I think this was definitely an underestimation of demand, combined with a product that is a little out of the ordinary for a component business. The Raspberry Pi seems to me to be something you would pick up at a hobby shop or a Radio Shack. My guess is, there are a lot of consumers and hobbyists out there that wanted this thing, and folks like Ben Heck has raised the awareness of distributors such as element14/Premier Farnell that was strictly in the industrial space. I have never heard of anything like this happening at an industrial distributor, even during allocation, but it happens at retail all the time.
Great question! No, actually distrbutors have been selling board-level products for awhile now. The Raspberry is a very basic board level computer that needs to be integrated with a screen, and interface and I'm not sure what else. Maybe it is more like a kit you can put together. It seems to me something you might see at Radio Shack.
Obviously, this is a good example of a great name meeting nicely with a nice product. Even if the name is compelling, the proof of the pudding is still in the eating. A marketing teacher I had once said the best advertising for a product is the product itself. Perhaps that's what's at play here and not just the name.
Another supply chain snafu or just a simple case of underestimated demand? Did these companies fail to anticipate demand or was it just impossible? The pendulum may swing in another direction and too widely if they focused on meeting pent up demand.
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