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The Art of Manufacturing podcast gives a behind-the-scenes look at how inspiring entrepreneurs who make stuff are trying to “make it” in their industries. Find it on iTunes, iHeart, Stitcher and other popular platforms. Subscribe to never miss an episode!

Apr 13, 2017

Job killer or savior? Automation and technology have definitely been changing the way we communicate, how we shop, how we date, how we get around. And it’s changing manufacturing, too. Should we be afraid? Silicon Valley has gotten a reputation of being a “disruptor” – and depending on who you are or what part of the country you live in, that term is either a compliment or an insult. This week’s guest pokes at that hornet’s nest. We visit Nick Pinkston at his startup Plethora, an automated factory right in the middle of San Francisco, and explore the potential impacts of automation on the future of jobs and manufacturing. Not everyone is fond of automation, but many will tell you it’s inevitable. And others still will argue, it’s saving production in America. As someone who grew up in Pittsburgh, Nick has his own unique perspectives—and they might not be popular with everyone. We talk about the future of manufacturing, capitalism, and education. We learn about the cost structure of his business and the guts of what it takes to make digital tools more user friendly. Also, because Nick is regarded as one of the key connectors of the hardware industry, we get his counterintuitive advice for entrepreneurs thinking about starting a hardware company.

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