Hi, I’m Nik Hawks.   Around Sep­tem­ber of 2020 I dis­cov­ered Heli­um after a SAR expe­ri­ence in Neva­da had me look­ing for tech­nol­o­gy to find lost paraglid­ers. As many have been, I was quick­ly enthralled and spent the rest of 2020 build­ing and deploy­ing DIY hotspots.  This was when the DIY pro­gram was still open.  It is now closed, and I’ve been buy­ing and deploy­ing man­u­fac­tured hotspots since.

I gath­ered most of what I’d learned from more or less 3 straight months of read­ing, doing, mis­tak­ing, and fix­ing Heli­um hotspot deploy­ments and wrote the Rough Guide, at first just to help friends and fam­i­ly under­stand what it was that had gripped me so hard.

It got picked up by many in the Heli­um com­mu­ni­ty as the go-to resource for fig­ur­ing out how to deploy hotspots opti­mal­ly.  I start­ed get­ting lots of emails and con­tact requests for help with deploy­ing oth­er peo­ple’s hotspots or think­ing about how to actu­al­ly use the Heli­um net­work.  I kept writ­ing more arti­cles about Heli­um as I encoun­tered and solved prob­lems, whether it was light­ning arrestors, under­stand­ing HIP 15 & 17, or what the best Heli­um anten­na was.

As Heli­um start­ed engag­ing more of my time I start­ed offer­ing con­sult­ing on Heli­um Hotspot con­sult­ing for indi­vid­u­als and larg­er entities.

At the end of 2021, the Heli­um com­mu­ni­ty vot­ed me as the “Most Valu­able Com­mu­ni­ty Mem­ber”, which was an awe­some and much appre­ci­at­ed surprise.

Ear­ly in 2022 it became clear that many oth­er com­pa­nies were going to fol­low Heli­um’s lead and seek to add token incen­tives to their projects.  While that sounds awe­some and easy, a few of them quick­ly crashed and burned.  As I looked into why they failed so quick­ly, I real­ized that many of the lessons I’d learned and inter­nal­ized through the Heli­um expe­ri­ence were not obvi­ous to an outsider.

I saw that I could help new blockchain + meat­space projects learn from the expe­ri­ence I’d lived through and learned, many times the hard way.  Toward the end of 2022 I brought on an engi­neer and an incen­tives expert who expand­ed the capa­bil­i­ties of this lit­tle com­pa­ny I’d started.

In 2023 I split off the incen­tives and mes­sag­ing busi­ness into a con­sul­tan­cy with Max Gold (Gold Hawks & Asso­ciates).  As both Heli­um and the greater DePIN space con­tin­ue to grow, our teams are stoked to lend our exper­tise to the projects we think will change the world.

Whether you’re inter­est­ed in learn­ing about a spe­cif­ic project, or you’re a founder look­ing for pro­fes­sion­al guid­ance on avoid­ing the pit­falls and max­i­miz­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ties in this new space, I’m excit­ed to help you out how­ev­er I can.

Rock on!