Limor Fried, also known by her hacker alias ladyada, is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate and the founder of Adafruit Industries. She is also largely credited with the Open Source Hardware (OSHW) movement. After receiving her masters from MIT, Fried had a vision of supplying Do-It-Yourself (DIY) hardware kits to geeks all over the world. Her vision came to fruition in 2006 when Adafruit was born. She is not only the founder of the company, she is also the primary engineer behind the company’s innovative designs. Fried received the Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in 2009. She was also declared one of the Most Influential Women in Technology by FastCompany during 2011. She even had a Wired cover story published about her (shown below).
Fried’s interest in electronics started when she was young. She used to take apart VCRs in her parents’ basement just to figure out how they worked. Eventually, Fried learned that electronics could become a career and she enrolled in the engineering program at MIT. While in school, she took pictures of her projects and post them online. Fried quickly gained an Internet following, and eventually started her own company. Today, Adafruit ships kits all over the world. They even have an iPhone app called Circuit Playground. It was a long journey from being a geeky little girl to being an entrepreneurial businesswoman, but along the way, Fried has never forgotten her hacker roots. The geek trio proudly adds this (somewhat) nerdy visionary to our list of celebrated geeks.