(Founder Stories) MakerBot's Bre Pettis: "We Started With 3 Guys, A Laser Cutter, And A Dream"

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The Power Of Pull

As Bre Pettis continues his conversation with Founder Stories host, Chris Dixon, the two discuss the challenges of running a business that literally requires nuts and bolts assembly. In this situation, scaling brings a whole new set of challenges unfamiliar to many software start-ups.

Hardware is just a different game.  For example, as Pettis tells it, “we ran out of motors, we bought all of them in the world, we went to buy more and they were like you’ve got them all. And so we had to figure out how to like get motors manufactured and custom made for us. So in terms of hardware that’s kind of been a bunch of the challenges.”

Dixon admits, sometimes it is “hard for us software people to grok how different it is.”  (Disclosure: Dixon is an investor in Makerbot through Founder Collective).

And when the times get tough, the tough go to China.  Make sure to listen to the entire exchange as Pettis also talks about the importance of face-to-face interaction as a greaser for getting stuff done.

Below, Pettis talks about how Makerbot got off the ground.  “We started with 3 guys, a laser cutter, and a dream,” he says.

Dixon inquires about copycats who might take on the MakerBot concept and in doing so turn MakerBot into a shadow of its former self.  Pettis seems anything but concerned and partially responds by saying, “we’ve got a brand, I don’t know exactly how to quantify that, but you know, when you think about 3D printing, you’re makerbotting, and that’s powerful.”

The two go on and discuss Makerbot’s open source platform, hacking on the site and the flow of cash coming into the company.

Make sure to watch Part I here and past Founder Stories episodes here.

<div><div><script src=”http://www.crunchbase.com/javascripts/widget.js” type=”text/javascript”></script><div><a href=”http://www.crunchbase.com/” rel=”nofollow”>CrunchBase Information</a></div></div><div><div><a href=”http://www.crunchbase.com/company/makerbot”>MakerBot</a></div><div><script src=”http://www.crunchbase.com/cbw/company/makerbot.js” type=”text/javascript”></script></div><div><a href=”http://www.crunchbase.com/person/bre-pettis”>Bre Pettis</a></div><div><script src=”http://www.crunchbase.com/cbw/person/bre-pettis.js” type=”text/javascript”></script></div><div><a href=”http://www.crunchbase.com/person/chris-dixon”>Chris Dixon</a></div><div><script src=”http://www.crunchbase.com/cbw/person/chris-dixon.js” type=”text/javascript”></script></div><div>Information provided by <a href=”http://www.crunchbase.com/” rel=”nofollow”>CrunchBase</a></div></div></div>