Entrepreneur, You Need a Manifesto | MakerBot's Bre Pettis

Bre Pettis, founder of MakerBot, a pioneer in consumer 3D printing, is interested in everything. So how does he get anything done? 

"The decisions made when you’re making a company are hard. And it’s much easier to live with them if you’ve made your own spiritual guidelines for how you’re going to live your company."— Bre Pettis, MakerBot

Bre Pettis, founder of MakerBot, a pioneer in consumer 3D printing, is interested in everything. He sees the world as an endless series of problems begging for creative solutions. Over the course of his career thus far, his curious brain has led him to puppetry, teaching, and ultimately to tech entrepreneurship. 

Entrepreneurs as a class tend to be creative and multivalent. In other words: all over the place. In order to harness their energies and accomplish something great, Pettis argues (from his own experience), they need to bind themselves and their companies within a specific set of rules. Early on, Pettis’ guiding manifesto for himself and MakerBot was what he called “The Cult of Done,” the principle of seeing each project through to successful completion before moving onto the next. Sound obvious? Core values often sound deceptively simple, but they rein in tendencies (like leaving a trail of half-finished, abandoned initiatives) that over time can drag a business (and its founder) down.

Eric Paley, a managing partner of Founder Collective, a seed-stage venture capital fund, spends his professional life evaluating promising entrepreneurs and their companies. Founder Collective has an impressive track record of picking winners.

Here are his thoughts on what make Pettis and his company extraordinary: 

The Visionaries series is brought to you by Big Think in collaboration with Founder Collective. In it, we profile remarkable entrepreneurs and the ideas and practices that make them great. 

Image Credit: Thos Robinson/Getty Images

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less