Matt Moseman – Node U Design and Develop LLC

Manufacturing has come a long way since the dawn of stone tools and hammers.  The machines that are building the products we all use need to be ever improving in their efficiency and quality control.  But as a manufacturing company, how do you make that happen?
Enter Matt Moseman, owner of Node U Design.  Matt has developed sophisticated, tiny circuit boards, or nodes, that can be programmed and installed throughout the manufacturing plant to keep tolerances tight, and allow the machines to work at the optimum speeds to ensure the highest level of quality and productivity.
Listen as Matt explains how he came up with the idea of this business, how he has grown it, and the challenges he has faced as he has worked to improve his business, as he works to improve the manufacturing industry.  One node at a time.

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My name is James Kademan, entrepreneur,

author, speaker and helpful coach to small
business owners across the country.

Today we’re welcoming/preparing to
learn from Matt Moseman of Develop LLC.

And oh my gosh, I forgot the other one.

NodeUDesign, NodeUDesign.

I knew there was a big U in there.

So, Matt, how are you doing today?

Thanks for the invite.
I just I don’t know any paper in front

of me I’d I to do this off memory,
so I apologize for that.

Let’s start with Develop LLC.

What is Develop LCC? Develop LLC.

or Develop is just a product
development and automation company.

All right.

I started off with helping people or
businesses get their idea to market.

All right.
That’s really the the main vision of it.

So it kind of started off in one space.

And as businesses go,

it’s evolved into many other. That it’s
the name of the game, man, every business

seems to evolve, especially
in the past year or two.


So tell me, how did you get
interested in that or even into that?

Because I imagine there’s a lot

of technical skill needed and there may
be a lot of capital as far as equipment.

So product development, I guess,

is just been a passion of mine,
went to school for mechanical engineering

and then just got into the product
space of it, I guess.

And that just kind of been
what’s been driving me on it.

But as far as capital,

it started off in my parents basement
as a small little machine that.

All right.
Just bought and like we were kind

of talking earlier, what it really started
with was making these inconstinence devices

for urinary and bowel issues
just kind of something random.

But that was the first client.
How do they find you?

I was at just a standard dinner event and
that was a person I sat next to.

They’re just like, hey, do you know anyone
that knows how to make these things?

Yeah, it turns out I do.

All right. So did you have to go to school

for this, or is this something you
learned just from experimentation?

You know, it’s kind of everybody thinks

you need to go to school
for a lot of these things.

And I’d say, yes, school,

I learned a lot, but a lot
of it’s been experimentation.

So I went for mechanical engineering

and then went in the industry
for a little bit.

And then I was back for actually
a masters in new product management.

So focusing on portfolio management
is the way I like to look at it.

Ok, a lot of people manage
a portfolio of stocks,

let’s say, I like to look at products

and see how we can drive
dollars with products.

All right.

The majority of the products that you
take care of are, I guess, help develop,

are the outside clients products? Or do you
have any of your own that you’ve helped

develop or invent,
I suppose would be at that point?

Yeah, that’s actually a really good
question, because what happens

in the consulting space,
it’s big ups and downs.

So when we’re working with clients,

obviously our internal
projects don’t get hit a lot.

But you hit the valleys
and that’s where NodeUDesign.

The other business came from.
Is we leveraged, because we have a team.

And so we need projects that when we’re

slower, we can leverage those assets,
if you will, or that skill.

Nobody wants to just be sitting around waiting

for the next project to come in or say,
sign the next contract.

So literally, we just use that team
to help launch the next product.

All right.
So when a client comes to you,

are they looking to build, let’s say,
something like a pen

or a table or is it a computer camera
speaker or something like that?

What we try and focus on now is products

that have mechanical
and electrical in them.

So not just where we once started,

where it was just mechanical
housings or mechanical fixtures.

Now we’ve gotten into it.

It needs to really have electronics

and need a housing around it or just based
on having more than one set

of engineering, because that’s the real
value we’ve added to our clients.

Because you can do both.

A lot of times they would have to add is

like the act is like the general
for like building a house.

They’d have to find somebody that could

sub their mechanical find somebody
that could sub their electrical,

somebody that could then
do their their software.

They come to us and get one full product.

I imagine that’s just easier when you have

an in-house team that can do that. Exactly.
Because I imagine otherwise there’s going

to be some finger pointing,
just like when you build a house.

Oh yeah.

It’s that’s kind of the name of the game
is nobody wants to take accountability.

So we kind of come in and say, what’s
really your your goal of this product?

Where do you want to go?
And we take a lot of upfront time to lay

that out before we even start,
because that’s how we found that hitting

their goals at the fastest pace
and under budget is really key.

So figuring out the project
all with one process.

All right.

some people want to be very involved
and some people want to fill out those

initial metrics and then
call me when it’s done.

All right. So when a client comes

to you, where are they in the process as
far as development? Are they reaching out

to you to just see if it’s even a viable
product or even possible to make? Or is this

something where are they
further along than that?

We’ve seen every spectrum.

Is this possible to make I have a patent

on this, I need to find somebody
to help me prototype it.

All right.

I’ve gone to this other consultant or this

team, and I’ve got a prototype
that is not at all what I dreamed of.

Oh, I’m off space.

Can you help us with that?

OK, or, you know, anywhere in the middle.

All right.

Because I imagine talking to someone like
you were having to build something,

it’s probably not the cheapest
thing in the world.

You don’t have to talk about actual

dollars, but you’re not doing favors
for them where it’s like

for 50 bucks in a beer,
I’ll do this or something like that.

Like there’s going to be a lot involved.

And as far as designing and image,
the mechanical stuff, gears, machinery,

knowledge is the circuit board
stuff that looks like magic to me.

So I don’t even know how that happens.

Getting the software onto those circuit

boards, that’s even
that’s beyond Harry Potter.

To me, that’s just.

Crazy to think about all that has

to happen and just the educated
person that has to make it happen.

So someone, a client has to be fairly

committed to making something
like this work? Yeah, definitely.

And really laying out where those costs

are going to be, because we want to we
want to get our customers to market

at the end of the day, like,
you know, we want to make sure that they

are a client, that we can help
and help within their budget.

So a lot of times we’ll lay out this is
what our estimated cost is to market.

And it’s kind of under promise
and over deliver rule.

Like we tend to come in on the high end

of what we expect it to be
and then aim to come in under.

But really, you have to make sure

that their expectations are correct on how
much this can cost to market,

because you’re right, it it can be very
cost prohibitive for some people to do.

Yeah, I mentioned it depends a lot on

what the product is and what they
believe they can sell the product for.

I was reading the book.

Oh, is the guy that invented Teddy Ruxpin.

Remember Teddy Ruxpin.

No, Teddy Ruxpin for you kids at home.

Teddy Ruxpin was Little Teddy Bear, OK,

that you stuck a cassette in the back
of Teddy Ruxpin

and as the cassette played, Teddy Ruxpin
would speak OK is most would move.

So would he move at all or was.
No, no, no, no.

This is 80s.

he wasn’t very elaborate.

He just sat there and his
mouth would move.

But it was that was the toy to have
before Tickle Me Elmo came out.

And interesting.
And I don’t know if you could stick

a Metallica cassette in there and have
rock out or anything urban fun.

I don’t know if the mouth was actually
in sync with the the audio

on the cassette, but I do know
that this guy invented that.

And then he essentially talked about

bringing your invention to market
and essentially selling the rights.

And then you can make a residual Nutt’s.

Every time.
And Teddy Ruxpin flies off the shelf.


He also did the Nerf boomerang.

Yeah, I remember the Nerf
boomerang so I remember that.

I’m going to the title of the book will

come to me and we’ll put
it in the description.

But at any rate

it made me think of something like what
you have going on because

I mean everybody’s got that idea
for the super awesome products, right.

The jet powered skateboard or whatever,
but they don’t know how to make it.

So they come to you and they’re
like mad jet powered skateboard.

Help me make one and then we’ll see if
there’s a market for it or something.

Yeah, the market is up to them.

Our goal is to get them to market.

But yeah, on the sales and marketing
and surely their their aspect of it.

All right.
All right.

Now let’s think of those.

I don’t know what they’re called our
boards or something like that where you

lean different directions and it
goes forward and sticks or whatever.


OK, I, I stood on one of those for about
five seconds and end up on the floor.


And all I could think was who’s the guy
that invented this,

who is the company like yours that put it
together and figured out the software

for how much you lean those different
speeds and all that kind of stuff.

Yeah, that would.

And then who was the first one to write it
that said like, oh, this is easy.

That one was probably some seven year old
problem because yeah.

My son and his friend, they’re just like
all those curves around.


But it’s, I look at that or
I look at drones.

The fancier drones where they can sit

in a breeze and just hold still,
that’s pure magic to me.

Yeah, definitely further
out than we’re going, OK?

All right.

We’re more on like the like based
on the Nottie design product line.

We’re more on like.

Real kind of lower level consumer

electronics, we’ve done like
keyboard stuff like that, OK?

The automation space that’s going to go
into like a controlled cabinet

on a manufacturing floor,
actually stuff that we kind of hit.

All right.

We’ve done a little bit in the consumer
space, but that’s a little tougher.


OK, just because it’s not as robust
or because it’s kind of like you got

to hit it out as fast as you can in six
months or it’s not really our core.

And like our our team’s not built around

having the skills to do
a lot of those gotcha.

Kind of organic modeling,
if you will, around that.

And then just kind of the aspects
that bring a lot of that together.

GACHET We’re pretty small,
so just a five person team.

OK, so you stick more with manufacturing
the equipment that actually manufacturers.

So we’ll help you.

We’ll help do like turnkey
machines for automation.

So if somebody has their widget

that they’re making their floor and they
realize that say they have a couple

of people on the line that are getting,
you know, a tedious task, then, you know,

the rest are always saw or it’s
the bottleneck in the process.

All right.

And they want to automate that to get
more of their widgets out.

OK, so instead of building them or

creating the pen, you would be building
the machine that creates the pen.

Yeah, that’s where we come in a lot.

So figuring out how to screw in the end,

slip in the spring and now whatever
else they have to do to make it.

Yeah, interesting.

So how does a manufacturer find you?

It’s been all word of mouth is how
we’ve worked with all of our clients.

It’s kind of been just
a trickle effect, if you will.

All right.
It’s kind of compounded.

So are there some success stories about
something where a client came to you

and said, hey, I want to build this widget
and you just figured it out?

Nothing really like.

Crazy that we can share a lot of our
stuff, like we’ve only been in business

now for two years for our
cool stuff, if you will.

We need the incontinence devices that are

out there that people can see and some of
the stuff that’s been around for a while.

But, yeah, a lot of this stuff is kind
of captured in some India’s gadget fair.

OK, well, we don’t want
the FBI coming down.

Everything’s shared.

Tell me about if I’m one of the things
that is always a challenge to me when I

think about business
is we’re going to start a business.

There’s a capital outlay
for any given business.

If you’re going to be a painter,
you get to buy a van, a bucket and brush.

Yeah, but if you’re going to start
a manufacturing company,

you’ve got to come up with machines
and stuff like that and come up

with someone like you to help
design those machines.

So when clients are coming to you,

generally speaking,
are they newer or are they?

They’ve been around for a little while.

They have processes and some of those
processes are less than efficient.

So it’s turned into more of like
the twenty to one hundred employee

companies that have been
around for five years.

All right.

And how have you seen technology evolve
from machines?

Because I imagine everything’s getting.

I’m pausing to say, is it better or is it
bigger, bigger, better, faster, more so.

How has technology
changed what you guys do?

Everything needs to be connected to what’s

happening on the floor,
needs to be connected to what’s happening

on the accounting level and being able
to drive that data out and make it really

easy for the people that aren’t constantly
on the floor to see what they’re their

throughput is what the process
is and find issues.

All right.

So everybody wants
to know what’s happening.

We’re now.

So I’m thinking let’s just
talk about the pen, right.

So the accountant or the purchaser,

I guess it would be, needs to know
how many caps they bring in.

They just got a P.O. for
one hundred thousand pounds.


Now they’ve got a trickle
that all out of the pipeline.

They’re going to get capped springs.

I imagine there’s certain pieces that are

going to be defective
that they’ll want to figure out.

I’m thinking like springs’ or maybe
exploding ink or whatever it is

that that all from the manufacturing line
can go back to an ERP system in real time.

Till the controller,
hey, man, you got a problem?

Yeah, we’re seeing X number of scrap or
we’re not getting the throughput we want.

All right.

You know, that is cool.


What gets measured gets improved,
I guess, as far as that goes.

So that’s awesome.

So do you work with certain ERP programs

or just software programs in general
to help companies, or do they tell you,

hey, we have this system we built or
basically we sent a packet of data

that can get driven into however they
want, basically get it out to Ethernet,

to an HTP portal and just
drive it basically to the web.

OK, you can handle it from there.

Sometimes we we’ve done some different
applications, but very nesh.

OK, so you essentially say we have this

information as a oh my gosh,
my software does.

Is it getting put or I don’t remember
essentially that basic information.

Most software is we have some API.

If they can just take that software or

take that information and put it
whatever database they need to put it.


All right.
That’s interesting.

So how did you end up deciding I’m going

to go in business on my own
and this is what I’m going to do?

That’s who.

How did I decide,
like we had a job, you just like,

screw this noise, I’m going to do my own
thing, or did you always want to start

a business and didn’t know
what it was going to be?

I think it just I don’t know.

I just kind of grew up with that,
if that makes sense.

OK, I guess kind of go
back in time a little bit.

I grew up on a family farm,
so it’s like always waking up.

You’re going to be out doing x y task.

That’s something I’ve always,
you know, done together.

And my first business was

probably the same as everybody
else but a lawn care business.

When I was 12, I realized

I wanted to go work and get actual

dollars, not just showing up the farm
and working and I getting paying rent.

So you got a roof over your head.

That’s I wanted to go make dollars
and I found out you had to be like 14 or

something at the time
to actually get a job, so.

Well, what can we do?

So I started a small lawn care business
that was just a couple of neighbors.

And then it quickly turned into, you know,
ten or twelve, I think it was at the peak.

So it was just small.

But that was when I was,
you know, struggling.

And I did that from 12 to 18.

You realize six years you stuck with it.
Yeah, I did that.

And then while I was in high school,

as soon as I could basically have
my driver’s license,

I got a job at a manufacturing facility
where I was jibbering,

staying last and just on the factory floor
doing manual labor, basically.

But then I still did the long
care as well at the same time.

So, all right.

You know, I’ve interviewed a few long term

people that just started out
either super young or to pay for college

or something like that,
and they built it into decent businesses.

I think I could name probably six of them.

OK, even locally here,

that they’re just like I didn’t plan
on doing this for the rest of my life.

No, it’s making money.

So, yeah, I never had like a trailer or
anything that I hooked up to a truck cause

I had to be able to drive
there with them for.

Oh, nice.

This is we have a finite
radius of where we can go.

So marketing is really easy.

I just basically printed out the fliers
and went around to the house.

Oh that’s awesome.
Yeah, that’s awesome.

Anybody get mad because you didn’t do it
the right angle or something like that or.

No, it was just like the grass is shorter.
We’re all good.

Yeah, I’m a bit OCD, so yeah I striped
every lawn and had fun with it.

Oh no it was, it was probably a little

over the top for what I was going for,
but I don’t know why.

I’ve always just enjoyed mowing lawns.

Sure I still do ours and so.
Oh all right.

That’s all good.

So you, you said the business currently

has been two years, but you’ve
been in business longer than two.


So Ben Develop has been
around for six years.

two years was when basically I went full

time on it and then the co-founder
of Nottie Design also went full time.

So he works within develop and well we’re

building out Nodi Design
to get that product to market.

Really nice.
Let’s talk about no, you design, OK,

because you you had to help me
understand exactly what a node was.


So can you elaborate
on that just for the crowd.

Yeah, it’s it’s really tough to sometimes
break down, but in the automation space

there’s think of like a light switch or
a breaker panel in your house and a light

switch is kind of a passive device
that you always go out there and flip in.

It drives that power, if you will.

Back to your breaker panel.

All the data in what we’re
doing is driven that way.

So these switches that were on a lot

of machines were very sub located,
if you will, and then they drove back

to a larger panel where all
the controls is happening.

All right.
What we’ve done is we’ve put logic

on the switch level so we can
increase speed and precision.

OK, so the logic is essentially
at the light switch.

So that’s exactly.

Rather than at the breaker panel.

And how does that make it more efficient?

So it’s basically just
produced in the loop.

It seems weird where like you might only

be going across the room,
but we’re talking milliseconds.

So the difference in speed can be

the difference between somebody
losing an arm or maybe crushing it.

All right.
So things like that,

it’s telling people that most
people would prefer to not lose it.

It’s good.


I was learning about the whole stock

market thing where there was the wire
that they were trying to connect.

I want to see from.

Oh, man, I don’t remember exactly where it

was, Chicago to New York that they’re
trying to make us cable trading volume

for fractions like
tiny amounts of milliseconds.

That’s just blew my mind how
much work was going into that.

But then you see how much
money they can make off that.

You’re like, oh, yeah, I get it.

There’s dollars in the data.

Yeah, it’s so interesting
that it’s so interesting.

So that said, you come across a company
that’s 20, 50 years whatever into doing

their thing, they may or may not know
something like this even exists.

How do you sell it or present it to them

and say, look, you’re doing well,
you can do better?

Yeah, that’s that is something we’re still

learning and selling the nodes we thought
we’d be selling, we made these separate

peripherals where people would
build their own solution.

People want turnkey.
So, all right.

What we found is we’re basically going
to a module solution so they’ll be able

to just drop it in and this
is what you’re going to get.

So I have basically led indication
for your costs, your users on the floor,

you’re going to be able to drive the data
via this language to your system, OK?

And you’re going to be able to have this

many inputs, outputs,
so you control X, Y, Z.

Throwing it down into one kit was really
the kind of the the education barrier we

needed to lower for a lot of our clients
was something we learned the hard way.

How do you do that on a universal level,

since people are making pens or tables or
water bottles like there’s so much riding,

what they’re manufacturing,
is there a lot of variety?

And what you have to keep track of or is
essentially just is spinning motors and.

So it’s just different motors,

different cylinders, different different
inputs and outputs into our system.

All right.

And basically, the program
just has to be written.

So the software is different

for that machine, but you can
use the exact same hardware.

All right.

Interesting, because stuff
just has to move or imagine.

Stuff has to be sensed like a light switch
or that water bottles in this position

on the conveyor belt where
it is and what’s next.

All right.
Where does and what’s next?

I love that.
So do you go to a manufacturing company,

look at what they have going on and say,
this is where I feel like we can help you.

It’s been a little bit of both where

we’ve gone into places,
kind of evaluated what they’re doing,

and we’ll just kind
of propose some solutions.

Otherwise it’s been them coming to us.

OK, so like I said,
word of mouth is the odd thing for us is

a lot of people just keep passing our name
on that we’ve worked with in the past.

That’s cool.

This the whole on the node

information, I suppose,

for lack of a better word.
Would they? Is that known technology?

Do manufacturers know that this exists?

It’s becoming more common.

There’s there’s a couple other
solutions out there right now.

It’s kind of like that, the mainframe PC,
what happened with computers,

where everything was one big PC and then
it goes down to number units,

it’s kind of the same thing
in the automation space where everything

used to be very small,
like this is localized.

And then it all went to these big,

bloated systems where you drove all
the cabling back to one solution.

Now it’s kind of doing the same thing
where it’s coming back to having

the controls closer, because now the cost,
it’s all about the cost basis.


Where now you can deploy
it more cost effectively.

All right.
Stuff smaller sub.

All right, subsystems, let’s talk
about failure rate a little bit.

I want to ask you about this before.

So hopefully it’s not a sore spot,
but I imagine if something like that goes

does the whole line go down or how easy is

it to get back up and running
if something inevitably breaks?

It depends on the system that’s built.

We’re in I guess we’ve never gone
into a system where it’s a big line.

It’s typically one machine
gets one standalone machine.

So if it if that machine goes down,
it’s only affecting that area.

All right.

And then when you’re working with clients,
this is something that I found to be

a challenge just universally
of any business that I’ve had.

Every client wants to believe
that they’re special,

their own unique way.

I’ll give you the example.

We had a client that I was trying to sell

in Calls On Call potential client,
and he had an appliance repair company.

Typical service company, right,

you need something fix, you call them up,
my refrigerator is broken.

And he’s like, James, this is tough, man.

We have so much information
we have to collect.

And I asked them, you know,
just walk me through it.

And he’s like, name,
address, phone number.

Then we get to know the model of the
refrigerator or whatever, and then brand.

And if they don’t know those other two
things, it’s not the end of the world.

OK, but is the formatter he was like,
oh my gosh, name, address, phone number.

How are you ever going to collect that?

Like we collect from pretty much every guy

that we have, because
just about every client that we have has

onsite service and we need to know
who they are and where they live.

but it was interesting from his

perspective and this is very common,
there’s that ego with a with a business

owner where they’re just like
no one does what we do.

We collect the address phone number.

So how do you deal with that?

Because I imagine a manufacturing

that goes even beyond that,
because you’re collecting different data.

That’s you.
It’s like it’s a spending thing

and a sensor that tells you if
this product is there or not.

Yeah, but to that business owner or
manufacturer, they’re like, oh, man,

this is way different than
anything you’ve ever seen.

How do you deal with that?

You just proved the solution.

OK, so everybody thinks it’s going to be
so crazy or so different breaking down.

All right.

What are the what are
the tasks that we’re doing?

OK, let’s create a spreadsheet,
if you will, or let’s line-by-line this.

Break it down and then deploy the solution
and just prove that it can be done right.

All right.
A lot of people

tend to look at a problem and you can zoom
in and zoom in like I’m looking at this

one water droplet on the bottle
and all of a sudden that’s a problem.

But it’s like just step back.

And look at the whole problem as one
and then start breaking it down.

All right.
So just break it down.


I want to speaking of breaking
down on a Segway into employees.

So can you tell me how you find employees
and what you look for in employees and any

challenges that you’ve had with employees
are a lot of questions there.

Yeah, how we find employees.

We have found them all on.

OK, everything has been posting it up.

They’re waiting for people to apply
for it and then interviewing the process.

All right.

The way that we’ve gone through hiring,
we’ve tried a couple different ways.

Our first intern was this is probably

the most fun way that we hired because
this, I guess, wasn’t actually through.

Indeed, we’d gone to Emslie,
which is where myself and the co-founder

and our design graduated and something
school of engineering walkies, OK?

And we knew some people.

There are some students and said, hey,

do you have some friends that are really
good at X, Y, Z for some software?

All right.

And so we gave them a task that would be
a problem that we would typically need

solved on our our application
and then said, all right,

we want you guys to submit your
solution the next couple of days.

Anybody that submits one
gets a hundred bucks.

Oh, nice.

So then we pick the best one out
of all the people that applied it.

Oh, wow.

Do they know that they’re
essentially applying for a job or.

That’s all very openly said.

You’re getting paid to apply and this is

the process to get into the kind
of we first had interviewed wow.

People all right.

And then like gave the option
to a handful of people to do that.


How did you know that the solution
that they offered was good or not?

So I’m not the software person.

OK, software application.

So that was strictly up to code.

OK, kind of narrowing that down.

He understands the software is kind

of just an idea that we wanted
to test on finding people.

All right.
And so it was basically seeing how his way

of looking at it was,
how efficiently they went about it.

All right.
If they asked questions because it was

interesting, we said you can
ask all the questions you.

Oh, and so we gave the option to see are

these people willing to ask, all right, or
are they just going to fail in silence?

Sure, fail in silence.
I love that.


It means a bad thing,
but I love that that name.

That’s cool.

So have you had luck with employees?

It sounds like you’ve had lots of luck.

Yeah, we’ve been really fortunate so far.

I mean, there’s there’s always the hiccups
where, you know, you want something done

on X, Y, Z, but, you know,
those are going to happen.

Yeah, it’s going to be different,
different parts of it.

But yeah, we’ve been really fortunate
for the employees we’ve had.

But it’s it’s been a young business too.
So I’m sure I’m going to.

I’m going to find my problems.

Oh, my goodness gracious.
I was just talking.

Well, the last woman that I interviewed,

she and I were digressing a bit about
employees because the question was,

what is the biggest challenge
in your business right now?

And it is rare that a business
owner does not answer employees.

It was not number one.
It’s number two.

Got it.

With no one being sales
or something like that.

Yeah, it’s rare that they say,

you know, the mail person just delivers

to the wrong box all the time
or something like that.

It’s like it’s employees
full of employees.

That’s interesting.
So you how many employees?

You know, so we have myself and podi OK,

I guess the two that are whatever
the founders, if you will.

And we have a machinist, Mike,

we’ve got Josh, who’s our
firm or an electrical tax.

So he does like all our
board testing integrations.

He’s doing a lot of our documentation
for our products as well.

And then we’ve got Luciano,

who is basically our high level firmware
software right on our our boards.

I guess we have a virtual
assistant as well.

OK, Beth has been great for that.
Very cool.

Tell me about the oh,
my mind is going here for a moment.

The partnership.

Because business partnerships.

There’s good, there’s bad.

There’s tolerable, I guess.

What has been your experience in finding
the business partner,

working with a business partner
and then just going through the decisions

that every business owner has
to make now with a partner?


So for Cody, that kind
of goes back, right?

Like I said, we meant MSO.

We the kind of a fun story of how we met

was probably the first
couple of weeks of school.

I see a couple of buddies went out.

We all got super drunk.

We come stumbling back and I come back
into the dorms and I smell pizza.


And I just stumble into this room
and it’s Cody’s room and I walk in.

I’m like, we are going to be friends.

So needless to say, I ate like half
of his pizza that night, all night.

And ever since we’ve been friends.

He’s been trying to get that have pizza,

but I don’t think I
ever paid him for that.

I’ll probably be owning some
interest on that money.

So that’s that’s, I guess, how

the business partner got
laid out on that one.

And that’s all right.
We both kind of obviously went through

school, graduated, went into industry
and kind of went through the process.

But I was I was crashing on his couch
when I was going back for grad school.

That’s when he originally showed me

the the nut of what we’re
making for the product line.

Oh, nice.

So he was just tinkering with it
and I was like, what is this?

And he started explaining what it could
do and what his vision was for it.

OK, like what are you
planning to do with this?

Oh, I just think this is cool and I
can take this to market or anything.

All right.

So that was just like over the course
of like, you know, several classes.

I was like, you’re going back
to college talking about it.

And then.
All right.

Eventually evolved kind of from there once

it was kind of a waiting on tech to some
of the tech, wasn’t quite ready to kind

of deploy the hardware
we wanted in the space.

OK, tech like what?

Different controllers and then the way
that the software has changed.

So Python’s becoming more and more known
for deploying automation solutions.

But really,

when he first started tinkering, I mean,
the idea was completely different.

And now pythons come to where you can more

people are knowing it
and can deploy history.

And what what type of time frame
are we talking between then and

when he first started tinkering with it?

I thought I’d be a good question,
actually go back and ask him,

because it was it was really just
his naming of it and the idea.

And then I guess really when we started

hitting it was two years ago when
we all really started evolving.

What’s the product going to look like

and how are we going to define it now
that the kind of stars, if you will,

of a line, OK, being able to deploy the
hardware and software on one solution?

The way we want it.

So it sounds like you guys are
cool as far as partners go.

It’s been like document it.

And we both, you know,
it started off as get this all

into a solid email trying to kind
of say how this is all working.

And then we’ve actually just gone through

the process of getting a full
operating agreement for that.

All right.

Laid out so, you know,
our roles and everything.

And if things you know,
we end up going for funding or we do

something, we already
have those boxes checked.

So we’re not slowed down by those things.


Yeah, I hear so many stories.

Business partners.

Many, good, many less than good,

but it sounds like you’re lucky that and I
guess you guys are have an advantage

similar to a business partner
with one of my businesses.

And I’ve had partnerships go away, so.

And I’ve had partnerships.
Very cool.

Well, I mean, currently it’s cool.


Our roles are very clear
as far as who’s got what skills,

and there’s with ours
is very little overlap.

Good, I guess we’re learning

overlap just from being in the
business part of the process.

Well, you I mean, like yours,
the mechanical, his software.

Very clear.

Yeah, it’s I’m not going
to write a line of code.

He’s asked me to try and I

we’ve tried.
Let’s just leave it there.

All right.

I can’t figure out software,
so that’s all right.

That’s all right.
I completely understand.

Software to me is still,

I would argue, to say either magic or just
it is another language.


And so you’ve got to know
how that language works.

But it’s interesting in like a language,
you and I speaking English,

even though mine is probably
a little less than perfect.

Yeah, I still struggle with English.

But we know what we’re talking about.

We’re computer if you’re off the computer
like no can do syntax error maybe.


Gosh, don’t you just know
what I’m trying to tell you.

So interesting.

Tell me about trying to sell companies or

clients with you being
a fairly useful company.

Do they ever challenge you and say like
you’ve only been in business a couple

of years or a few years, or
are you a younger guy like you’ve never

made marshmallows or whatever it is
that we’re trying to manufacture?

That’s actually a really interesting one,

because that’s something
we’ve struggled with.

OK, is Cody and I are both younger,
kind of new to industry.

The big things like, oh,

we have twenty years of experience
if you put us both together.

So that is interesting trying to go
into rooms because I kind of get the baby

face look like how the hell
is this guy going to hell.

Who is this.

Bring your kid to work day.

So it’s it’s again just
part of the solution.

So really what it’s been is
trying it a small project.

All right.

Don’t go for the big one if you don’t feel
like you can close on that because

on something or it’s a crack the door
open, crack the door and crush it.

All right.
And then just crush that project.

I like that.

That’s cool.

Would you consider you or your business
partner more business savvy as far as

growing and setting the business
up and all that jazz?

So I have been tasked with the sales
and growth, if you will.

Sorry, the business aspect.

That’s that’s really my goal is
to get completely out from behind.

The mechanical engineering
in that aspect is OK.

I really enjoy meeting with clients.

I enjoy learning what their problem
is and how we can solve that.

All right.
And get them to a positive experience.

All right.
That’s I that’s what I thrive on.

Sales is the name of the game, right.

Nothing happens until sales made.

I guess that’s very true.
Very true.

Especially with what you have going on.

How tell me about the capital outlay as

far as equipment, all that is change
or how you’ve had to add to it.

You mentioned as you had employees
and you pivot the business a little bit.

Yeah, because money to pivot.

When it first started, it was just
a two thousand dollar little machine.

So it was really easy
to kind of figure that out.

But then as you kind of grows, you know,
go to the bank was really what we did.

We really state bank of Cross Plains
took a gamble on us.

Well, we heard no plenty of times.
All right.

Thing what our goal was and how we were

going to go about it and then
getting the financing around.

That was the no, because you guys were
young, the banks didn’t understand or they

didn’t even know what they were
helping you by kind of thing.

A little bit of both kind
of depended upon the solution.

I kind of got to the point where it
was like, you know what you sell?

I’d go in and just sell the vision.

This is what I’m going to do.

And then that’s when the state bank took

a chance on us, when I said,
here’s where we’re going.

All right.
Instead of trying to lay out, you know,

this is the process you’re getting
really into after sell the passion.

Gottschalk’s ended up how I sold that one.
Oh, I liked it.

Did you guys ever do a business plan,
business model canvas?

OK, perfect.
Only thing.

It’s I’ve seen the business models.

My theory is, is they’re outdated
by the time you finish it.

So probably theory,
at least partially to the business model

canvas has been a way to vector is really
the kind of the way I like to look at it

is where we’re going
and then what’s the long term goal?

But then let’s knock down
what’s happening in the middle.

All right.

So just kind of make sure to set
that path, if you will, use it for.

So business model canvas,
just for the people that may not know,

is essentially a very large
one page business plan.


The ones that I have done, we’ve used
whiteboards, eight foot wide whiteboards.

But it wasn’t a fifty page or
two hundred page business plan.

It was all laid out right there.

Sticky notes.

So, yeah, just like these white boards
over here, the easel style or you know,

that’s what we did as each
section of the canvas.

We did that with sticky notes and I guess
we’ve still done it a couple of times.

But yeah, you just lay that out

with sticky notes, take pictures of it and
put it into the folder so you can see it.

And look back and tell me,
when you were putting that plan together,

what were some of the data points
that you had a rough time figuring out?

Oh. Look, we’ve got to figure out how did

you figure out what specifically your
market was?

Was that a guess or was it based on
some other business that you knew of?

I’d say a bit of a guess.

OK, you know, it’s it’s totally fine.

Yeah, it’s exactly it’s we’re still

figuring things out as we go
on exactly where we’re narrowing.

We’ve we’ve probably started to broad,

if you will, in the product
development and automation.

And we’re slowly narrowing that down

to the industrial aspect,
which is bring the riches.

So, yeah, rather than
being so spread thin.

But I guess at the beginning it was like,

how can we turn revenue
and figure things out?

Totally fair.

It’s interesting.
When I teach a business planning class,

I always tell people 80 percent
of this plan is a best guess.

Yeah, you’ll get data and information
that you can then process and say like

this makes sense, but you don’t know
where you’re going to be in five years.

No, no.

I mean, can you imagine making a business
plan in twenty nineteen and then starting

your business end of twenty nineteen and
be like this didn’t quite go as planned.

I know it’s changed a lot.

Something changed.

So we talk about marketing a little bit as

far as location you
were or are in your garage.

Essentially we are in the garage.

I have the most understanding wife

and that’s just amazing.

Because we now have four cars

in the driveway all the time
for the team that’s in the basement.

All right.
Working away.

So actually, I should clarify,
the garage is actually we when we built

the house it as a three car garage
and then we did a three car under it.

So precast concrete.

So it has about a thousand
square feet down here.

The goal is to always do a small
business startup out of that space.

OK, it’s like the end of the day you’re
going to have to go rent somewhere.

So it’s like let’s just build this back,

this value and that we
know we’re planning.

Yeah, that’s awesome.

So can you actually park
three cars underneath?

You could yeah.
You could park three cars in there

and see a 3D printer and a team just
in the off chance that you have that.

Yeah, that’s awesome.

Tell me about the science machine,
because I’ve seen a variety of those.

And oddly enough, the last

I interviewed Dickinson Manufacturing, OK,

they can send super
awesome guy locally here.

And I remember looking at his machines

and the still of the three
and a half inch floppies.

Oh wow.

And I’m like, what is that all about?

And he explained to me,
like, that’s that’s fine.

The hardest part is finding
three inch floppies.

OK, interesting.
Well, that’s getting it from the CAD

program to the machine
for these particular.

He had some that were just
being some I think Ethernet.

But the floppy isn’t really.
But it was interesting.

I was just it’s not this is
not the business that I’m in.

So, yeah, this is just
the thing for this industry.

OK, so tell me, how did you
decide what CMC machine to get?

So I guess I’ve deployed
a lot of machines.

That’s really where a lot
of my house is a brand.

It’s a brand that’s up to you
that I’ve used in the past.

They’re really great
for a lot of applications.

We’ll definitely have one in the future.

What we started with was data on M8 Cube.

It’s very specific
for the electronic space.

OK, small machining.

So our hands were typical machines.

They have up to fifteen thousand rpm how

fast the tool spins were
running at forty thousand.

So really beneficial.

For running on small diameter
tools and small features.

We can do it very fast and very efficient,
but yet that has its limitations on,

you know, the size of parts and the size
of tools we’re working with.

All right.

So really, really specific kind
of for that electronic space.

And then it’s very clean, too.

So we don’t have flood
coolant to deal with.

That’s always nasty ethanol.

So we won’t cut any deals or anything

that sparks, OK, it’s all going
to be plastics or aluminum.

Got very clean.

You’re not impregnating
the materials with oils.

sorry. Does that run crazy three phase

power or something like that that you
had to get special in your house?

We have a rotary face
converter in the basement.

So we do, yes.
So we have a unique power brought in.

All right.
Yeah, that is so interesting.

I was talking to a brewer
that had to bring in three face.

Oh yeah.

I can wire just enough to be dangerous.

But three, you just like
above my pay grade.

That’ll blow me across the room.

All right.
That is crazy.


So when you fire that machine up,
the lights dim across the country.

You’re now just in the basement, OK?

It’s just in the basement.

But they’re all led lights.

Yeah, it’s all right.

Was it tough to get down there?

No, we just had a rager
come in with the teller.

Had to learn.
OK, yeah.

Just say that just like the other day.

James is like bringing groceries.

All right.

I don’t even know what
you just said though.

What’s the teller handling a forklift.
Oh that’s a good thing.

Like you’d see on a job site for being
a bundle of is on your house or to buy.

Oh that.
The extension arm kind of thing.

OK, so to them it was like
dropping a hot tub off.

Gas is just another day.

Just different hot tub.
That’s so, that’s so awesome.

So you is it going to be
tough to move that then.

It’ll be the same thing, just in reverse.

Is that expensive?

A couple of thousand dollars, OK?

I mean, what’s the machine go for?
I don’t know.

That one was two hundred
and fifty is what we paid.

Two hundred fifty thousand dollars.

OK, so a couple of thousand
dollars to move it.

You don’t want to drop it.

No I don’t either.
That much money.

Holy cow.

So you had to sell that to
the bank and be like look.

The value we can create with it.

All right.
And have you been able to do that.

Yeah, we’ve been paying for the machine.

No problem keeping stuff moving.
That’s cool.

That really that any R&D space that’s

keeping the projects on the engineering
and the team to go into the machine.

All right.
It’s not like the really heavy

manufacturing of that spindle
needs to be turning all the time.

It’s basically having the flexibility
here, not just same thing we talked about

with electrical software
and mechanical all in one stop.

All right.

We now don’t have to call somebody
to make those parts for us.

We just go flip the machine on

them that day or we want to make
a quick change to something.

We’re not waiting weeks for waiting hours.

Well, that’s pretty cool.

So that’s kind of the speed at which we
can do product development.

All right.
That’s very awesome.

So tell me, the six years since you’ve
been in business,

how what have you learned since you
started that you did not know that you

even didn’t know at the
time that you started?

I’d say one of the big things is
getting it and writing so nice.

You know, it started off and we were

talking about I think it was your sister
or something just on different businesses.

Not knowing certain things, the no idea.

Just doing different things.

And so it’s just basically.
Oh, here’s a project.

Yeah, I can do that.

Here’s a project.
I can do that.

All right.
And then the projects kept getting bigger

and you know, to the point where
you just kept trusting that the things

we’re going to go that way,
they were going to go and apparently

handshakes aren’t always what
they’re cracked up to be.

All right.
So I learned that one the hard way.

But basically now it’s we don’t do
a project unless

who’s taking the liability,
how the things are going to work out.

It’s laid out in the contract.

So it’s very well documented to say
this is your job, this is my job.

This is what you’re going to pay.

This what is the direction
money is going, whatever.

This is what you’re getting.

Yeah, kind of like those operating
agreements, if you will.

Like we’re sharing with our, you know,
the business partners, really.

So it’s like you just need
a kind of different scale.

But lay out the projects.

That’s pretty cool.

So you are you a reader are audiobooks.

Is kind of more my audio books.

OK, do you read it or listen
to any business audio books.

It varies.
You can tell me.

No it’s, it’s, it’s,

I put them on OK but it’s funny because I
like put them on is background noise like

I never remember what I
like the names of all are.

But then like all of a sudden something

will pop up like oh yeah,
I remember listening to that.

All right.
Well let’s just put it to you this way.

What does a piece of advice you’ve gotten,
whether from an audio book or fortune

cookie fortune that’s been helpful
for you and your business?


I see a lot of the best advice has come

from either family or friends or people
kind of looking in on it, but it’s like,

you know, sometimes I’ll
tend to overthink a process.

I’ve heard that where it’s like,
just don’t overthink it.

Just keep it simple, all right?

Where it’s like it’s so easy
to try and analyze it all.

And that’s kind of like I said, about
breaking things down with our clients.

That’s where a lot of that’s
kind of come from.

It just like just make it
simple, break it down.

That’s kind of been a big one.

I think of other
really good ones, I think.

The deep one that I guess there is a deep

one, yeah, my I have employees
that still need to learn to do that.

There are times that I
need to learn to do that.

But I guess you could argue there

sometimes I should probably
break it down more.

Yeah, I’m just like it’s
that big of a deal.

Solves the problem.

Then the employees say, well, James,

these are the 50 million
steps we have to do anyways.

You’re married.

How long have you been married?

We should call Amanda, OK.

Has it been more than six years?
It is.

Five years is right.
We’re at.

So OK, so you and your business before

you’re married, it’ll
be five years and June.

Twenty six.
There we go.

OK, nice.
You recovered.

Yeah, we recovered sir.

So you owned your business
before you got married.

OK, but you were together I imagine.


So how did that conversation go when
you’re like, Amanda, what’s up?

I’m quitting my job and I’m
starting a business.

I don’t think it was too out of left
field, considering we were actually next

door neighbors and I used to mow
her parent’s lawn occasionally.

Oh, funny, when we had
that when I was my lawn care.

So she was literally the girl next door,
literally the girl next door.

All right.

So, yeah, she’s so she saw you
start your lawn care business.

She’s kind of seen the things
that have happened and.

All right.

She’s, I guess,
very supportive of the passion.

She’s never really slowed anything down.
All right.

She’ll make me accountable when I’m,
you know, tend to move too fast, but,

like, just lay it out so I understand
what’s happening.

Why are we doing this?

That’s really that’s super cool.

So as long as I can kind of lay it out.

You know, she holds me
accountable to that.

I liked it.
And when did you build your house?

So that would have been we actually got
we moved in shortly after we got married.

Gachet about five years ago.

I love that when you built your house,

you made space for having
a business within your house.

I feel like that should be mandatory.
You know, it.

Yeah, it’s because it’s so I mean,
especially now there’s so many people

working from home,
starting businesses from home that you

just need that space, whether it’s
for a science machine or whatever.


You have to make sure you’re always
good with the right minor details.

Minor details.

So tell me about the future of develop.

Where do you see it going, let’s say in
three to five years, three to five years.

So I guess the the kind of the next metric

or the big thing is to get
out of the basement.

We just had an accepted offer

on a building that we’re hoping to move
into, nursing field corners, kind of.

We’ll see if all the the loans
and everything go through for that.


So I plug State Bank and again,
their play the game.

Know that’s kind of the next goal.

And really what we’re really passionate
about, creating products and helping our

clients get those to market or
manufacturing, if you will.

The big drive has been to create
jobs like I why that’s always been.

I love getting people to work at something

they enjoy and just getting
that energy around that.

Yeah, it’s kind of the goal is to create

a lot of jobs locally
in the next five years.

You know, it’s I find that fascinating
is when you start a business,

people just assume
you get a lot like almost anyone, right?

Any business, you must be rich.

But I feel like something that gets lost

is that once you get employees, you’re
responsible for that person’s livelihood.

Their food, shelter, fun,

that’s all coming from them doing work
because you helped create that work.

Yes, I feel like that’s a lot of money.

And if I look at it as pressure,
but I guess in the end you could consider

it that way, that kind of gets lost
in the whole business.

Owners have to do all this stuff

on top of keeping
bringing clients and keeping everybody

happy, making sure employees are happy
is making sure that employees get paid.

And that’s a that’s a huge responsibility.

You need to make sure you’re always making
that payroll or they’re not going to show.

Up next,

there’s a whole house just chatting
with someone who is is a contractor.

And he’s like, I was a little
late on paychecks at home.

It’s like you can’t.

That’s not a choice.

Yes, not a paycheck.

It’s not like they gave you not thirty.

Oh, no, no.

So it’s so interesting how he just had

this laissez faire, like, oh, no,
it’s kind of a rough time now.

Like, no, no, they don’t.

And if they if they
believe that they shouldn’t.

It’s like that’s a whole domino effect

that you were just
kicking over right there.

That’s those are mine.

But yeah, it’s interesting
to add employees.

So do you see yourself doubling
in size in a few years, tripling.

Yeah, definitely.

Definitely doubling as
the next couple of years.

The space that we’re going into.

I’d love to see twenty engineers
there in the next five twenty.

All right.
Kind of the goal metric.

All right.
Is it big enough for you left space.

That’s where we could fit in that space.

So that’s cool.

Yeah, that’s kind of the goal,
if you will, that vector we put out there

of what we want to see
in the next five years.

I love that space.
I love it.

So tell me, from all your experience

and helping customers,
employees, having your own business,

your own few businesses, I should say,
what is some advice that you would

consider giving someone that was thinking
about starting their own business?

Just start and then just keep moving.
All right?

Like, don’t
when it comes down to that business plan,

everybody tries to make the perfect plan
before they move or find the perfect time

to move like, oh, everything will be good
after I pay off my Christmas credit card

and I’ll use the money
once I’ve started saving.

After that, it’s like
just start something.

It doesn’t need to be drastic,
like you said overnight.

Just, you know,
turn the boat a little bit.

And, you know, make one call that moves

in that direction and then just
keep doing that day by day.

And it does just take a domino effect,
like just one thing at a time.

Hey, Warren Buffett said the way
to start making money is to start.

OK, so same thing.
I love it.

One of my favorite sayings
is keep it moving.

Yeah, especially when I’m driving.

So it’s just one of those things.
I love it.

I just keep moving.
So that’s cool.

Well, Matt, thank you so
much for being on the show.

That was an hour already.
It moves fast.

It does.

OK, just like we have 20 twenty
in that time machine and we’re here.

Yeah, just like that.

This is Authentic Business Adventures.

Thank you so much for tuning in.

Authentic Business Adventures is brought
to you by Calls On Call offering call

answering services to small businesses
across the country. On the web

As well as Draw In Customers Business

Coaching offering business coaching services
for businesses looking for growth,

which should be all of them. On the web

And of course, The BOLD Business Book,

a book for the entrepreneur in all of us
available wherever fine books are sold.

We’d like to think you our wonderful

listeners as well as our guest Matt
from Develop LLC and oh my goodness

gracious, I’m going to forget
that other company again.

NodeUDesign. NodeUDesign.

So where can people find you? On our
website, social media. Otherwise.

Tell us the website

[00:52:28] and
and that’s nodeU with a big letter U?


Yeah, give me a

call otherwise once you find it. Nice.
I love it.

Thank you so much for being on the show.
Thanks for the opportunity.

You can find us at

Thank you for joining us.

If you could do us a huge favor
and wherever you see this,

if you could share it with all your
entrepreneurial friends,

throw a thumbs up on their, comment,
you can always reach out to us and ask us,

“hey, James, we’d like you
to interview this person”.

Thank you so much for tuning in.
We’ll see you next week.

I want you to stay awesome.

And if you do nothing else,
enjoy your business



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