Entrepreneur: Lucas Matheson
Business name: Pinshape
Years in business: 1
In terms of "technologies that are changing the world," 3D printing is pretty high on the list. Media outlets and business professionals have waxed poetic about all the ways 3D printers will revolutionize nearly every industry, but as with all relatively new technologies, it hasn't quite become ubiquitous among consumers yet.
Online marketplace Pinshape is aiming to change that by bringing 3D-printed products into the mainstream. Dubbed "the iTunes of 3D printing" by its founding team, this tech startup is focused on helping 3D print designers share and sell 3D models. It also aims to create a community platform for people to explore, customize, download and order 3D-printed products in a variety of materials.
In an email interview with Business News Daily, Pinshape co-founder and CEO Lucas Matheson discussed the 3D printing industry, and what tech entrepreneurs need to know to succeed. [5 Ways 3D Printing Is Changing Small Business]
Business News Daily: What problem were you hoping to solve when you started your business?
Lucas Matheson: Without great products to print, 3D printing isn't exciting. We're laser-focused on talent and helping exceptional 3D print artists access a market to find work, sell and share their designs, and ultimately inspire the next industrial revolution.
BND: Could your business have existed 20 years ago?
L.M.: Only on "Star Trek." We're now seeing an inflection point with 3D printing where a number of technology solutions are ready for consumers and exponentially growing. We have better, faster and cheaper printers, significant advancements in materials, and software that people can use.
BND: What technologies have been the greatest help to your business?
L.M.: The advancements in 3D printers and the chemistry in materials have propelled this industry forward considerably over the past few years. Speed and reliability in printers are improving drastically and helping consumers access this technology. Access to 3D software is also supporting this industry and helping designers around the world create great products more easily.
BND: What technology can't you live without?
L.M.: Access to my music collection and great quality headphones! I love music and spend a few hours a day listening to fresh tunes. I love exploring new sounds and artists on SoundCloud and rarely listen to music/songs more than once. There's just too much to explore.
BND: If you could hire one extra employee right now, what would you have that person do?
L.M.: We're actively seeking super-talented Ruby on Rails developers. As a startup, we need exceptional developers that can get it done. This will help speed up our priority list and bring value to our designers and customers faster.
BND: What technology do you wish existed that doesn't?
L.M.: Clean-energy reactor. I worked in the energy sector and saw firsthand how coal and natural gas power plants work. It's archaic and harmful to the earth. I wish we had a better large-scale solution for power.
BND: Where do you see technology in your industry going over the next three to five years?
L.M.: One of the biggest advancements and opportunities in 3D printing is mass customization of products. 3D printing is going to enable hundreds of millions of people to start customizing and personalizing the physical products in our lives. The next generation of consumers will demand the opportunity to contribute to the design process, and 3D printing is going to make this possible. In terms of pure technology, we're going to see exponential advancements in 3D printers and materials. Think speed, cost and quality. Can't wait!
BND: What are the most valuable nontech skills a tech entrepreneur needs?
L.M.: Discipline and hard work. Starting a technology company isn't easy. Lots of distractions. We try to stay focused on our priorities and use a number of tools to help us stay disciplined and fulfill our responsibilities to the company and the team. Passion [is] the secret sauce. Entrepreneurs with passion are obvious. They move mountains to get things done.
Originally published on Business News Daily.