China Open Source Hardware Maker Movement with Eric Pan

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Manufacturing, Podcast5 Comments

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Happy Tuesday morning Hong Kong, welcome to Global From Asia episode 56! It’s cooling off a tad bit as we’re getting into the Fall season, but nothing like my hometown of Hartford, Connecticut – autumn there had those trees changing all sorts of colors. But then again, its this hot weather that attracted me to the Pearl River Delta (PRD) as it never snows and maybe is chilly 1 or 2 months out of the whole year. So I have sent you 2 weekly newsletter so far, I am finally motivating myself to get them out weekly and people have been enjoying them with a high percentage of interactions. I don’t just talk about the upcoming show, I add a couple news updates relevant to Hong Kong and Asia business that I don’t talk about anywhere else – so please signup with your email on to get these updates.

And we have another 5 star iTunes review, thanks so much for these everyone – others listening that haven’t yet done it – it really helps with the Podcast promotion in iTunes so if you enjoy these shows and want to help out this is a best way. Let’s read China Rob’s review here:

Really enjoy this podcast packed with solid advice about having a business presence in Hong Kong and Asia. The world is shifting in that direction and it would be wise to listen up. Thanks again for all the great info and keep it up.

Thanks China Rob! Yes, totally believe the world is moving East and hoping we can all catch this trend early.

Ok, now onto today’s show – once again Shenzhen, China we have Eric Pan, the center of the Maker community in China and the world as the founder of SeeedStudio, an online shop for DIY makers – he shares his story and insights so let’s listen in…

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Please quickly introduce Eric Pan to our listeners
  • So you’re originally from Chengdu, China – how did you first come to Shenzhen?
  • SeeedStudio I have to say is a pioneer in the DIY movement. Can you share the story of how it started and formed its vision?
  • Shenzhen Makerfaire – I remember when the first one was being planned – a couple months ago we had another – wow, how many have their been now? And can you share with people the details of the Shenzhen Maker Faire?
  • So who are your main customers / community advocates? Is it in China, International? What trends do you see going forward, if any, in these segments?
  • Now for some fun stuff – what would you say is the biggest factor in your success? Try to pick 1, but if you want to discuss a couple its fine too 🙂
  • Now the more juicy one – how about what you feel is the biggest mistake or regret 😉 – we all learn by doing and making mistakes, but I think it is fun for our listeners to hear some fun stories. And I also want to use this to encourage some Chinese entrepreneurs that making mistake WILL happen, and its about getting over these mistakes that makes us succeed.
  • Thanks Eric! how can listeners reach out to you and your business? Websites, social media, etc

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

  • PRD = Pearl River Delta
  • Newsletter –
  • Makers for Makers
  • Hollywood for Hardware = Shenzhen, China
  • IBM – Where Eric Worked before
  • DIY movement – do it yourself
  • Open Source Hardware
  • Albert – Eric’s co-founder
  • HuaQiangBei – electronics market in Shenzhen
  • Shanzhai – “fake” / no brand products
  • – first makerspace (hackerspace) in Shenzhen
  • Shenzhen MakerFaire (now a top 7 maker faire in the world)
  • San Francisco MakerFaire (first maker faire)
  • Innovate with China – not copy to China or Manufactured in China anymore
  • Nepal maker groups forming (can’t find a website)
  • Egypt has its own Makerfaire
  • Success needs 3 things – timing, place, people (team) / ethic
  • Find something you like and isn’t too difficult (the timing may be too late)
  • Dealing with management and finance as you grow and scale
  • Eric’s Hobbies – biking, diving, surfing
  • Eric’s business website –

Episode Length 22:31

Thanks Eric for sharing – his English is better than mine I think! Haha, really I believe being in Asia all these years I have “dumbed down” my English skills to Chinglish so more people can understand – hope that doesn’t show on these podcasts! I’m working on getting Paypal Hong Kong on the podcast, I met one of the managers in Hong Kong recently to explain what the show is about and why it would be good to get them on the show – still pending an answer – but that will be amazing.

I’m also open to feedback and suggestions you guys have. We have about 600 people tuning in per show – I’d love to hear from more of ya – a tweet at is a quick and easy way to – or email me mike @ – til next week – peace!

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Tags: hardware, shenzhen

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