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Wanna have a seat on the TroubleMaker Board?

TroubleMaker Board


Are you thinking of nominating yourself or someone else to serve on the TroubleMaker Board. That is awesome!

Before you hit that application button though, let me try to talk some sense into you with a summary of the responsibilities of the board. ????

As a board member, you will 

  • Guide the overall direction of TroubleMaker with regards to the locations and services we provide to businesses and the community.
  • Maintain a leadership role, make strategic growth decisions, and support all board members in working as a team for the collective success of TroubleMaker.

You see, being a board member comes with responsibilities and requires commitment. 

Sounds good so far? Then keep reading for the benefits.

An effective and efficient board has people with a broad range of backgrounds. They have experience and ideas that align with the TroubleMaker Vision and Mission. The board should be big enough for a good variety of skills, yet still manageable and functional. 

Now, let’s dive into the Collective Responsibilities of Board Members

(2nd try to scare you off)

These responsibilities are spread over the board members based on their individual capacity and some of the work may be delegated to employees and volunteers at the labs. 

They are:

  • Attend the Board Meetings.
    (may skip no more than 2 meetings per year).
  • Be actively involved in TroubleMaker activities and events, spending time with members at the labs.
  • Mingle with members and provide advice or help when necessary
    (including referrals, if another member or service provider is better equipped to help)
  • Negotiate with suppliers and service providers for discounts and or memberships.
  • Create and maintain good relationships with Government officials and officers both in China and outside.
  • Actively promote TroubleMaker through social media and other networks.
  • Manage the daily operation at the TroubleMaker labs.
    (keep machines serviced and in working order, overall cleanliness of the facilities, coffee and tea supplies etc.)
  • Organise events.
  • Other responsibilities that may be assigned at Board Meetings as they arise. 

Benefits of Board Membership 
  • Bragging rights on your CV.
  • Have intimate knowledge of the TroubleMaker operations, Suppliers and the Community at large.
  • Be able to influence the strategic decisions and be part of operational execution of TroubleMaker.
  • Have close contact with startups that need additional help outside of TroubleMaker.

Still here? Wow! You’re the real deal! 

So, now you want to know the process of electing the TroubleMaker board, right? 
  • Board members nominate themselves or are introduced by another person.
  • All nominees verify their willingness to serve under the conditions set out in the TroubleMaker Charter and their willingness to take on the responsibilities mentioned above.
  • Members of the TroubleMaker Community vote the first board into place. 
  • Board members serve a 2-year term and will be able to stand for re-election after completion of their term without any term restrictions.
  • Nominees should qualify to stand for election.
    This makes voting easier for Community members. The answers you enter on application form help us with the selection.
  • We make a validated list of nominees available to the community two weeks before the election date. 

But wait! There’s more!

Below is a list of additional qualifications that will rank you higher on the list (when was the last time you voted someone from the bottom of the list into congress? ????).

So, take the time to read through the text below and fill in the application form if you are one of the best Board members ever. ????

  1. You are connected to the Shenzhen -or Chinese- hardware industry for at least x years.


    People with years of experience working with the local manufacturing industry, who understand the Shenzhen/Chinese hardware ecosystem well, are the unique differentiator and value of TroubleMaker to the members and community.
  2. You have a proven passion for growth and support of the electronics, and manufacturing industry.


    This aligns with our goal to support people who want to make hardware products.
  3. You are willing to contribute at least x hours per week.


    It takes action to move stuff and taking action takes time. We are serious about making progress fast and need people on the Board who have time to support this.
  4. If you want to be a part of the Shenzhen operations team, you must be based in, or close to Shenzhen (within easy driving distance).


    People who understand the recent developments in and around Shenzhen from their personal experience are likely better able to add value than people who are not in Shenzhen. Local knowledge and networks are part of the DNA of TroubleMaker.

  5. You can show some form of professional popularity, for example on LinkedIn, or some claim to fame.


    Working with people who have a strong network and with influencers helps us grow faster.
  6. You have, or will get, an active TroubleMaker membership.


    - Sustainability. Especially important in this reboot phase

    - Paying members benefit directly from creating the services that make a TroubleMaker membership a valuable investment

    - Paying members confirm product/market fit
  7. You can demonstrate management or leadership skills. You have built, or was part of the team of a social, innovation, or hardware related organization.


    People with leadership or management experience in a comparable organisation have the skills to help TroubleMaker grow faster and are valuable mentors for members who want to grow and lead their own teams.
  8. You can demonstrate experience in raising funds. For example, Government funding, Crowdfunding, donations, etc.


    - TroubleMaker helps individuals and organizations develop new skills and products with a view to making them commercially viable.

    - TroubleMaker does not directly benefit from the success of it’s members.

    - TroubleMaker is funded is by memberships and donations, based on the principal of “Pay-It-Forward”.

  9. You can show successful Brand development or Marketing strategy experience.


    The focus of TroubleMaker is on the development of products and services. However, without a brand and story, even the greatest products could end up unused. 

Ready to apply?

Nominating someone else takes just one minute. Nominating yourself takes more time. 

Which other roles are available at TroubleMaker? 
  • Mentors prototyping & business
  • Instructors tools & machines
  • Workshop leaders
  • Lab managers
  • Location partners 

And also marketers, copywriters, designers, translators, language teachers, legal advisors, assistants, interns, sourcing professionals, and more.

About the Author

Henk started his China adventure in 2011 as an LED display consultant to corporates. In 2016, Henk co-founded TroubleMaker in Shenzhen. Since then he has received over 16,000 visitors and helped hundreds of companies of all sizes with lowering development cost and speeding up time to market.

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