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The Hardware Hacker by Andrew Huang

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Part 1adventures in manufacturing

I first set foot in China in November 2006. I had no idea what I was walking into. When I told my mother I was going to visit Shenzhen, she exclaimed, “Why are you going there? It’s just a fishing village!” She wasn’t wrong: Shenzhen was just a town of 300,000 back in 1980, but it had exploded into a megacity of 10 million in less than 30 years. Between my first visit and the time I wrote this book, Shenzhen gained an estimated 4 million people—more than the population of Los Angeles.

In a way, my understanding of manufacturing over the years has mirrored Shenzhen’s growth. Before going to China, I had never mass-produced anything. I didn’t know anything about supply chains. I had no idea what “operations and ...

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