#037 - Disrupting with digital manufacturing, with Nick Pinkston of Plethora, USA

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By Balint Horvath, Balint Horvath: Entrepreneur, and Innovation Specialist. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

My interview guest is from the US from San Francisco, Nick Pinkston, founder and CEO of Plethora.

In case you’re into manufacturing, and you should be, if you’re into into hardware, then this episode is for you.

Nick is a central figure in hardware in the Bay Area which you’ll learn about in this interview. He’s behind CloudFab, the world's first manufacturing-as-a-service API, HackPittsburgh, a collective workshop for the makers of Pittsburgh and he’s co-founder of the San Francisco Meetup. These topics will all come up in this episode.

His latest venture is Plethora which provides rapid manufacturing services that give you real-time design feedback and pricing when you upload your 3D file. After this step, their on-demand automated factory programs itself to make your parts. He’s essentially transforming the way we do manufacturing via digital manufacturing.

Raw transcript is available at: https://www.thehardwareentrepreneur.com

Show highlights can be seen below:

  • Where hardware startups fail when it comes to manufacturing and how to avoid that - [4:11]
  • The God-like vision of Plethora and what it has to do with pizza delivery - [8:42]
  • The company’s vertical approach and their 13 000 competitors - [12:27]
  • How Plethora wants to scale the scaling itself - [16:18]
  • Current situation of local manufacturing shops – the issue with specializing [18:20]
  • The experience behind San Francisco Hardware Startup Meetup and how it has grown to other initiatives - [20:06]
  • Escape velocity, or challenges in front of the company - [25:35]
  • The main lesson the founders learned while growing the company and how the OODA loop concept applies to them — [27:04]
  • If you could time travel and go back in time, what notes would you give yourself? – [30:45]
  • Which book had the biggest impact on his career? – [31:34]
  • Nick’s super structured routine – [32:27]
  • Some observations Nick has made in terms of organizational culture – [36:45]
  • What is the best way to reach Nick? – [36:2]

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