The Octopart team recently attended the Open Hardware Summit at the New York Hall of Science. We left impressed, inspired and hopeful for Octopart’s role in helping engineers. I spoke with a few people who are still complaining about a lot of the same problems we faced as grad students building projects in the lab – they spend way too much of their time searching for components rather than designing and building their projects.
I am proud to say that we have made a dent in the problem. Every month we get over 500,000 unique visitors looking for information on parts. We released an open API which allows anyone to build useful tools on top of our part data. We separated our search technology into a standalone product to allow us to iterate on our search infrastructure more rapidly. And we launched a verified manufacturer program to allow us to build relationships with part manufacturers.
However, we now have more goals and work than our four person team can reasonably do. We need to build and improve our frontend tools to give each of our users a satisfying experience. We need to reach out to more part distributors and manufacturers to ensure we have every useful part in our database. And we need to study our usage and analytics data to give us better insight into our product. These are hard and interesting problems and we’d work on them ourselves if time allowed – instead we are hoping to hire people who care as much about helping engineers as we do. If you’re interested, you can find out more here: http://octopart.com/jobs