The art of “waiting,” like many norms we used to take for granted, has gone by the wayside. With the click of a keystroke we can purchase new appliances, clothing, artwork, virtually anything we want (or can afford). But people are willing and enthusiastic about waiting for something if it’s worth it to them. Such is the case with a local Nokomis company. Whereas “Birch Box,” a monthly box subscription, readily comes to mind when you think of mailed beauty products, “Stitch Fix” fills in the category for clothing, and “Hello Fresh” stirs up visions of healthy foods waiting at your front door on a regular basis. And, for every one of these companies making a fortune on monthly box subscriptions, there are dozens of other startups waiting to get you on the hook for a monthly delivery.
Chances are that if you are reading this, you are receiving something other than bills and magazines to your door every 30 days. If you’re a techie, you are probably aware of HackerBoxes, which is taking DIY electronics to the next level.
With a passion for helping others learn about science and technology, Joe Long, President of HackerBoxes quickly saw the relevancy of matching box subscriptions with his enthusiasm for electronics. As a Pine View graduate and teacher of electronics, physics, and computer science throughout his career combined with a law practice as a patent attorney, Joe was uniquely positioned to turn his knowledge and zest for electronics into something he could share with the world. Through his involvement with the Suncoast Makers, which is comprised of mostly adult hobbyists, and as president of the Sarasota Science Club, Joe understood there was a void for technology enthusiasts in the box subscription world. He saw firsthand how electronic components were very inexpensive when purchased in bulk, however those same parts were extremely pricey to purchase when only a few were needed for a small project. He set out to make sure that those with a passion for science and technology could practice on actual electronics, creating usable gadgets out of components neatly packaged and delivered right to their door.
So far, HackerBoxes has proven to be very successful, involving subscribers from all 50 states and all over the world. Situated in Nokomis, HackerBoxes has exceeded not only Joe’s expectations, but those of his wife, Fiona, his partner in the venture. Together, the pair continues to come up with innovative boxes to send to their subscribers that meet specific criteria including being fun and educational, staying within budget requirements, and fitting into the small box that subscribers have grown to love. You never know what you will receive in your Hacker Box, it might be security oriented with sophisticated locks and picks to practice on. According to HB, “each monthly surprise box includes a carefully curated collection of projects, components, modules, tools, and exclusive items.” One month, the subscriber might make a personal alarm, or a super cool skull lanyard with piercing lights that flash on and off. Their ideas pipeline runs over a year deep, so thoughts of novel kits are always flowing and often supplemented by subscribers who are inspired to come up with ideas for future mailings.
One side aspect of the popularity of Hacker Boxes is the popularity on their online site and YouTube videos. The HackerBoxes educational videos alone are reaching a viewer count of half of a million people. For Joe, a teacher at heart, the opportunity to reach a vast amount of technology “students” as opposed to teaching in a traditional classroom is extremely satisfying. The bulk of HackerBoxes are sold on their website, but certain boxes can be purchased on Amazon and eBay also. Subscriptions include a monthly option for $44, and a discounted six-month and 12-month plan, and you can also purchase individual kits. With the holidays coming up soon, HackerBoxes could provide that perfect gift you have always wanted to get for the scientist in your life. We can guarantee, it will be unique.
For more information on HackerBoxes,please viisit their website by clicking here.
Photos courtesy of Joe Long and HackerBoxes FB page.