Massdrop Profile: Meet Alex Peterkin!

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Our Massdrop Profile series introduces you to the people behind the communities you love. They’re responsible for sourcing products, communicating with members, and making our site an awesome place to hang out. You might recognize them from Discussions you follow—they’re the smiling avatars next to those tiny Massdrop logos—and now you can get to know the personalities behind the handles.
This time, we’re talking to Massdrop Renaissance man, Alex Peterkin. First, we’ll let you read a little about his background and passions. Then, we’ll turn the mic over for a community Q&A. Submit your questions in the comment section, and he'll answer them as soon as he can.
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What do you do at Massdrop?
I’ve done a little of everything since I got here, but currently I’m part of a small group focusing on growing and developing the new Talk platform. Aside from that, I silently watch over a lot of the discussions like Big Brother in case they get out of hand. Oh, and I also make sure to test any product I can get my hands on. And other things, but they’re not as fun.
What excites you most about the new Talk platform?
One of my favorite things about Massdrop (and life in general) is watching really passionate and knowledgeable people having a great conversation (or debate) about something. Up till now, this has been limited mostly to things you can buy, so I’m excited to participate in some discussions that don’t have to be as constrained.
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Which posts have you really enjoyed reading and would like to see more of?
Hmm, I’ve read a lot of good posts, but my favorites usually revolve around how to improve something. I especially enjoy watching people work together to either come up with a new idea or make an existing one better. I see it a lot in the IC threads for new keycaps or community members coming up with new keyboard ideas. Probably has something to do with the fact that both my parents were engineers, so building/fixing/breaking things is my favorite.
You used to help the mech keys buying team. What got you interested in mechanical keyboards—a forum, a product, a friend, a family member, a magazine?
I actually made a post about this, but the TL;DR is that I grew up with them. As a toddler we had an IBM Selectric II typewriter and IBM Model M buckling-spring keyboard that I loved banging around on. In high school, my keyboard broke down during a LAN and I found the Model M in the closet. It was a PS2 model, so I gave it a shot and rediscovered my love for the click clack. I used that for a few years until I got roommates who were probably on the brink of smothering me in my sleep, so I got a DAS Pro with Browns, which held me over until I started working at Massdrop.
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Tell us about some of your favorite boards and what you love about them.
I’m usually terrible at favorites for a number of reasons, but my Leopold FC660C is my life partner through better and worse. Though I’m basically a large child, so I love trying new and different things. I’ve been lucky enough to play with a ton of 60%, 40%, TKL, full-size, ergonomic, and everything in between, so I’ll keep the list short and pick a few that stand out for different reasons:
Ergodox, Yoda, Planck, and HHKB. I also love seeing people’s yet-unnamed customs.
Outside of mech keys, which communities are you most interested in and why?
Probably whichever one showed me something cool most recently. I go through phases of obsession, and so far I’ve joined drops in Mech Keys, Tech, Audiophile, EDC, Hobby Shop, Men’s Style, and Auto. Mostly because I thought there was something really cool or unique. Sometimes the people around me are so passionate about it that I can’t help but get caught up in the excitement.
What did you do before working at Massdrop?
I’ve been just a smidge indecisive in my life, so I was finishing up school and working IT for the Shiley Eye Institute at UCSD. I got my B.S. in Biochemistry/Chemistry and moved back home without much of a plan.
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What’s your favorite thing about working here?
One hundred percent, the people, whether it’s the ones in the office or the ones abroad. I’m not the kind of guy who strikes up conversations while standing in line at the deli, but for whatever reason I love interacting online.
If it were up to you, which community would you bring to Massdrop next?
Hmm, for my own interest, probably DIY electronic stuff or something similar. I love wasting my time building out completely unnecessary electronics projects around the house. Maybe someday I’ll make a useful one like I see people online making.
Let’s say humanity discovers a real Fountain of Youth. Where do you see yourself 1,000 years from now?
I can barely guess what I’ll be doing this weekend so 1,000 years is tough. Assuming I haven’t gone full Yoda, I hope I would have mastered a lot of skills and languages. If interstellar travel is a thing I’d be all about it. Maybe a professional Holophonor player.
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Want to know more? Leave your questions for Alex in the comment section—or just drop a quick “Hello!”
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TheSkeleton
2979
Dec 8, 2017
main reason I stayed on the site and started writing discussions.
I miss this glorious man.
Makami
4172
Dec 7, 2017
Yep, seems all the folks from MD that made MD a great place for ME leave after a while or have become so quiet. There had been a lot more interaction here, not talking about Slack, which isn't public.
Sad face
Here are some outtakes for you guys :)
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this dude, is one of my favorite dudes of all time.
a true real life friend <3
now if you only grow and epic beard, id be so proud.
Alex, your photo as the ultimate Massdrop Enthusiast is pretty incredible.
To answer the question on everyone's mind: yes. I immediately went and got a haircut after these pictures.
Makami
4172
Jun 28, 2016
I havn't had that question on my mind, being your age my hair must have been close to my butt. But well, different times, different styles i guess and honestly women like well "cut" humour and personality a lot more than nicely cut hair.
Ok, i shut up now and leave :)
I mean I pretty much love Alex sooo :) Yea
Data
2004
Data
Jun 27, 2016
+1 for holophonor.
Jedi
880
Jun 26, 2016
I see Massdrop growing up and changing from the days when this whole show was starting. I've also met a lot of great friends. I know Massdrop is a business, I also know that Massdrop still has that element of fun surprise. What Alex does and the community of Massdrop employees do is something totally unique. And that is to choose to run a drop on interestingly different yet useful things. Massdrop's site is more than just a B2B commerce site and more than a discounter site. Alex and the people at Massdrop put together a site that carries our interests. The team actually thinks about our hobbies (and those we didn't even know we wanted) and puts a tremendous amount of time and logistics to work (sometimes we get it right, sometimes we learn from what didn't) and adds to that a discussion and a mix of excitement every time "it" happens. The one thing I know is that Alex cares (and probably like the rest of them overthinks things way too much). I definitely appreciate the team at Massdrop and care more that we care about each other because it shows we do care about what we are ultimately spending each month. Alex is 1OAK.
Makami
4172
Jun 24, 2016
Having had the slight believe that MD could be more than just a store like Amazon ... and might become a community for nerds, newbies and not being a meltingpoint for elitist behaviour and drama i had been really "pissed" and somehow sad when Andrew left in silence.
Clerks come and go but community members you have learned to like, when they leave, it just makes me sad, still miss you Andrew. At that time Alex showed up and took over the mk community on the outside, Kunal and Yanbo were not present at that time, maybe in the background only.
I've had quiet a bit of communication with Alex and can only say that he's a very kind and gentle friendly person to communicate with. Maybe we all have to remember from time to time, the way you talk to someone, the same way might be the answer we get!
Keep going the way you do buddy and when the time should be there to move on to new adventures don't forget to say goodbye.
I would hardly say I've been silent, especially when it comes to keyboards! Input Club has something like 5,000 keyboards in circulation now, and Alex, Kunal and Yanbo are kicking butt at Massdrop. I will make an effort to post more here for you though @Makami, I miss you too.
Makami
4172
Jun 28, 2016
To much of an honour sir. I now, that you aren't silent and quiet busy. It had been meant as the "face/voice" of MDs mk-team back then you left in silence, maybe that's somehow better explained.
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