Adafruit Industries New York, New York
New York, New York
“The more you document, publish, and share what you're doing online, the more people will get excited about your business.”Limor Fried, Founder & Lead EngineerAdafruit Industries has 80+ employees.link www.adafruit.comLimor "Ladyada" Fried, an MIT-trained electrical engineer, launched Adafruit Industries in 2005 to share and educate people about the fun and creativity of engineering. She started by writing a blog and selling DIY kits online so that people could build an MP3 player, cell-phone charger, or other useful devices. She also began offering online tutorials. Her New York City-based, 100% woman-owned business became immensely popular, growing organically without loans or venture capital. “Of everything that we have in our blog, our store, and tutorials, nothing is sponsored,” Limor says. “Whatever we post about, whatever we do, it's because we like it.”
Adafruit started using AdWords, Google’s advertising program, in 2012. It now accounts for a third of the sales in their online shop, which is a Google Trusted Store. Adafruit uses Google Hangouts and their own YouTube channel to share tutorials and videos. “We post every day on YouTube, to show what's happening behind the scenes at Adafruit,” Limor says. “It’s not just about how to use what we're offering, but how we make it.” They use YouTube as well to stream a live weekly program called “Ask an Engineer.” Google Groups helps them build a strong online community, and their Google+ page has over two million followers.
The company gets a thousand orders a day for items made in their 50,000+ square-foot facility in SoHo. Total orders now top one million. Limor was on the cover of WIRED magazine and was named Entrepreneur of 2012 by Entrepreneur magazine. Adafruit has been so successful at attracting girls to engineering that a young fan once asked whether there were any boy engineers. “Engineering can be a force for good,” Limor says. “We've done such a good job of showing what engineering is like, and who engineers are, that we can actually change generational thinking. You can really change somebody's life, if you get to them early and inspire them.”Adafruit Industries has 80+ employees.link www.adafruit.com
Poppin New York, New York
New York, New York
“Our business would not be possible without the advent of the web. That is, not in the way we’ve imagined it.”Randy Nicolau, Chairman & CEO100 employeeslink www.poppin.comIn less than five years, Poppin grew from a 10-person office-supply startup to a forerunner of design innovation that’s been featured in Vogue and InStyle. “Poppin is becoming the single source for companies who want to create modern, inspiring workspaces that are open, collaborative, and allow for self-expression,” says Chairman and CEO Randy Nicolau. In 2014, their revenue doubled and their products sold in over 2,000 retail locations, furnishing the new wave of startups and even college dorm rooms. Poppin focuses on companies that are “constantly growing, moving, adding people, and changing offices.”
Randy sees web search as integral to Poppin’s success. The Internet is the only place big enough to display their vast product line of almost 500 items, each available in 10-15 colors. AdWords, Google’s advertising platform, has been particularly impactful in helping them to reach both consumer and business markets. “From day one, we launched with extensive Google campaigns,” he says. “To be able to expand into Product Listing Ads was a huge win, one that continues to pay dividends for us today.” Randy adds that their ties with Google run deep. “In a company that is driven almost entirely by a millennial workforce, we could not exist without Google Drive and Google Apps. We’re the quintessential Google-powered company.”
After a year of milestones and accolades, including a spot on Crain’s Top 100 Places to Work in NYC, Randy anticipates that Google will keep emerging as the canvas for Poppin’s future innovations. Whether learning from Google Analytics to improve their campaigns or unveiling disruptive products on YouTube, they’ll rely on the full Google suite. “It’s a solution that keeps up with us as we experience hyper-growth.”100 employeeslink www.poppin.com
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