How we work together at TroubleMaker.

Because clarity is the basis for a successful cooperation

People with various nationalities working together on a tech project


This page summarizes what we have learned from the first 7 years of operating TroubleMaker. It provides the guidelines of how we interact with each other and how we use the facilities to the benefit of everyone. 

Ethics play a big role in the success of TroubleMaker. Understanding this summary is essential for your participation, so it's written in a straightforward and easy to understand tone. 

We update the text on this page every time we learn from our experience or from you directly. Write your suggestions for this page in the comments section at the bottom of this page.  

Our sharing principle

At TroubleMaker, we share resources with each other. We started this concept in May 2016 and little has changed. Sharing resources is hugely beneficial for everyone if it's done right. 

Life is costly and complicated enough, even without developing a product. Building your own lab doesn't always make sense. Moreover, you miss out on the interaction with other professionals when you work in solitary. Let's share these facilities responsibly, save cost and learn from each other.

For prototyping, developing, and manufacturing your product

As a product developer, you get to use high-quality equipment at a top ranked location close to the supply chain without having to invest in real estate and without the need to purchase tools and machines.

When you ask, you receive referrals to reliable suppliers and manufacturers based on years of working experience. Much more cost effective than the trial & error method most inventors use when assessing their supply chain.

Plus, you get to enjoy feedback and mentoring from peer developers and a small army of volunteers without having to engage with self-proclaimed coaches or expensive agencies.

So, how does this work?

We have two shared labs at TroubleMaker. A machining workshop and a cleanroom for electronic and hardware prototyping. Scheduling machine time is easy. Just log into your account, select the station you want to use, and lock it down for the period you need.

You can also schedule a call with one of our team members to discuss your current challenges and have the right people introduced to you who can help you overcome your roadblocks. Be it designers, engineers, sourcing heroes, legal advisors, marketers, manufacturers, or other specialists. These people all live in China and have years of experience under their belt. 

A virtual desk, for when you are not in China (yet)

You obviously need to start and prepare your supply chain long before you arrive in China. Instead of lab access, you might need translators, negotiators, quality specialists and sourcing agents. We have them!

We can also store your samples at TroubleMaker and ship them to you as a single shipment to save hundreds of dollars while preventing damage during transportation. 

Lab safety

Your limbs, eyes, and ears are important. So, before you can operate complicated or dangerous machines, you need to pass a safety test. This test is free for members. There is no man overboard if you fail the test. We work with experienced trainers who can get you up to speed in no time. The cost per training varies per machine and you enjoy member discounts. Alternatively, you can hire a certified operator who can handle the machines for you. 


Inclusivity means way more than "everyone is welcome". It also means you can expect everyone else at our facilities, both offline and online, to respect you. This includes your privacy, your belongings, your opinion, your beliefs, your appearance, your self-identification, and your mental and physical health. 

And even though this is not always easy or straightforward in a multicultural, interconnected world, we do not tolerate disrespectful behavior. Yes, we are TroubleMakers. And yes, we sometimes are mischievous. But always in a respectful manner. It is your responsibility to make sure no one misunderstands your intentions.

Opening hours

This one is easy: Our labs are available for members 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. If you are not a member yet, you can make an appointment to come visit us. We will brew you a fresh cup of artisan pour-over coffee from our roastery in Yunnan.

Your membership

Your membership includes the use of all tools and machines -based on scheduling- and you can choose an office desk or engineering bench as your territory.

Included in all memberships:

  • 365 days per year, 24 hours per day access to the labs and office area
  • High-speed internet
  • 220V electricity, light, air conditioning
  • Unlimited coffee, tea, and water
  • Restaurant and hotel directory
  • Corporate rates for booking rooms in our 5-star level hotel
  • Personalized referrals to supply chain
  • Reception desk service
  • A shelf in our storage room
  • Translation service
  • Huaqiangbei search & pick up
  • Mastermind
  • VIP group
  • Facebook group
  • LinkedIn group
  • Bi-weekly online community meetup
  • Monthly workshops, presentations, and interviews
  • TroubleMaker newsletter & blog

Cleaning up and maintenance

We take care of scheduled maintenance of the tools, machines, and furniture, so they are always ready and safe to use. You take responsibility for cleaning up your workstation after use. And if you damaging our stuff, no harm done. Just tell us so we can follow up. You help with the repair or cover the cost. To motivate you being serious about this, we collect a deposit before your first use of the space. We return your deposit when you leave the space with a positive user track record.

So, what do you think?

Do we agree? Or would you prefer to discuss something first?

Let us know in the comments! ????