To celebrate the achievement of several important milestones at work, I organized a team outing at F1 Boston, an indoor high performance kart racing venue. After the finals, we gathered for a group photo. I raced a total of 40 laps, half of them in the final and was totally spent by the time we finished. We retired to the billiards room where we enjoyed a light dinner, darts, and pool.
I enjoyed a break from my normal responsibilities at work to do a photo shoot on location with one of our customers today. The images will be used for an on-line case study being prepared by our marketing folks. With no prior notice, I had to make do without any lighting equipment which I would have normally used for such an assignment. Because our customer was working in an open office, I had no opportunity to stage the environment which further limited my shooting options. I made the best of the situation and am pleased with this hero shot of our printer in which I used a slow shutter speed to get good exposure on the computer screen where our Eiger software is running and to create motion blur on the user for a sense of motion and activity. In the future I may have to carry my lighting gear with me at all times so that I am not constrained by available light should I get another last minute request for photos.
What better gift to give a newlywed couple than a bicycle built for two. Such was the choice of the best man at Sarah’s wedding last weekend. My board presentation, held at the offices of Matrix Partners, one of our A-round investors, went well but the meeting consumed much of the day and once again I found myself without time for new photos.
Jeanine and I flew to Indianapolis where she was born and we lived together for almost 20 years to attend the wedding of Sarah Parker and John Thoe. Sarah’s mother, Becky, was my administrative assistant and office manager at Truevision, the company I co-founded. I have known Sarah since she was 7 years old, watching her grow from an effervescent little girl to a radiant woman.
In total there were four Truevision alumni at the wedding including Becky, Brian Thome, and Valerie.
While in town we stayed with Jeanine’s sister and brother-in-law, Lauren and Bob, and had a chance to visit with her nephews Luke and Gabriel (pictured below with his son Bradley on his back).
Day three for Maya at MarkForged saw her operating our huge Haas CNC milling machine. Programming was done by our engineers and her job was to load material, start the machining process and unload the completed parts. The smile on her face the first time she started the mill (which hums like a jet engine when running) was priceless. I had an equally satisfying day as I met with a vendor who has a component that will work nicely for a design I have in mind, got promising results on a new carbon fiber line I am experimenting with, interviewed a couple of potentially interesting ME candidates, and visited one of two sites which are in the running for our new office.
On her second day of interning, Maya graduated from soldering and crimping to 3D CAD design and printing. The CEO gave her a photo of a retention clip used by one of our customers to keep fiber from jumping off our dispensing spools. Maya took it from there. She made measurements of the spool, used OnShape (a program she had begun teaching herself only yesterday) to complete the design, and Eiger (our software) to prepare the part for printing. By the end of the day she had designed and manufactured her first part and it worked perfectly.
Maya started an engineering technician internship at MarkForged today. She was immediately productive, spending most of the day making cable assemblies (crimping connector pins to wires and soldering connections). She worked for 12 hours on her first day, demonstrating that she can keep up with anyone in the shop. I could not be more happy. Even though she works ten feet from my desk, I was also very busy and barely had ten minutes to check in with her. Our two hour round trip commute, however, gave as plenty of time to chat and compare notes. Did I mention how happy this makes me? More importantly, I think Maya had a great time and even better learning experience.
This evening I taught Maya how to solder. Pictured here is one of her practice assignments. She starts an internship at MarkForged tomorrow which requires this skill. As with anything that involves great manual dexterity and attention to detail, Maya was a natural, producing perfect solder joints from her first attempt.
There is something intensely satisfying about eating food that was grown down the street. We are very fortunate to live near Verrill Farm where we are members of their CSA. I stopped in today for lunch after an exhausting soccer workout in the blazing sun and high heat. I managed 5 goals in the small-sided scrimmage including the game winner. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening working on a document describing my initial impressions of MarkForged after one month on the job. It will be part of a read-ahead package for the Board of Directors that needs to go out next week and I am glad to have it completed ahead of time.
Nico returned late this evening from Georgia where he spent the last three days at a speaking engagement for Camp Coleman, a program of the Union for Reform Judaism, serving campers from the Southeast United States. In addition to sharing his personal story he played soccer with the kids in each of the eight sessions he conducted. He looks exhausted but his main complaint was that he did not bring a soccer cleat with him.
I hope to augment this post with a picture of him at the camp which he is presently trying to obtain.
On the opposite coast, Kyle has been offered an internship with Decker and Co, a leading Asian emerging and frontier specialist broker. He is seriously considering the offer but has not made a final decision yet.
Maya returned this evening from her near 3 week adventure in France near the border with Italy. She was there with her friends, Sarrinagh and Emma and Emma’s family. Her exploits included paragliding, class 5 white water rafting, hiking in the Alps, and sampling the fine local cuisine. She returned with a treasure trove of photos a few of which are featured here today.