By Eli Sinaiko
Over the past half year, I have worked as a Marketing Associate alongside the BSG team. During this time I have learned a vast amount about a diverse range of subjects, including hardware entrepreneurship, sourcing, the Maker Movement, networking, and social media marketing. My fellow intern Tony and I have been privileged to work alongside talented and experienced individuals like Greg Fisher and Beth Rogozinski. They have been amazingly generous in imparting upon us a small portion of their vast knowledge of hardware entrepreneurs, startups, and the growing hardware renaissance occurring in the Bay Area, China, and all over the globe. I am immensely grateful to Berkeley Sourcing Group for providing me with the opportunity to work and gain experience in this area.
Tony and I interviewed with individuals like Mark Delman, creator of the Chicken Waterer; Tyler Freeman and Lei Yu, founders of Tappur and creators of DrumPants; and Aditya Dayal, founder of ThrowMotion. From these experiences and insightful interviews, anyone with the right attitude, motivation and idea can be a hardware entrepreneur. But it takes a huge amount of time and work to successful. Even hard work does not always yield profitable results. My work in marketing has also familiarized me with the local Bay Area hardware community. I researched and posted to the BSG website almost 100 different events and meet-ups aimed at hardware entrepreneurs and casual enthusiasts alike. In just the last few months I have observed dozens of new groups and meet-ups created for people interested in hardware, entrepreneurship, start-ups, and a variety of related subjects.
One of the most remarkable things I have learned during my time with BSG is that the hardware revolution is just beginning. Technological innovation is cyclical in that innovation in one area can increase the pace of technological development in the same or other areas both intentionally and not. For example, in the last decade 3D printing has advanced in leaps and bounds. These advances have made manufacturing cheaper and prototyping easier so that hardware entrepreneurs, companies and casual tinkerers can craft inventions and devices more quickly and specifically by quickly 3D printing multiple models and iterations of their ideas.
Working with the BSG team has opened my eyes to what hardware is and what it can be. When I began working for BSG I thought of ‘hardware’ as things like the I-Phone, or a laptop computer. However, my first meeting with Beth Rogozinski quickly dispelled this notion. Hardware, she said, can be anything from a band that keeps sweat out of your eyes when working out to a water bottle designed to be cleaned quickly and easily to a wearable device that allows you to play the drums through movements.
It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to my BSG teammates and colleagues. Greg and Beth, thank you so much for everything. Working with you has been a fantastic and educational experience, and I hope that we can work together again in the future. Tony, you have been an excellent fellow Marketing Associate and I will miss working with you.
Thanks for reading, and thank you Berkeley Sourcing Group!