TI is currently running a 3 part blog post series on the history of the Launchpad. Easy to use development kits for the MSP430 started as early as 2006 with the ez430 usb tool and eventually evolved to the MSP430 Launchpad. It took a few years and visionary people working at TI to get it to the Launchpad’s current state – including heavy design changes and sale price to ease users into the MSP430 ecosystem.
The Launchpad design has also branched out into the C2000 and Tiva-C[formerly Stellaris] series controllers.
The blog series is currently as part 2. You can catch them at the Make The Switch Blog or follow the links below. Feel free to leave a comment below on how the Launchpad development board has helped you realize your design or in any other way: