Dear Raspberry Pi

RaspiI'm a maker. I've been using your boards for years. I've recommended their use to countless people, advocated for your goals, and remained excited for everything you had done to further coding in education. You were doing good work, and had an immense amount of goodwill within the maker community. Have credit where it's due.

But your recent antics are wholly unacceptable.

Firstly, you have abandoned the maker community in recent years by prioritizing your industrial customers over them. The very same maker community that fueled the wide adoption of your products, the people who tirelessly evangelized your mission, are being left behind.

You're right - people are cross that they can't get your products any more. And that's because you're not making them for us any more. And we know it.

Secondly, your recent "Hey, we hired a cop!" post is concerning. UK law enforcement has a long history of terrible behavior in infiltrating activist circles, establishing sexual relationships with activists, and in some cases abandoning the children they fathered in those relationships.

This is a well-documented pattern of behavior, and is still playing out in the courts. The individual you hired most likely had a direct hand in enabling that behavior, as his role was in developing surveillance techniques. That history should be considered shameful, yet somehow you've decided it's a selling point.

This raises further concerns when considered within the context of your recent pivot towards prioritizing industrial customers over the maker community. In many perfectly reasonable ways, this could be considered a signal to government and law enforcement agencies of your willingness and intent to expand your business with them.

After all, you also manufacture small cameras as well as small, network-enabled computers. Now you're advertising that you've brought someone in-house with extensive experience in law enforcement under a dubious title (what exactly is the job description of a "Maker-in-Residence" anyhow?).

It's clear that your original vision has changed, and not for the better.

All of this is concerning enough. But when these perfectly valid criticisms and concerns were brought to the attention of your Fediverse instance, your brand ambassador responded with glib dismissals and began blocking the very people who have supported you for the past decade.

Not to mention the absolutely ridiculous recent claims by your co-founder, Liz Upton, that this backlash is due to not putting a CW on a picture of pigs in a blanket. That's patently absurd, and had she taken any time whatsoever to seriously look at the conversation, she would know it.

But, again - we're not the customers you care about any more. And we know it.

The fact is, you have managed to burn down a decade's worth of goodwill in the span of a day or so by being condescending, inconsiderate, and tone-deaf towards your most loyal customers and their extremely valid concerns. And on a personal level, I'm wildly disappointed and feel a certain amount of betrayal.

Of course I'll be vigorously recommending your competitors from now on, for both moral and practical reasons. There are far superior alternatives on the market already. At the basest level, I'm quite comfortable forgetting that #RaspberryPi is even an option for a single-board computer, and never mentioning the name to another potential maker again.

Not that it matters, since we can't even get your boards without an obscene markup anyways.