President’s Farewell Letter

Today, January 18, 2011, is the last day of my tenure as President of Pumping Station: One, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say to the PS:One 2010 Board of Directors, PS:One members new and old, our community, our friends, and our neighbors:
Thank you.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve your community for the past year as president of the City of Chicago’s hackerspace.  Thank you for the hard work, enthusiasm, and ideas; the good, the bad, and even the crazy ones you contributed to keep us alive this past year.  In 2010 we experienced near-catastrophes, but we also experienced many more triumphs.  

2010 was an extraordinary and exhilarating year to be in the hackerspace community and at PS:One.  We contributed significant content, projects, and assistance to Notacon, Flourish, MakerFaire Detroit, MakerFaire NYC, ComiCon, and BarCamp, amongst other regional, national, and international conferences.  2010 was also the year when the outside world started taking more interest in our movement – there were stories in venues we expect: Scientific American and Make Magazine, but there were also stories in the New York Times, National Public Radio, MSN, and Forbes. The Power Racing Series, Tron Bicycle, and Christmas Decorations projects were more successful than any of us could have imagined.

As a direct result of press attention and project successes, we were approached by corporations interested in partnering with a hackerspace and we had to seriously consider what governing principles we should follow when dealing with outside influences.  I hope that we became a more focused and mature organization as a result.

2011 looks to be an even more exciting time at PS:One. In the very near future, we will be expanding (at the same location) to nearly double our current footprint, to include a classroom, a new separate machine shop, and expanded and improved electronics and arts areas.  As of this writing, we are quite literally on the edge of becoming a 501c3 organization, capable of receiving charitable donations and grants.

If you look at the northwestern wall of our space (behind the TARDIS), you’ll see the words “Just Fucking Do It” painted in red.  This sentiment epitomizes the pinnacle of hackerspace culture – the drive to take an (often crazy) idea from conception to completion. My favorite expression of this sentiment is from Apple founder Steve Jobs: “real artists ship,” meaning that you can’t be a perfectionist, you have to actually complete your work and move on to your next project. The only artists, scientists, programmers, or engineers you’ve ever heard about are the ones who completed their projects.

I look forward to seeing what amazing things you, our new Board of Directors, and I make in 2011. Go, get excited and make things!

Excitedly making things,

Sacha De’Angeli
Former President,
Pumping Station: One

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