A message from the founder:
In 2008, I had a series of conversations about open-source DIY kit businesses with several new friends I had just met at a conference. My life had just gone through dramatic upheaval after the failure of my third startup, Bionica, and the existential search for direction was again upon me. These new friends told of businesses which were strong, growing, and most interestingly, brought meaning to their lives…
I had been to my first Maker Faire a year earlier in Austin, Texas. I think I talked to every one of the Makers at the event. Wandering around and meeting attendees and exhibitors made me feel something I’ve never felt before. Here were people just like me that loved to make things for themselves, their family, their friends, and their communities. It’s what made them happiest, and it was one of the most important and meaningful activities that they pursued.
2009 came upon me. I continued to watch the Maker and Maker Faire community grow. I had become part of the Make Magazine team, organized the first of the regional Maker Faires, Maker Faire Rhode Island (now known as Mini Maker Faire Rhode Island) that attracted 5000 people and 40 Makers. I also continued to watch SparkFun, Adafruit, The Maker Shed, Evil Mad Scientist, and others supply the community with tools for project success. Friends continued to suggest that I apply my biomedical engineering and toy inventor skills to designing kits. I began to wonder, “is this what my future holds?” After a fourth failed startup, Leotus, it was clear that I needed to re-think my business strategy. Why do I keep following the standard model of beginning a venture when there is so little success? Why not just do something meaningful and try to share it with the community?
That’s how this all started. I’ve been making stuff since I was very little. Hovercrafts, high-pressure gear pumps, pneumatic robots, high-power motor drivers, LED controllers, bicycle technology, medical devices, musical Cookie Monsters, you name it, I’ve done it. Now I’m taking my best works and sharing them as open-source kits. Even better, I’ve assembled a team of fantastic engineers with sometimes decades of industry experience to bring you the very best solutions to your kit needs.
Our motto “Make Things That Matter” comes from Tim O’Reilly. At Maker Faire New York, September 2011, we showed off the KippCool. One of the primary applications is medical cooling for heart attack and stroke victims. It was no accident that we found this application. A series of conversations I had with an official from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Foundation at Health FOO, and O’Reilly organized health conference, set me on the path towards medical cooling, and I never looked back. When Tim awarded us an Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbon that said “Making Things That Matter” on the back, I realized that I found the purpose and meaning in my life. From these humble beginnings, I will make sure one thing never changes. This business is all about being meaningful to our community and ourselves. We make things that we care about, things that solve our problems, and we hope you also find our products bring simplicity and meaning to your lives.
Make Things That Matter