TechCrunch recently interviewed MakerBot CEO Jonathan Jaglom to find out the latest on company restructuring and more.
There’s no doubt MakerBot has undergone some turbulence in recent years, with the departure of key management personnel, including their founder, the introduction of new products and a new CEO. There’s even been layoffs in their workforce.
Jaglom believes they’re on the right path. In the video interview, he explains that MakerBot “inevitably” was going to have problems, having expanded in an explosive manner. In fact, Jaglom says their revenue went from a mere USD$15M in 2012 to an astounding USD$115M in 2014, only two years later. Any company moving that quickly would have trouble reshaping itself for efficient operations, and especially one in the rapidly changing world of 3D printing.
Jaglom explains that MakerBot acquirer Stratasys continues to allow MakerBot to set its own direction, saying their destination is “where can he take it,” and that they can
“Do whatever you want, be as disruptive as you want”. This is good news, particularly when combined with Stratasys’ long experience with and knowledge of 3D printing.
When asked about the current state of the markets addressed by MakerBot, Jaglom explains that the “traction is slower than they believed in the consumer market”, and that “things we need to do to get there.”
Jaglom didn’t say exactly which things need working on, but he did say they’re “working on it”. We’re quite interested to see what Makerbot comes up with.
Meanwhile, they apparently have gained a lots of traction in the education traction, with 5,000 schools using MakerBot equipment. Jaglom says the word “MakerBot” has become synonymous with “3D Printing” in many quarters. We’ve noticed that as well.
They’re also working hard on the professional market, particularly with Stratasys.
Jaglom believes the company is now past the “bumpy parts” of restructuring. They’ve identified what was wrong, created a roadmap to rectify the findings and are executing the plan.
He says they are “Doing the right things and all indicators look positive, but have a ways to go yet.”
We’ve believed for some time that MakerBot’s apparent “pause” in the market (with respect to new equipment) was driven by this restructuring. Now that things are settled, it’s time for MakerBot to release new products to the market that hasn’t seen new MakerBot gear for quite a while now.