Nick Johnson had been programming for years before he joined a Hackspace and got hooked on indie electronics. His first project was a simple Arduino motor driver shield, but in true hacker style he quickly progressed from there to building his own tools.
While working on a project that needed a power supply tested, Nick says “I found that all the existing solutions for hobbyists like myself were unsatisfactory: they were either hugely expensive, or jerry-rigged and unreliable.” That’s when he decided to design the original Re:load for his own use.
Nick was surprised when multiple people expressed interest in buying a Re:load for their own projects, but he listed the product on Tindie. In what he called “No time at all,” he had made hundreds of sales through his Tindie store, Arachnid Labs.
The original Re:load experienced such success that Nick designed an updated, more robust version with extra features. He recently ran a Kickstarter campaign to help with the tooling and setup costs of producing this new, more advanced product. Nick was, in his own words “Cautiously optimistic that I’d reach the goal,” but that caution was clearly unnecessary. Within days, his winning product had blown the original goal out of the water.
You can now find the Re:load Pro for sale in Nick’s Tindie store – it’s on backorder, but Nick carefully planned ahead for sustainability. Because the manufacturing chain for the Re:load Pro is lined up, he anticipates being able to ship within 2 months.
So, what’s next for Nick and Arachnid Labs? “The Re:load Pro is going to keep me busy for a while, especially with everyone demanding the fan kit addon as soon as possible. I do have a number of other projects in the works, though, but nothing I’m yet ready to announce!”
Since 2012, we’ve had the same forums. While the rest of the site got updated, the forums kept chugging along. Today that is changing, and it will have huge implications for the rest of the site. Technically, we’ve replaced our old forums application with a totally new application, Discourse. What makes this truly exciting is we are overhauling other key parts of the Tindie experience with Discourse too.
Using Discourse as our new forums will seem lightyears ahead of the old forums. There are honestly too many amazing features to list in this post. To preserve the old forums, there will be a link in the Forums header. The one caveat being users won’t be able to submit new content to them. However we are incredibly excited about this change – new forums, new topics, new conversations!
We’re also adding Discourse to our new blog and will be utilizing it for our comments. This will allow for more rich conversations on our blog posts – especially as we ramp up our blogging efforts. This is on the way, but we wanted to give everyone a heads up.
But wait, there’s more!
We’re also announcing the return of private messaging – also powered by Discourse! Many moons ago we had a private messaging system which was retired in favor of public Q&A. While the public Q&A has been great, many conversations shouldn’t be had in public. This will be perfect for those situations.
With all of the work we have put into this integration, we are incredibly excited to unveil it to the community. Updating the forums, blog comments and private messaging are just the tip of the iceberg. There very well may be more integrations in the future, but this is a great start!
March was amazing at Tindie. 169 new products were listed, and orders were up 33% over February. Even the press noticed as we were featured on Techcrunch yesterday. Tindie, The Gadgets Marketplace For Makers, Ramps Up!
Congrats everyone! To celebrate, we want to start a new tradition – monthly updates on the previous month and what we are up to this month.
We also passed two huge milestones last month – our 10,000th order shipped, and we’ve passed 2,000 products listed. Amazing!
Making something new is difficult. Tindie is no exception. Over the last few weeks, it became clear we made many mistakes in 2013; we did a lot of experimentation and that sometimes resulted in us prioritizing the wrong things. We built a Frankenstein. Too many features, too many projects, too many categories, etc. Thank you for bearing with us through this wild ride.
It’s time to fix that. Over the next few weeks, we are doing a hard reset. This year we will be clearing the cobwebs, improving, and making every part of the experience easier and more fun. We are returning Tindie to our essence: a community built around buying & selling anything that empowers you. Tindie is a marketplace for innovation.
We made a few big changes today.
One thing to note: for any changes we make, the first question we will be asking is:
“Is this right for the community?”
We have always wanted sellers to keep the vast majority of sales revenue. This ensures there is no question Tindie is the most innovator-friendly marketplace out there.
The final change we made today is around the promotion of products within Tindie. If a product is no longer for sale, but available somewhere else, it is OK to link to that new place.
As an example, congrats to Micah, creator of the FadeCandy – a dithering USB-Controlled Driver for NeoPixels! The project launched on Tindie, sold out multiple times, and has been taken over by Adafruit so it can be produced at scale (and can be found here). When a product outgrows a seller, that is a huge success for the seller. We want to make sure we celebrate with you, and help spread the good news. Our old policy was just wrong, and we apologize for that error!
These changes today are effective for 2014. We are through with the fast context switching. Time to make the best environment for supporting new innovations.
With that in mind, we are hiring an evangelist/marketing person. If you think you would be a great fit, or know someone who is, please let us know!
Thank you all for your patience and support. We strayed from the path, but are back and focused on the job at hand!
— Team Tindie
Depending on where you live, Merry Christmas and (soon to be) Happy Boxing Day! We hope you are having a great holiday. We just wanted to take a moment to say how very thankful we are for your support this year.
For one last 2013 THANK YOU, we are celebrating Boxing Day! We have tons of sellers participating so please enjoy these Boxing Day deals. We truly couldn’t have gotten where we are without you!
Emile, Julia, Chris, Jay & Marc
Last year at this time we were just a few months old. At the last minute, we threw our first Thanksgiving Extravaganza. It was amazing! Tons of our stores came together, offered discounts on their products, and had a blast. This year we have more than 1,500 products, 300 stores, and just passed our 7,000th order.
To celebrate, it’s time for Thanksgiving Extravaganza 2013! We have more stores participating, with discounts all over the site. Here are just a few of the discounts!
One year ago today, Tindie was launched.
What started as a question on Reddit, has become a global business. Most importantly, we are showing that open hardware is a global movement. We’re in the top of the first inning so it is still very early but the signs are incredibly positive. With this first year behind us, we wanted to share some of our data, and a look back on a great year.
Including Government Agencies, Universities, and Fortune 500 companies.
Emile, Julia, Chris, Marc, & Jay
Tindie is approaching our 1 year anniversary. With this milestone approaching, we wanted to start highlighting Tindie’s affect on the maker electronics space.
Did you know that you can produce a batch of PCBs (printed circuit boards) as easily as a run of t-shirts? This is a monumental shift in how electronics are made.
We started Tindie only 11 months ago to be the marketplace for this community. In the process, Tindie has become the biggest marketplace of small batch electronics. Tautic Electronics is one business on the site, and this is Tautic’s story.
Tautic’s storefront was first on eBay, then Amazon where he received a decent number of orders. Before Tindie, makers often turned to eBay, Amazon or Etsy for selling their hardware products. The problem was that none of these marketplaces are known for their hardware communities – quite the opposite in fact.
After a few months on Tindie, Tautic closed his Amazon store and is now selling exclusively on Tindie.The biggest draw being our amazing community of electronics enthusiasts from over 60 countries. We may not be as large as Amazon, eBay or Etsy, but in our space we go head to head with all of them.
The results speak for themselves. Tautic is no longer assembling by hand and just purchased a pick and place machine (costing over $10,000) to keep up with his orders.
To put that into perspective, Adafruit Industries recently purchased a massive pick and place machine for their business which has over 50 employees and millions in revenue. I forgot to mention – Tautic Electronics consists of 1 person: Jayson Tautic, the owner.
The future of electronics and hardware is changing at a breakneck pace. It is now possible for one person businesses like Tautic Electronics to compete globally and produce products at the highest quality. As hardware becomes easier and cheaper to produce, this trend will only accelerate.
Today, another electronics maker was kicked off Etsy when their products were rejected because Etsy decided the products weren’t handmade (enough). Upfront I want to say this post isn’t a bash on Etsy – we are huge fans of Etsy. It is a post on why selling electronics is different than traditional craft goods.
For hundreds of years craftsmen and craftswomen have been making pottery, clothing, leather goods, jewelry, painting, drawing, carving, and many other trades that are manual in process. Etsy took these markets online, thus opening local makers to the world. Absolutely brilliant.
The problem these small businesses run into is the more successful these small businesses are, the harder it is to scale because of the labor required. Therefore, Etsy tries to enforce the ‘Is this handmade enough?’ barrier which tries to level the playing field by rejecting mass-made products. Understandable for the vast majority of Etsy businesses. However electronics aren’t like the vast majority of Etsy businesses.
All electronics are mass made – it is just a question of to what degree. Is the board assembled by hand or by a pick and place machine? Is the case machined out of aircraft grade aluminum or hand-carved walnut? Is the final product assembled by the designer or workers at a factory? Because electronics aren’t made like traditional crafts, Etsy & electronics businesses will be butting heads until the end of time.
That is why we made Tindie. Electronics manufacturing is changing at lightning speed. You can get one board made or 10,000. Custom boards can be ordered as easily as custom tshirts. The distinction between ‘handmade’ and ‘mass produced’ is grey at best. Ultimately the problem boils down to who designed the product. Success & sales determine the production process.
On Tindie, we focus on the designer – did the seller ultimately design the product? If so, then we’d love to help bring that product to Tindie and 60 countries worldwide. Our community is focused on maker made electronics – almost 700 products to date. Categories range from Raspberry Pi to multirotors to synths. We understand the difference between handmade electronics and mass made products because that is our focus.
Etsy is just trying to protect their credibility. Fortunately for Tindie, it is the exact community we are building and would love to help your business.