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Nick Pinkston on Reinventing Manufacturing & Mitigating Negative Disruption

At What’s Now: San Francisco, Plethora Co-Founder Nick Pinkston discussed his sweeping vision for his company and for the future of capitalism. Pinkston, whom an audience member described as a hybrid of Karl Marx and Henry Ford, believes it’s time to move beyond capitalism, but not to overthrow the entire system.

Nick also discussed the origins and evolution of the Maker Movement, and his interpretation of how the movement has impacted American culture. His goal for Plethora is highly ambitious—”I want to push a button and all the parts for a car come out,” says Nick—yet seems entirely plausible in this hands of this fast-talking optimist.

Nick fielded questions from the audience on material science, mitigating the unintended consequences of disruption (clips below), workflow and copyright challenges in the new manufacturing model, attracting diverse talent, and balancing his socialist leanings with venture capital backing. Watch the full interview and Q&A segments here.

  • James Hampton III

    You take an idea in someone’s brain and bring it at scale to
    everyone, by having the utmost respect for intellectual property rights and
    showing genuine empathy for the physical form of the person whose skull holds
    the brain where you find the idea. If Plethora learns to do those two
    things, I suspect that the rest of the challenges to their “future”
    goals as hinted at in the “Reinventing Manufacturing” clip, they have
    all the resources they need to overcome.