Our year-end retrospective

Informal year-end gathering

As another year comes to a close, we’re reflecting on all that informal and the hardware industry has accomplished and weathered throughout 2023. From chip shortages to never-ending supply chain issues, it’s definitely been a year for the books. 

Despite challenges, startups have continued to be relentless, unveiling hardware that borders on the realm of science fiction. Sleek wearables became the norm and drones that seemingly have minds of their own were announced. Each unveiling was a testament to the hardware industry’s capacity for continual evolution. 

Beyond just glittering innovations, sustainability claimed its rightful place at the forefront of the industry. Embracing recycled materials, emphasizing product durability, and championing energy-efficient design — these actions echo a collective commitment to keep working toward a greener future. 

At informal, 2023 was an opportunity to really hunker down and build out our internal systems. We dove into the mechanics of what was working and what we needed to pivot on, while still maintaining the highest level of care for our clients and freelancers.  

So with that, drumroll, please! It’s time to crunch some numbers and see how informal stacked up over the past 12 months. 

  • 69 hardware meetups hosted. In 2022, we saw the importance of getting hardware people together in the same physical space, so we pressed hard on the gas and tripled the number of meetups this year. Not too shabby!
  • 3 clients featured on Shark Tank. We’ve loved tuning into Shark Tank to see the products featured, and it’s even more exciting when some of those products are created by our clients
  • $3.2+ million paid out to informal members
  • 400 members total around the world
  • 40 different roles and specialties represented in our community
  • 150 companies we worked with
  • 23,000 hardware professionals reached with Hardware Meetups and events
  • 18 new Hardware Meetup chapters added, including chapters in Europe and South America
  • 5x growth in medical device clients

We gotta say, we’re pretty dang impressed with where we’re ending the year! In 2024, we’re looking forward to continuing to work with new clients and to sustainably expanding our member network. We’ve said it before, but we’re always shooting for quality over quantity with all that we do. 

We’re raising a well deserved glass to our clients, our freelance community, and to the hardware industry. Here’s to the year ahead! 


informal is a freelance collective for the most talented independent professionals in hardware and hardtech. Whether you’re looking for a single contractor, a full-time employee, or an entire team of professionals to work on everything from product development to go-to-market, informal has the perfect collection of people for the job.

Client Stories
Nate Padgett

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