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This week I talk with Mike Cheung, Founder of Tinkering Monkey! In this episode we talk about being a maker as a kid, design school, getting laid off, creating 1000 wooden iPad stands by hand, making connections to create signage for huge tech companies, how to balance tools versus skills and a lot more!!

Show Notes

  • 2:42- Growing up in Georgia
  • 4:01- Natural inclination towards wanting to build stuff and growing up without television
  • 6:26- Being hyper-creative versus the technical aspect of creating things
  • 7:24- Going to art school and avoiding math at all costs
  • 9:52- The dream was to work at a big firm…not to start a business
  • 11:20- Being exposed to engineers and learning how things work
  • 14:24- Internship at SmartDesign
  • 16:35- Setting up a workshop
  • 18:00- Getting laid off after the economy crash
  • 18:57- Inspiration
  • 20:53- Getting exposure because of the website design
  • 21:56- Buying a laser cutter and looking for new spaces
  • 23:45- Feeling risky going all in on Tinkering Monkey
  • 23:59- Getting past the feeling of it being really risky
  • 26:28- Making tons of iPad stands
  • 28:55- Dabbling in custom branded things
  • 30:18- Creating office signage for big tech companies
  • 32:54- Understanding branding and how to run a business
  • 34:10- Tool quality
  • 38:15- Creating content around the products
  • 40:12- “The work that we get paid well enough for is also work that we want to do”
  • 41:25- Working more hours and “changing hats” throughout the day
  • 46:53- The next year for Tinkering Monkey

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