As the 3D printing industry grows and diversifies, the need for collaboration between different fields involved in 3D design and production becomes more pronounced. MakerOS offers this kind of solution, being a management system for 3D printing businesses that allows vendors and clients to collaborate on projects on a unified platform. With a variety of services such as sourcing, invoicing, content protection, and collaboration, it is the ultimate tool for 3D printing businesses to operate easier, become more scalable, and reach more people. Joining Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard on this episode is Founder and CEO Mike Moceri. Mike has been working in the industry since his sophomore year in college back in 2011 when he built his first machine and interned with MakerBot. Early in 2014, he moved to the “City of Makers” – Detroit – to start his own company, now a leader in the 3D printing collaboration sphere.
Listen to the podcast here:
Maker Help In The City Of Makers With Mike Moceri Of MakerOS
We’ve got an interview from Detroit from the CEO of a company there called MakerOS.
I met Mike Moceri at the 3D Print Show California in Pasadena when we were there. We didn’t mean to skip them in our video interviews, but it was such a complex process and program to talk about that I thought we needed dedicated time for it. We are finally getting to that. Let’s hear from Mike.
Mike, thank you for joining us.
Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about the genesis of MakerOS, why you started it?
MakerOS was the inspiration from my experience being a designer and a 3D printing entrepreneur. Going into the industry, I did a lot of design and contract work. However, there wasn’t any good infrastructure to facilitate my profession. I tried several different CRM systems and different ERP systems. However, nothing was best fitting this type of problem I have. Several years ago, I came to Detroit and I started building out a system in which I myself could use as a 3D printing business but I realized that this is a more powerful tool if I’m able to give it in the hands of makers and designers.
Let’s talk about that because that’s what’s a little bit different about your product. Let’s talk about the maker aspect and the designer aspect of it. We’re designers too. We honestly haven’t jumped on any content library platform. We haven’t done it because we haven’t found one that we love yet.
When you’re a designer and you’re contracting and doing work for someone, you don’t want to go towards a marketplace. In a marketplace, your work is visible and your client’s work is not protected, per se. A lot of these marketplaces will have different provisions that intellectual property is not handled in a way that your clients would like. When you deal with different CRM systems, Customer Relationship Management systems, something like Salesforce or Basecamp, there’s not a good customer portal where your customers can come in and review the work that you’re doing for them. We took an aspect of, “What would be the end-all, be-all experience for a designer to go on and work on projects for their clients? What would be the ultimate experience for those customers to log in and see their work that’s been contracted for them?” We built both types of portals, so to speak. It’s for the designer service provider and the customer of the designer service provider.
Myself as a small independent designer or small design firm, and I’m working with a client, I can create an account on your system and have a portal that is specific to each client, so they’re only seeing their projects?
That’s exactly right. When you license for instance MakerOS, you’re white labeling the platform to your business. You get a custom URL for your business. Let’s say it’d be HazzDesign.MakerOS.com. We also have the option to completely customize your URL to whatever you want it to be. You then customize that front-end portal to look like your logo, color scheme, and all of the other legal documents. That’s where your business lives and breathes. That’s where you two would be working together on that. You then provide that link, that interface to your clients to say, “Log in and register and you could see your projects in here,” or they can create projects themselves on there as well.
You mentioned Basecamp, which clients have asked us to use it for them. It’s not my favorite thing. It’s a little cumbersome. That’s what’s great about CRM systems. You have all of that email correspondence and all of the commenting back and forth all documented in one place. Is the system broader than 3D printing?
Absolutely. I’ll preface this by saying that other CRM systems are sometimes built in the sense that they try to capture all audiences. In the instance where Basecamp was created, the story behind that is that the company had a need to create their own internal project management system. Eventually, Basecamp became that product and it became great for that type of company that they work. For me, it’s similar whereas I was a 3D printing service company doing FDM and FFF printing. I needed a custom solution for that. That’s what MakerOS is. What we find too is that this type of system transcends a way not just 3D printing, but any other type of maker business. Meaning different designers, architects, and CNC shops all encompass that same type of product development pipeline, especially when you’re making physical things.
It seems like you also have the ability to deal with invoicing and other aspects of the process.
That’s right. Our perspective is that you need to create a system that’s able to tackle the application-specific issues that 3D printing is facing. For instance, if I wanted to create an invoice for Hazz Design on a project that you and I were working on together, you would send me a file either through email. I would take that file and then I’ll push it through Netfabb basic or pro on my computer. I would have to do an analysis of it and take those parameters from that file, whether it be finding out what the cubic centimeter is or finding out what the bounding box is. Take that number, run it through a spreadsheet, take the number that came out of the spreadsheet calculation, go into an accounting platform, create an invoice, email it to you, and hopefully get paid somewhere along the process.
MakerOS does all of that automatically. When you upload the files, you’re able to get automatic quotes. You’re able to get an automatic invoice and pay that, but also see the progress of your actual project itself. It doesn’t need to be necessarily just for a 3D printing application, but you could also incorporate the design aspect in that and that quoting process. We’ve been able to figure out ways to do that not just for 3D printing, but CNC machining and any other digital fabrication process in this Autoquoter that we’ve built out. Those custom invoices, you’re able to quote for design time and for any other auxiliary services that your business might offer.Get your product out to the right people by being present in the platforms they’re looking at. Click To Tweet
In your auto-quote process, it’s something set by the companies and not by the maker?
Yes. Our auto-quoting system is by far the most customizable and efficient system on the market. What we’ve been able to do is allow the service providers or the makers to go in and create individual skews. These skews can be anything from FDM printing in whatever material that you want, but you’re also able to choose the pricing methodologies and what you’re pricing on. What I mean by that is that there are many different parameters about a 3D model itself. Sometimes, people think that you can only quote by cubic volume, but there are many other things that you can pull from. What’s our secret sauce in the back end? You’re able to choose those pricing points and choose a pricing methodology.
We can choose to price by the number of minutes it takes to print?
It’s by time, bounding box, surface area, and cubic volume, and there are some other interesting things that you can quote by.
It’s going to allow you to choose the right formula for pricing your product or service and it’s not going to be limited by any one particular factor or another?
Precisely. That’s what enables it to be adaptive across different processes, whether it’s post-processing type. If you wanted to do an acetone finish or an XTC 3D, which is a lacquer that you paint on your parts and it self-levels, you could also do sanding and we can do some interesting calculations in the back end. You, as the maker, get to help adjust those algorithms. You get the right output, what you want for the pricing to be.
This is a system to manage our printing. You’re not a 3D printing service bureau and you’re just managing the process?
That is correct. When you are a service and you need a process in place, you need a management system, all you need is MakerOS. You can have your customers create projects on your system so you can manage them better and then makes your business more scalable.
Mike, you might be missing an aspect here. For instance, we don’t print for our clients, but we do the design work, the modeling side. If we were to use your system, we would want to have the pro features available to us so that we knew what they were. We could give them an accurate quote and say, “When you go to have this printed, it should cost you this. This is where we generally think it should be,” and have some of these features available but there’s no transaction on that at that point because it’s going to be printed by some other service bureau.
That’s something that we have considered in what we’re looking into the future of the platform itself. Our target at first is building this type of system for existing 3D printing providers who also provide that design element. If you’re a service that just does the design, but you also want to quote for printing and if you don’t have the machines there, you could certainly link up with a vendor. We do have vendor accounts. If Hazz Design wanted a contract with another 3D printing firm, you could have them as a vendor under your account. They can go in and see the projects. You can port all the files to them that they would need to print. That goes the same with any subcontractors that you might have.
You could have a partnership already going on, but it’s still all hidden under you with the client relationship.
That’s where we get to talk a little bit about the supply chain. Within MakerOS, the vision is being able to have a designer link with a manufacturer, but also with a prototyping house and whomever else might be involved within the creation of the product that you’re designing. The life of the product itself lives within the project and that project is shareable with anybody else that has a MakerOS account.
That’s going to be an interesting model going forward. There are some systems in which there are designers who might have both, and I’m going to call it an open line because that’s what we call it in retail. Let’s say I have a set of designs that are open to any of a handful of clients. I maybe have ten clients who use them and those designs are able to print on demand and use it at their facility. They’re able to show their clients like a collection and print them. That would be one set of clients. I do private exclusive client work. Is there an ability to have both systems within MakerOS and be able to be manageable on my end?
Yes. Within the project itself, you can invite anybody to have participation within that product itself or within that project. You could also have private projects with a specific type of people that are involved in that. You can have more of a public project that people can contribute to and/or make payments, but you’d also have that in a private sense as well.
Let’s talk a little bit about the protection side. With engineers and designers working on exclusive and new content, a lot of times, there’s intellectual property involved in that, either of a design or of a utility aspect of a product. We always get nervous about working with outside systems. What can you tell us about the steps you’re taking to protect or secure that intellectual property?
From my experience as a product developer and contracting with hundreds of different clients, a lot of the time, what comes up from the designer’s perspective is somebody gives you an NDA. Sometimes, NDAs are scary. They could either limit how you store the files and what you’re able to do in the project, and the client doesn’t totally understand the NDA. At the end of the day, what they care about is that their files are, one, safe and two, their actual IP and their idea are safe. With the MakerOS system, the first provision that you see in any of our user license agreements or service agreements is the provision about how confidential information and intellectual property is treated. The way that we handle that is the uploader or whoever is doing in contract with someone is the property owner of those files.
What we do with MakerOS is that we have a highly encrypted system that’s a military-grade type of protection, but the way that the files are handled and the way that we handle them internally is all the property and the ownership of whoever you’re contracting with. Let’s say that someone goes to HazzDesign.MakerOS.com, goes on to your system, creates a project and uploads a file, that’s their property. When you create a project for them and you are in contract with them, however your contract agreement is, then your customer is the owner of that. There’s no confusion about who owns the project, who owns the files, etc. What we want it to do is create that sense of privacy, sense of ownership, and sense of security to all of the users involved.
From a designer’s perspective, we are not big on NDAs, but that’s beside the point. We do have confidentiality clauses in all of our contracts, but we don’t treat them like NDA because it doesn’t quite work that way. We’re careful with their IP and we have specifics about how that happens, but nothing transfers to our clients until we’re paid in full. That’s a sticky area when you’re working on a project on how accessible the files are. That’s the thing in Basecamp. The minute you post up an image, it’s theirs and they’ve taken it.
That’s the thing too with MakerOS. You get to choose the visibility on any of the files and the viewability. If you and Tom want files to be private just for internal review, you can post them up there and not have your clients see them. Also, you can change within the service agreement between you and your clients what happens upon upload of your files, etc. You have total control over that process.
That was one of the systems we reviewed. The one in Australia by Bobby Lin, there was an interesting aspect to it which was appealing from a designer standpoint who is in process and sometimes doesn’t always get paid on time. It’s a big issue from a designer standpoint, especially ours because a project can be $30,000 or more, and it takes months. You have faced payments on top of it. The idea of not being able to allow any downloads to happen, any removals of the files, or no actual physical access to the file itself until the payment is paid in full was a feature that was on his site.
We have a little bit more level of control on your end too. If you’re the admin, you get to choose who sees it, when they see it, and you can choose to hide, make them viewable, etc. on there.
They may be able to see it, but they can’t access it.
You can do both. You can make it viewable and not downloadable. You can also make it downloadable and not viewable. You get to choose how the client interacts with the files.
Depending on the client and the situation, especially on where in the world the client is because we’ve had situations with clients in other countries. We didn’t want them to be able to get at parts of it until they paid us. That makes perfect sense. It sounds like you’ve built quite a robust system that’s highly customizable, which would be appealing to a lot of people.
It’s good enough that I use it. I use it not just for 3D printing businesses, but also for my consultancy where I advise startups. I’d still do on the side design work once in a while. I use the system itself and I use it in both of those scenarios that you had mentioned. If you’re working with large clients and they need a certain level of professional appeal to you, you’re able to have that level of sophistication. In terms of clients that are spotty and they’re not paying you on time, then you’re able to have that level of control as well. You’re also able to create those invoices that have different payment terms. You could split payments to multiple payment options. It’s nice and flexible.
I’m glad to hear that you’re not just the founder and CEO of this company, but you’re a user and a customer of it. That is a rare occurrence in this day and age. We’ve had a few and you can tell the difference. Their products are better. You could tell when somebody’s the CEO of a company and they don’t use the product. They’re not users. They get prepped on the information. I’m sure you didn’t code the whole site. You certainly managed the requirements and criteria from a user perspective. Honestly, that usually makes a better product.
I appreciate that. When you’re the one creating the MakerOS account, you have all these tools that enable you to grow your business, and all of a sudden, you feel like you’re a two-person operation. It feels like you’re at the controls of space shuttle because there are many things you can do with it. It’s powerful. Typically, with other systems, you’re boxed into a process that doesn’t speak to you or to your specific type of business. That’s the kind of experience that I wanted people to get as soon as they jumped into MakerOS.
I don’t know how much of this you’ll be able to share with our readers. I certainly don’t want you to divulge any proprietary information that needs to be confidential. Are you able to share how many different companies or users you have using your platform?
The number of companies, not users, could range from one person but the company also serves their clients, so they’ll have multiple clients. What we have signed up for MakerOS, I can’t say the exact number, but I can say we have companies in the thousands. We’re at that level already. Users, that’s a different story and I can’t dive into that number as well.
That’s subjective. Thousands of companies mean you’re significant. You are in business.3D printing is going to revolutionize manufacturing. Click To Tweet
I would say we’re still in that cusp of opening the floodgates. When I say opening the floodgates, that’s making it completely public where people can go on MakerOS and get up and running. Where we are is that we had a huge influx of companies signing up. As you can tell, we’ve only been announced for some time, but we have that many businesses that want to get on. What we’ve been doing is having a procedure where we take those companies and put them through a process to make sure that they’re up and running. We’re getting good user feedback and we’re making the product better. With that many companies that we have within this beta process, it only means that the product is going to be that better when we make it fully publicly available.
We have a lot of readers who are not only your potential customers who would be using this to implement in their own business, but we also have readers who are starting their own businesses in the 3D printing space. What I want to ask, because they can be useful to a lot of them even though their business may not be a competitor to yours at all, how are you marketing this service to your potential users? How are you getting the word out?
A lot of how we’re getting the word out is through trade shows and a lot of PR. I have an interesting philosophy about growth hacking and getting your product out there to the right people and how. The best way to do that is to build a good contact list of press and being able to get the word through the different channels where your customers are looking. If you’re a 3D printing service and your specific market you’re catering to is automotive, then you want to contact somebody at an automotive design magazine or automotive design blog. You give them a snippet of how your service is unique and the types of services that you offer.
Maybe it’s something cool that you did. Maybe you did something that wasn’t directly for a client but you 3D printed a part for a Model T that was interesting. By doing that, by getting your name out there, people are going to see that your potential clients are enticed into the cool thing that you did. They’re already on your side. They’re already sold at that point. For what we have done, we’ve been covered by Xconomy, DBusiness Magazines, and a whole bunch of other 3D printing blogs and news sites. In total, we have over twenty, maybe even more that I know, news stories about us, specific within the 3D printing industry.
I haven’t turned on the faucet yet when it comes down to the other tech blogs like TechCrunch, Gizmodo, etc, specifically because I want to hone in and target my customers which are 3D printing design firms. People are offering that as a service. Until we grow a little bit more, then it’s appropriate to go for a broader audience. I always tell the companies that I advise, even myself, that you want to throw a focused smaller net than a large net with bigger holes. You’re able to find the particular type of fish that you want to get and then you throw that type of net to catch those fish instead of the wrong net for the wrong fish.
That sounds like some significant words to the wise for anybody thinking of starting their own business in this space. Define who your customer is and don’t take that shotgun approach. Focus on your potential market. We’re finding that because we’ve been doing the rounds around various trade shows on the West Coast. It’s a lot of the same people and the same companies frequenting. In your case, it makes more sense that you’re going the trade show route in that particular case because you are talking to those same people.
You maybe don’t want to hit the whole West Coast all at once and do one show after another, but you want to hit the key one, the best one, which is where we met you at. We met you at the 3D Print Show California. We didn’t have a lot of time to do an interview that I thought was good enough because there was so much detail here. We decided to separate you out. Not to say that we weren’t snubbing you. We were just trying to move you to a time in which we could cover your topic because it’s important.
It’s more of a complex topic. You’re talking about business. You have to have that business mindset to appreciate the level of this system, where this is definitely not a consumer-facing product. This is meant for the people who want to grow a business, start a business, and scale their existing business. To me, that is the biggest issue facing the 3D printing industry. More focused on the FDM/FFF market is the scalability factor because of these issues that these service provider businesses have. Whereas if you provide the solution and make these businesses easier to operate and more scalable, then they’re going to be able to reach more people. 3D printing is going to be more proliferated and more people are going to benefit from it.
It sounds like an important resource the companies involved in the 3D print economy should know about and consider. You mentioned something that I want to make sure we hit before we close. You’re in the Detroit area and it’s like a little hidden gem for 3D printing. Tell us about that.
I call Detroit the city of makers. People used to call it the arsenal of democracy. You have all these different nicknames. It’s been an epicenter of culture, science, and technology. However, in the last years, one of the only things that you’ve been hearing about the city itself are negatives either about crime, poverty, or bankruptcy. However, the story now is about these different startups popping up through the city because it’s perfect for that maker culture. It’s makers who are coming here starting businesses that are turning the city around. It’s interesting to see. Instead of one big thing that’s changing the city, it’s 1,000 smaller and medium-sized things that are bringing this city up.
3D printing has been playing a big role in the revitalization of the manufacturing industry. This is what people have been talking about for the past years. “3D printing is going to revolutionize manufacturing. Everybody’s going to start using it.” We haven’t seen it yet in the public, but I have right in my backyard here in Detroit. Every single machine shop I’ve been to, a product design firm is using 3D printing at some capacity. They’re good at it, too. We have the largest distributor for FDM printers here in our own backyard in Southfield, Michigan. We also have outlet offices from Autodesk, i.materialise, Stratasys, and 3D Systems.
You have support too.
The industry lives here in a big way that most people don’t realize. There are huge clients for this type of service and technology out here.
We have an episode about a company in Ohio and Ohio being close to Michigan. They’re also having a surgence of startups in Dayton, Ohio. They’re seeing that as well, so it’s starting to cascade out of Detroit, which is fantastic.
A lot of the times that you think about what we call the Rust Belt, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago are included in this whole region, as the old manufacturing epicenter of America and that had a huge decline in population and workforce because typical manufacturing jobs have gone elsewhere. What hasn’t necessarily left is the talents of engineering and design. When you have engineering designers that are able to have tools at their disposal like CAD, but now 3D printing, you’re starting to see a lot more hardware-based startups and services coming out of these regions. You have the people who have the demand, which is the product development companies and you have the other people that have the supply, which is the 3D printing services. They work together and they grow together. We’re seeing more of that, which is amazing. Not just for the 3D printing industry, but for American manufacturing in general.
Our audience, and I’m sure you too because we just met, probably don’t know this but my first job was in automotive textiles. I was based out of South Carolina. That was my first job out of college and I went to Detroit about a couple of times a month a lot. This is the early ‘90s. I was shocked at how it was culturally diverse and interesting. The museums and all the great level of intellect and artistic sensibility that went on in the Detroit area because it got such a bad rap even back then. They miss out on the level of professional design, engineering, and all of that that was there all along.
It’s definitely a sleeping giant. When you think of Detroit business, a lot of the times, you think of the big three automotive companies, but if you come into my neighborhood, we’re right in this building called TechTown Detroit. It’s a collection of all these different tech companies and service-based companies. It’s jaw-dropping of the amount of talent that comes through here. The building that we’re in is a historic automotive building. It’s the first building where they started manufacturing and designing the Corvette. The building itself was built in 1927. It was the GM Manufacturing Design Center. On the floor that we’re on is right where the engineering was going on. One of the cool things we did was 3D printed a 1954 Chevy Corvette in tribute to this building. You’re taking what made America great, which is the manufacturing and the automobile. That era has passed, but now we’re doing this big tech boom. We’re right here doing that and that feels amazing.
We’re showing a little bit of car geekiness here, which happens on occasion. Mike, this has been enlightening in many ways. It’s great to see out there that there are many things that we believe strongly here on WTFFF?!. We talk about every day with everyone we meet about the future of 3D printing transforming local manufacturing and industries. The reality is it depends on a robust design economy, and that design economy needs support. It’s wonderful to see that you’re starting to build that wonderful support that we need to be the professionals that are required to continue the services in the top-level method.
With a system like MakerOS, you’re able to execute more efficiently. One of my favorite sayings is, “An idea without execution is hallucination.” MakerOS is the cure for any hallucination to make sure that you execute.
What we would tend to say, “Without execution, it’s stuck in permanent potential,” is another way to say it. We’re all about tactics. That’s our business. Our Hazz Design specialty in our particular business is the fact that we get it done and we get it done fast and successfully. We have a high hit ratio. The only reason you can be better than most people is because you’re targeted in what you’re designing, to begin with and you tactically know what to do to get it done and get it done fast.
Time and time again, when we have different client’s stories, we always hear that they’re either becoming more efficient within their process. Their customers are getting their products done faster and get paid faster as well. It’s about speed and efficiency right here.
Thank you again, Mike. We appreciate it. We’re going to do a product review follow up at some point and we’ll arrange that with you.
Thank you for having me.
Tracy, I was not sure what to expect from this interview and this company’s service. Even from looking at their website, I wasn’t sure how much things would be for everybody.
I thought it was going to be like 3DPrinterOS.
I thought it might have been another 3DPrinterOS but in fact, it’s not at all. It’s a completely different system.
It’s a bit of a 3DPrinterOS. It’s a hybrid between Bobby Lin’s system and 3DPrinterOS. It’s a little bit of both.
Bobby Lin was MyLocal3DPrinting for those of you that don’t remember. That’s an earlier WTFFF?! episode.
It’s a little combination. I love the maker edge to it. I love the designer’s edge. I don’t love the MakerOS name because this is a rich design professional tool.
MakerOS seems like local, small-time craftspeople.Detroit is the city of makers. The 3D printing industry practically lives there. Click To Tweet
This is probably a more serious client interface than that. I’m anxious to try it. We should try it.
The other thing that’s different about it is it’s truly a business to business platform. You have a design business and engineering business, and you’re going to extend these services to your clients. You have a whole customer interface you can manage and control and it looks like it’s your company. They’re behind the scenes. It’s like the ghost people that are supporting you.
He’s right. The genesis of how he came about this is you go out there as a designer and you do have to use these systems. We were required by a client to use Basecamp, but I hated it. The whole system was like, “Let’s put email online because that’s how everybody used it.” It didn’t do anything. Nobody even read the calendar or the to-do list. There was no one responsible for managing that. I used it for our clients but it’s a way to transfer files, have the email correspondence go back and forth in the same place, and not have various emails with different titles going on. That’s the only thing that it’s simplified for us. It’s done nothing else.
It puts a lot of stuff in one place. I don’t think it’s particularly the most secure. It certainly doesn’t let you change the appearance of it to look like it’s your company, which this does. You can customize this and they go to your URL to get to it.
There are many great growth things from a design professional that you don’t realize you’re going to need unless you’ve done this for years with clients and you’ve had to develop your own systems for doing things, which we all have. It’s nice to have someone who’s already pre-built this and has the 3D printing part incorporated in it. I don’t know about the whole quoting side of it. We’ll have to test that out, try it, and see how that works.
That’ll be in a future episode. We’re going to do a deeper dive and use it ourselves and do a review on it.
The cost of it seems pricey, but it’s not as pricey when you compare it against professional CRM systems because those are serious systems.
The amount of time you would pay an administrative assistant to do all these things manually and keep track of them for you.
You have to look at it from that perspective a little bit differently. It seems pricey because Basecamp is $50 or something a month, so it’s cheap, but you get limited features for $50. You can’t compare those two things for what you’re getting and what you’re doing.
I wouldn’t compare it to that. To me, the way that you can control putting a file up there, an image of a file or an actual file and share it with a client, show them what aspects that they need to see or don’t see. You have all the control. That’s exciting. To me, some of the most exciting parts of this interview were learning about what’s going on in Detroit.
Who knew? I feel out of it here. We are supposed to be in touch with what’s going on. We got Ohio popping up and Detroit popping up with these huge pockets of 3D printing professionals. That’s fantastic. Canada, that’s another.
It shows you how universal the appeal and the interest in the benefits of 3D printing are, as we’ve believed they are, that this is going to change manufacturing in the United States fundamentally. We’re just seeing it because we’re seeing it everywhere.
My favorite phrase and I want to reiterate is, “An idea without execution is hallucination.” As we say, permanent potential, tactics. I’m going to talk about makers making profits at SoCal MakerCon. It is a glorified hobby. If you’re not making money doing this and you’re not tactically executing it and putting it into practice, why are you doing it? You’ve got to think through that.
There’s nothing wrong with having a hobby. There’s nothing wrong with kids and students learning.
What I’m saying to you is that dabbling. Throwing your content up there and charging $0.99 for it and expecting it to download and do something. It’s not going to happen. As you pointed out when you asked him the question about marketing, you must work hard to get the message out about your product and you must execute on every level. We talk about this all the time at Mentors2Inventors, our sister site. That tactical execution is what ends up a missing link for a lot of makers and investors. A lot of designers, in general, have trouble with this.
They think, “I’m talented at making my product,” or whatever I’m making. They think they know what to charge for it. All too often, they charge much too little and they are not making much, if any money, at the end of the day. A system like this is going to help you keep everything in order. When you go through their cost formulas, you understand. It can be time-based, volume-based, and all these different things. You start looking at things that way different than just, “That’s a pretty object and other things in the market cost $20 for that. I guess that’s what I should charge.” That has nothing to do with what you should charge as a maker.
It doesn’t create a sustainable business model. I’m not saying that we don’t have readers out there who are not starting and all of that, but the future is you’re going to invest all of your time and energy into something whether you’re a student or not. The hope is that you’re going to participate in that economy someday.
That’s why companies like Polar3D are giving discounted printers for students. They want everybody to learn. They grow up and become future customers who are doing it in business.
I’m all for learning 3D printing in any capacity. You have to learn 3D design. The ultimate goal is that this has to become an economy for all. That starts with the design economy. It moves into the 3D printing economy itself and it rotates into a retail economy.
As we have often said on this show, it’s got to make money for everybody if it’s going to be real and it’s going to make it.
From our perspective, the reason we haven’t dived in is because it’s not making money for designers. If this gives you capacity at a professional level at which to do that, then MakerOS might be ideal for you.
It’s exciting and impressive.An idea without execution is a hallucination. Execute more efficiently with MakerOS. Click To Tweet
There’s a lot of changes to report here.
A little housekeeping. If you go to HazzDesign.com where we’ve always had our podcast, you’ll see a little link down the bottom of the homepage. It’s not on HazzDesign.com anymore. We decided the podcast is getting big, so it needed its location and its own attention. You can find it either at WTFFFPodcast.com or 3DStartPoint.com, which is our emerging, growing resource authority site around all things 3D.
Give me a little time and it’s going to get a lot more content and product reviews. It’s going to give us a chance to grow and address a lot of those things that you have all asked us to do. We will be getting back to our Ask Us Anything.
Please email us with a question at Info@HazzDesign.com is still where we can do that. There are many ways to reach us, go to the website and however you’d like to on social media everywhere at @HazzDesign.
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