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 Brian Hutchins, who leads the Tech Community at Massdrop. 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 stay tuned for the answers in a follow-up post.
What do you do at Massdrop?
Currently I’m wearing a few hats. I am the Head of the Tech Community, Buying Manager, and the Senior Buyer for the Tech Community.
When did you start getting into tech?
I have been interested in tech, computers, and gadgets as long as I can remember and always wanted to know what the latest and greatest items were. I definitely would consider myself an early adopter to the newest-release tech items.
What got you interested?
From what I can remember, my first “tech” item was when I was about 6 years old. For Christmas I got the original Nintendo Entertainment Console. Mine was the deluxe edition, which included the R.O.B (Robotic Operating Buddy), or “Robby the Robot,” as it was later nicknamed. Only being able to play Gyromite or Stack-up with him was kind of a drag, but I was only 6 so it was still very cool, especially for that time.
I also have fond memories of playing with Construx and building all sorts of things with them like cars, boats, trains, buildings, bridges, guns—pretty much anything we could think of. A few years later I got interested in building my own computers, car audio installations, custom setups, custom speaker boxes and racks, and RC cars.
Tell us about your battlestation setup.
I consider my battlestation at work to be pretty awesome.
I will start with the computer. MSI has provided me with a not-yet-released Aegis Gaming Desktop. It has an Intel Core i7-6700 3.4Ghz CPU, Nvidia GTX1070 8GB GPU, 16GB SDRAM, 256GB SSD, and a 1TB HD. This computer has a lot of power and does not disappoint. I have been playing CS: GO on it at the highest resolution possible and getting great frame rates and game play.
Next come the monitors. I have a total of six LG monitors in my battlestation setup. Not all of them are functional in-game, but all are very usable for my day-to-day tasks here in the office. I have two 34-inch ultrawide curved displays, two 31-inch true 4K displays, and two 29-inch ultrawide displays. All of them are running at full resolution and maximum refresh rate.
Mice/Keyboard: I have tried many different combinations of mice and keyboards, and, yes, I am one of those people who likes my keyboard and mouse to be made by the same company. I know, shame on me. Anyway, I have tried the best from Roccat, Mionix, Steelseries, MSI, Corsair, and I am patiently awaiting the release of a new keyboard and mouse from a company that has not been in the keyboard and mouse business for some time now. I am currently using the MSI Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Browns and the DS200 laser mouse, which has a decent enough sensor in it, but its overall performance is average at best. I just love the shape, feel, and button configuration of this mouse. I told MSI to make this mouse but to throw a PMW3360 optical sensor in and call it a day.
Gaming Headset: Again, I have pretty much tried them all. I am currently torn between the Creative Labs H7 and the Steelseries Siberia 800. The wireless portion of the Siberia 800 setup is obviously awesome and it does not have any lag. However, I find the Creative Labs to be more comfortable, and it has better sound quality and range.
Speakers: Check out my profile photo and tell me what you think! Yes, this is a teaser of something great to come!
Seating: I currently am using a DXRacer Iron series chair. I use it for 8 to 10 hours a day, five days a week, and I love it!
Do you have something similar at home?
I have not had a good battlestation at home for some time now. I have moved a lot over the last 5 years, got married 2 years ago, and had a daughter 6 months ago, so you know . . . priorities. However I have managed to hold on to a few items, like two 27-inch 1440p displays and a 17-inch Sony laptop with a Core I7 processor. Nothing special about it, but it does run pretty well.
What did you do before working at Massdrop?
I have worked in retail and purchasing my entire career. Twenty-plus years at this point. I started out in sales at the young age of 15 and never looked back. I have worked for Best Buy, CompUSA, MicroCenter, Fry’s Electronics, Walmart, and RadioShack. I have gained a lot of experience along the way, which has led me here to Massdrop.
Tech comprises a lot of different gadgets and areas of focus. Which one gets you most excited?
I think what gets me most excited about technology in general is where it will lead us next. How it will improve our lives, or save more lives. How it will continue to improve and benefit humanity, how it will assist in curing diseases, helping the blind to see, or the deaf to hear, or the disabled to move. So many advances in these areas have happened over the last 5, 10, 20 years, and I am excited to see what is going to happen in the future.
Don't get me wrong, all the gadgets you see coming out every day on Kickstarter or Indiegogo are cool and they do get my techy heart beating, too. I am always checking to see what's up-and-coming. I am currently interested in home automation, smart home devices, smart LED lighting, and video surveillance.
What is your favorite part about working here?
That’s a hard question to answer, as there are so many great things about Massdrop. First, the people I work with every day are amazing! I have the pleasure of working with some of the most enthusiastic, creative, knowledgeable people that I have ever come across in the workplace. There is a great team environment here at Massdrop and everyone works together. The absolute best part about working here is bringing enthusiast-based products to a group of people who appreciate them. I know I love tech products as much as our community does, so it’s great to see them get behind certain products or get excited to see things they’ve been waiting on.
Bonus question: You grew up in Texas. What’s one thing about Texas most people don’t know?
Everywhere I have lived, when people find out I am from Texas they will immediately ask me, “Oh so you have horses and cows?” Or, “If you’re from Texas where is your cowboy hat and boots?” While I do have a cowboy hat and a pair of boots in the closet, I do not wear them every day. Also, not everyone in Texas has horses or cows in their backyard.
I will say that, having lived outside of Texas for some time now, Texans are the most friendly, courteous, polite, respectful people you will come across. In Texas it is very common to say hello, wave, or smile to people you may not know. And believe it or not they will say hello, wave, or smile back at you! Texans will say “please” and “thank you,” as well as “yes sir” or “yes ma’am” and “no sir” or “no ma’am” regardless of a person's age. I think common courtesy and respect for others is important, and I do my best not to forget how I was raised.
Want to know more? Leave your questions for Brian in the comment section—or just drop a quick “Hello!”