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MakingSociety Podcast Session 02: Bringing a Hardware Community to Life, with Nick Pinkston

In this second episode of the MakingSociety podcast, I interview Nick Pinkston, community-builder and hardware entrepreneur who played a key role at building the hardware community in Pittsburgh and the San Francisco Bay Area.

I met Nick almost two years ago when he had just moved to San Francisco.

Since then, I have seen him making his way in the Bay Area startup ecosystem to the point that he tremendously helped creating a structured hardware startup community, now spreading worldwide. He is a dedicated and passionate man, obsessed with hardware as a way to make the world a better place.


What we talk about in this episode

In this episode, you will hear about how to build a community:

  • the Pittsburgh hardware scene and the birth of Pittsburgh hackerspace, HackPittsburgh
  • moving to San Francisco Bay Area and meeting the right people for your hardware project
  • the rise of the hardware startup community: from nothing to the first Hardware Meetup
  • how to organize a meetup: format, sponsors, invitations, emails, archives
  • strategies for building a community: shared open docs, building tools by and for the community (the MakerMap), online forums…
  • why to build a community: motivations, opportunities
  • tools and ideas for building a community online and offline:, reddit, stack exchange, google docs, twitter, blogs, link exchange…
  • a few key events for hardware entrepreneurs (Hardware Meetup, FooCamp, Hardware Unconference, Sketching…)

Links & Resources

Nick shares a lot of interesting resources for the hardware entrepreneur. Here are the links we talk about in this episode:

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