Adafruit ranked #11 from top 20 US Manufacturers

limor 3

Adafruit is company which designs and makes electronic boards and tutorials about Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Despite of the common believe that to manufacture in USA is expensive and everybody has to move to China, they operate in one of the most expensive place on Earth –  New York, USA and prove that to make electronics is possible everywhere, when you have automatic assembly machines it doesn’t much matter if these machines work in China or USA.

I always though that Adafruit is smallish company until I read this article which says they are ranked #11 out of top 20 US Manufacturers!

Same article says Adafruit have 50+ employees and operate in 1500 square meters factory, so they really aren’t so big, so either article is wrong either other US Manufacturers are also small, which makes not much sense with the strong electronics industry in USA. Is the article wrong or I miss something?

EDIT: Vladimir pointed out in the comments that #11 is for NY not USA 🙂 this makes sense!

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. av500
    Mar 23, 2015 @ 17:47:13


  2. Ivan T (@avtolik)
    Mar 23, 2015 @ 17:58:34

    #11 in America, but the ranking is for fastest growing, not absolute 🙂


  3. winfried
    Mar 23, 2015 @ 18:01:05

    Top means not most revenue (only 22Mio.US$ 😉 but top #11 of fastest growing…, which normaly only Internet-companies does, grow without making money, but making…


  4. petelynch
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 14:04:12

    It’s the 11th FASTEST GROWING company. Small companies always grow faster than large ones – at least in percentage terms: it’s easy for a 1-man company to grow at 100% per year, they just recruit another person.

    AT&T and GM don’t have anything to worry about 😉 … yet!


  5. Ubu
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 18:39:30

    I fully understand the meaning your article, and I add my point of view:
    – The Arduino SBC are a creative work from Italy.
    – The Raspberry Pi SBC are a creative work from UK.
    – The Olimex SBC are a creative work from Bulgary.
    – But where are the SBC created by Adafruit ?

    Moreover, the recurrent hype and propaganda about Adafruit
    is unfair for many other American companies, more creative
    and not so obsessed by a stalinesque cult of personality like
    “Lady” Limor Fried.

    For those who will say that I exaggerate a lot:
    – original:
    – plagiarism:


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Mar 24, 2015 @ 19:07:08

      No, you didn’t understood the meaning of the article.
      I was just puzzled that small company is #11 in USA Manufacturing, but as someone explained the ranking is for fastest growing company!
      Small companies grow more than big companies, Adafruit can double their revenue easily but same would be hard for GM and Coca Cola 🙂
      Adafruit does great job writing tutorials etc, indeed they have quite modest line of their own board designs which are usually very simple and not as complex as Raspberry, BBB, OLinuXino, but this is their target market and developing complex designs is expensive where they are, I guess the sales they make do not justify to spend months of time in development of complex designs.


      • SK
        Mar 24, 2015 @ 23:11:26

        Talking about “months of time in development of complex designs” you reminded me to ask – how is the development of your products going:
        – OlinuXino RT5350F
        – A80 OlinuXino
        – A31 SOM
        I guess most of the problems are software wise?

      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Mar 25, 2015 @ 12:58:36

        this will be subject to another blog post 🙂 RT5350F is almost ready,
        A80 is put on hold, too many bugs in this new device, we do not want to waste time until we see working silicon
        A31 design is complete, but we decided to not run in production, too many bugs in this chip and low performance and while we were waiting Allwinner to fix them, we got note from them that A31 and A31s production is stopped

  6. Ubu
    Mar 24, 2015 @ 23:26:17

    In your reply, you say that the core business of Adafruit is not SBC
    but smaller and simpler systems: this is true.

    The question is the ranking of Adafruit compared to
    other producers of hobby electronics.

    I am sorry, I understood that your article was motivated by
    the fact that Adafruit is overrated in the U.S. media.

    I checked it with google:
    13 pages for
    5 pages for
    4 pages for
    0 page for
    0 page for

    Don’t you believe that your company developing more complex
    products deserves better media coverage in the U.S. ?


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Mar 25, 2015 @ 12:59:47

      it is natural US company to get more coverage in US media :))) but indeed Adafruit have quite capable PR as they are 2-3 times smaller than Sparkfun but get better coverage than them


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