Colin Cameron avatar

Is it just me that thought Eben said he was attacked by hungry Greeks?

sc avatar

hungry geeks

Kalash avatar

Wonderful speech.

What was the deciding factor to make Raspberry Pi a foundation for charity rather than a profit generating company? You (Liz) being the only full time employee, how does anyone else make a living?

I love my piece of the Pi and thank you all for your hard work and resilience.

liz avatar

I don’t actually take a salary; I’m a full-time volunteer. (At the moment. The trustees have asked me to come on as an employee later when the year’s royalties from Farnell and RS pitch up.) We live off Eben’s Broadcom salary at the moment; a couple of months ago we also got back the money which we’d put into the Foundation when we mortgaged the house to pay for boards and chips last year, which was *very* nice.

(I’m not a saint, and I will readily admit that I very much miss earning my own money.)

Ready for a long answer about UK charity law? :)

We incorporated Raspberry Pi as a charity because doing that gave us leverage to buy components like the BCM2835 and the memory chips in much smaller numbers than the companies selling them would usually be prepared to contemplate, and initially, they gave us prices like those they’d give to customers buying many more at a time. (This was *really* important when we thought we’d be making them ourselves, and was invaluable for our alpha and beta runs.) Now, we negotiate components prices along with Farnell and RS, and the charity aspect of things does help in getting companies to offer a better price, but volumes are so big now it’s not quite such a factor.

It’s also a charity because we are doing this not to make money, but because we really, really believe that providing cheap and easy access to tools is a good and necessary thing for the world, and we want to make a difference. If we took money from the business and spent it on shoes and ribbons, we wouldn’t be able to put that money into things like the programming competition prizes, outreach, sending Rob to talk to hackspaces around the world, and work with schools; next year, for example, we’re planning on a big push into the developing world, which will be quite expensive.

We will be setting up offices and employing some people to do that, along with some administrative and technical staff, before the end of the year. But the trustees will never be able to make any profit from the Raspberry Pi Foundation while it’s constituted like it is, and we set it up like that very deliberately. We’re trying to make a difference, not our fortunes!

Kalash avatar

That is all I wanted to know. And I hope your product spreads all over the world and millions of capable people get their hands on one.

Greetings from Nepal

Dave Brotherstone avatar

You are all saints. Every time I read about a child playing on a Pi, creating something, I think “it’s working, it’s working” – I’m sure you do too. You’ve all earned your place in history. And it was (another) great speech.

Incidentally I saw someone at the IFA in Berlin today wandering around in an Element 14 Raspberry Pi T-Shirt :)

Angel Padilla avatar


This is way I truly believe in this charity. I will support the RPi 100% and wouldn’t spend a penny on those RPi copycats out there thinking only in profit! The main and only reason I am buying RPi’s is for education and the do my part to educate parents and motivate kids to get the behinds of the game consoles and into using the minds. I already planning my son’s science project for next year and , of course, the RPi will be involved. Parents can’t thank you enough for what the foundation is doing. keep up the great work.

David Desson avatar

Fantastic video. The best description of your work I have seen. Thanks for sharing. Everyone I know love their PI. What’s there not to like?

pedro67 avatar

Excellent, inspiring speech, shades of Jobs.

Alec The Geek avatar

Sorry, I don’t think Eben makes the grade as a pretentious wanker like Steve Jobs. Plus whatever Jobs did was for the greater glory of himself and Apple — which is fine. But let’s not get confused.

(PS – I have an MacBook and it’s a great piece of kit and Steve Jobs did fantastic presentations)

Ken MacIver avatar

Listening to Eben and his talk of the 80’s reminds me of a song by Val Doonican (The bejumpered, Rocking Chair Irish crooner.) It was called the “Marvellous Toy” given to a boy by his dad and it contained the chorus line

“It went zip when it moved and bop when it stopped and whirrrrr when it stood still
I never knew just what it was and I guess I never will.”

Just like an RPi you give it a to child of any age, ( I bought mine as a 58th Birthday pressy to myself) and their imagination is fired up..

Well done Eben,Liz et al you might not be for cash profit but you are certainly making a profit in far more valuable ways..

julius avatar

Why was i not informed of this, Now you MUST make another trip to ICELAND!!!

Or i will make a trip to the UK… You have been warned!

/Not Serius

liz avatar

We are doing our VERY best to find a way to get back to Iceland soon; I’ve not met a nicer bunch of hackers ever, I’ve not eaten enough of those hot dogs yet, and we want to see the northern lights. Plus we are really keen on puffin.

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