I’m pleased to announce Crowd Supply has been acquired by Mouser Electronics. After more than five years in business, I view this acquisition as a great step forward in our ever-evolving quest to bring original, useful, respectful hardware to life.
After pouring years of effort into Crowd Supply, we are all very proud of what we’ve built, so we took the decision to join Mouser very seriously. At the time of acquisition, our business was doing the best it ever had and we had many options for the future. After careful consideration, we decided joining Mouser was our best option, and one that will mean we can continue to be proud of our work and of the effect Crowd Supply has on the world.
Mouser is a natural partner for Crowd Supply. In fact, Mouser has been carrying Crowd Supply products since well before this acquisition. Mouser’s dedication to providing the widest variety of top-notch electronic components complements Crowd Supply’s dedication to helping our project creators bring to market the most innovative technologies, often using those same components.
Ultimately, this acquisition was a mutual decision. On one hand, Mouser recognized the value Crowd Supply brings to the electronics industry and our potential for future growth. On the other hand, Crowd Supply recognized Mouser as a fantastic partner and steward to help us realize our full potential.
Here’s a list, by no means exhaustive, of things that are staying the same:
And here’s a list, again by no means exhaustive, of things that are changing:
While there’s no way to enumerate all the things that will stay the same or all the things that will change, there is a simple framework that can help predict how any given thing might change or not. This framework relies on understanding why Mouser bought us and how Mouser operates.
First, as previously explained, Mouser’s interest in Crowd Supply lies in our potential for growth, as backed up by our track record so far. This is very different than, say, buying a company for its current revenue, intellectual property, capital assets, or employees. Though those can all be fine reasons to buy (and sell) a company, they often lead to very different outcomes in terms of how the company changes post-acquisition. In contrast, buying a company for its potential growth sets the expectation that we’ll continue doing what’s worked so far and fix what hasn’t.
Second, Mouser Electronics is a company that is fully owned by TTI, an even larger electronic component distributor, which is in turn owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a publicly traded holding company led by Warren Buffet. Berkshire Hathaway owns hundreds of companies, but itself only has a few dozen employees. This is by design - the idea is to take stakes in or purchase companies with solid business models and let them run essentially autonomously.
All this is to say, and as evidenced by the above lists, Crowd Supply will be operating just as it always has, but now with more resources and support where needed. There will be some new and improved features and some new people to help make those happen, but our mission and mode of operation remain the same.
My new boss is Glenn Smith, the CEO and President of Mouser Electronics. While still in college in 1973, Glenn started working part-time shipping packages from Mouser’s warehouse as one of 12 employees. By 1985, he was the general manager responsible for day-to-day operations and was promoted to President in 1988. Over his 45-year career at Mouser, he’s led its transformation from a mom-and-pop catalog into a company that does over $1B in sales annually.
If I didn’t like and respect Glenn, this acquisition never would have happened; I greatly value my day-to-day working relationships and I’m lucky enough to have the flexibility that I don’t have to settle for less in that department. Our first meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes but lasted six hours. From that meeting on, I’ve always found him to be patient, passionate about his work, quick on his feet, and dedicated to his team. As I’m quickly learning, the team he’s built up around him is cut largely from the same cloth. I bring this up because I think understanding the people behind Crowd Supply is crucial to understanding how the acquisition will shape Crowd Supply’s future. In that regard, I’m very optimistic about that future and I can’t wait to share with you what it brings.
Co-founder & President