Chickadee Tech was started in 2015 by me, Scott Shawcroft. Online I go by tannewt (pronounced as two words tan newt). I run the company by myself from home with my two cats doing everything from accounting to engineering.
Adafruit has been my main client since August of 2016. I’ve been leading their CircuitPython project.
I spent nearly six years doing software engineering on Google Maps, picked up quads as a hobby and left Google at the end of June 2015 to do my own thing. I dabbled with a couple website before moving onto hardware.
Polystack, formerly FlightStack, was started in October of 2015 after I caught the hardware design bug. After making significant progress on the designs, I decided to start a company of my own. With the company I want to build a supporter of open source hardware and software. Open source is great way for others to learn how the things they use work. It empowers people to troubleshoot their boards, improve them and design their own.
Polystack is built upon open source software such as Betaflight and Arduino and I’ve learned a ton by using them.
Chickadee Tech will be run in an open way too. Just like the learning about hardware, by being open, people can learn about starting a hardware business. Adafruit has been a huge inspiration for me and I hope to model Chickadee Tech after them.
Although I’m the only one that works on Chickadee Tech day-to-day, there are many people to thank for their help. First, I have to thank Becca, my partner, who warned me of the time commitment of starting a small business but supported the endeavor anyway with the hope that it would allow us to live anywhere. My friend Jason Kivlighn taught me to be an even better engineer, reminded me that life is short and inspired me to be ambitious. Thanks to my parents for saying quitting my job was bold rather than stupid.
Rothany Hin, Cole Bz and Kyle Van Vranken tested early hand soldered version of many of the boards and gave great feedback. All of the Seattle Multirotors members have been awesome for bouncing ideas off of. Ron Scofield of Quadrysteria has been a great sounding board for Polystack and has provided great tips on running the business side of things.
Jen Fujimoto has added the design polish to all things Chickadee Tech. Brandon Knight and the rest of the MacroFab crew have been awesome in answering my endless manufacturing and logistics questions. OSHPark was critical in the early prototype stages with their great PCB service.
Polystack would be nothing without the awesome open source software Betaflight. Thanks to Boris B, Dominic Clifton, and Timecop for making Betaflight and its ancestors Cleanflight and Baseflight awesome open source flight control software. Kudos to all of the other Betaflight contributors and testers who make it better to everyone. Blckmn has been instrumental in adding F4 support to Betaflight 3.0.
Thanks again to Adafruit for the knowledge and inspiration. The Adafruit Show & Tell crew including Limor and Phil have been super helpful. Limor (ladyada), EEVBlog and SparkFun’s According to Pete taught me the basics of starting an electronics company including things like Design for Manufacture and Test Jig design. Kicad has also been epic allowing me to grow from hobbiest to hardware engineer without spending a pretty penny.
Thanks to LemonStand for making developer friendly ecommerce software and launching blogs just in the nick of time.
Thanks to you for supporting Chickadee Tech! It would be nothing without you.