“I believe the Raspberry Pi will change everything.”
This is what I wrote in a draft blog post in 2014. It was never published because we at Nemesol really were not ready for that.
Now I am writing it again two years later. Now one of our core strategy is about publishing what we do and what we think. A lot has happened but I still believe everything I thought then.
Why the Raspberry Pi ?
The Raspberry Pi foundation was based on some clear goals, which I believe is the main reason why the Raspberry Pi has been so successful and why I believe it will continue to be so disruptive.
“The Raspberry Pi Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world.”
“We provide low-cost, high-performance computers that people use to learn, solve problems and have fun.”
These two quotes from their About Us-page highlights the main reasons why I think the Raspberry Pi has been so successful and why it will continue to be so in the future.
Versatility & Affordability
In order to fulfill what the Raspberry Pi foundation are aiming to do their computer needed to do a couple of essential things. It needed to be versatile. It needed to be affordable. It needed to run a desktop user interface. Finally it needed to work flawlessly or their most critical user base of all would not adopt it – children and the teachers of them.
Because of its versatility it can usually replace current hardware solutions without any hardware tweaking. It runs a full fledged modern Linux Debian OS (Raspbian). A robust operating system proven throughout the years in server and desktop use. This choice alone makes the development of software for the raspi cheap – as cheap as any software on any platform.
Easy adoption & Reliability
At Nemesol Labs, we have adopted it for our products and development because it runs something that is familiar to us form years of Linux server setups and maintaining. Everything works reliably because of the hard work put into it both by Debian developers but also by the quality that The Raspberry Pi Foundation puts into it. We can rely on it in the same way as we rely on our servers.
Scalability & Availability
Scalability comes from the simple fact that it is affordable and uses very little power with minimum heat dissipation.
We were recently at a fair talking to electronics manufacturers about the RasPi compared to designing and manufacturing some custom made device. All of them answered our enquiry the same way. If your unit volume is less than 10k a year and the RasPi is working for you, then don’t bother with any custom made solution. The RasPi will be more cost effective.
Availability comes from the simple fact that Farnell usually keeps thousands in stock of RasPi:s all the time. I assume a similar count for RS. This is completely out-of-the park for any similar item. You can build a business around this with minimal stock. We did.
I see a future were the Raspberry Pi will be powering a huge percentage of devices. This is the greatest thing ever. It would mean that a huge amount of people would understand computing on a whole new level. Today’s children can rip open tomorrows television and be like “hey here’s a RasPi that I can tinker with here”. See https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/compute-module-nec-display-near-you/
In September 2016 they had sold 10 million RasPis. I believe this figure will grow exponentially in the following years. So looking forward to the news about 100 million Raspberry Pis sold soon. We at Nemesol will be playing our small part in making this happen.