqaudio founder Gordon Garrity, they had no idea how to sell things on the internet, but “Tindie makes it easy, real easy.” Now that they have a better feel for things, and have tested their market, they have their own independent online presence. Whether you want to stay small, or have bigger plans and just want to get started, there’s a place for you on Tindie.
What’s the Story with the dog?
The dog’s name is “Ohm.” There is also a flea featured here as sort of the mascot of Tindie’s “Flea Market”. Although I haven’t been told officially, I’d have to assume that they are not friends.