Moore's Lobby Podcast

Ep. 23 | Arduino Co-founder Massimo Banzi on How Arduino Took the World by Storm

Episode #23 / 52:48 / April 29, 2021 by Dave Finch
Episode Sponsors: CUI Inc.STMicroelectronics

There's no question you've heard of Arduino. But this episode will make you think twice about who uses the Arduino platform and why.

For some, it's a prototyping tool. For others, it's a gateway to freedom of expression. 

It's been a powerful tool for STEM education, an object of scorn, and the hardware platform that's launched a thousand Kickstarters.

But no matter what your expectations are, Arduino will surprise you in 2021.

Hear all about the origins of Arduino as an exercise in usability and open-source philosophy. Learn how Arduino transformed the maker movement and vice versa. And listen in as the co-founder of one of the most popular hardware platforms on Earth talks about the beauty and backlash of making hardware simple enough for all.

This episode has a wealth of insights about the nature of creativity in design, but it also has several excellent quotes from Massimo Banzi, including:

  • “So I showed up with a bunch of potatoes and lemons…”
  • "When they looked at Arduino, they said, 'What the hell is this thing?'"
  • ", as a developer, were expected to be a professional. So you were supposed to suffer a little bit, you know?"
  • "The world is full of grumpy engineers."

and, of course,

  • "Baby talk for potheads."


A Big Thank You to This Episode's Sponsors



Meet Massimo Banzi

Massimo Banzi is the co-founder of Arduino, one of the most popular hardware platforms in history. He is an electrical engineer and educator, as well as a self-described open-source advocate.

An important part of Massimo's career is his background in interaction design, which has provided him formal training on how to make hardware accessible to everyone. 



Banzi has been a professor at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, the Domus Academy, and the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. He's also co-founded two FabLabs—digital fabrication labs—in his home country of Italy.

In addition to his work with Arduino, Massimo has served as a consultant for brands like Prada, Whirlpool, and Adidas.

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    frankr April 30, 2021

    I used the Arduino Nano for several years while working in an industrial lab.  One day the official Arduino bootloader got updated and stopped working.  A quick search led me to Hernando Barragán’s bootloader, which worked perfectly.  His libraries were great and the GUI had less quirks.  At the time I didn’t know why it was so much like Arduino but without the name.  Now when I hear Arduino, I think of Barragán’s student project.

    Like. Reply
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      DanielETEC May 31, 2021
      Yes, even though the code was open, in the US anyway I think it would be. viewed as extremely unethical to pirate a student’s project and essentially work to creat a world wide industry. based on it while cutting out the student. The story is very strange, have you read “the untold history of arduino”?
      Like. Reply
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    DanielETEC May 31, 2021