“The potential was there, but it was only being used to create prototypes instead of real parts that could be used to make end use products in pretty much every industry,” said Greg Mark, CEO of Markforged, of 3D printing capabilities. This was the inspiration behind his development of carbon fiber and metal 3D printing.
Today, his startup company is beginning to blossom into a 3D printing powerhouse, producing affordable carbon fiber or metal 3D printers that start at just $3,500 and top out at $100,000 – a considerably low price compared to 3D printers of similar capabilities. “Now we have access to 3D printers that can quickly make industrial-strength parts,” Mark said. “It’s easy to go from an idea to an actual product.”
Using traditional production methods, it can take up to four or five weeks to create a part. Using Markforged 3D printers, however, parts can be produced in the same day. “We’re taking hardware and making it work like software,” Mark said.
Noticing the current advantages and seemingly endless possibilities of this technology, Microsoft, Porsche and Siemens – among others – have invested $57 million dollars in Markforged. The company’s potential has since skyrocketed, growing at a rate of 240% per year and turning its first profit in Q2 of 2017. “We’re pretty much hiring for everything: sales, marketing, engineers and HR included,” Mark said.
Mark believes the company culture is key to the smooth functionality and continued success of Markforged. According to Mark, he spends nearly 2 days of every 2 weeks “showing new employees how we operate.”
“How do you preserve what got you here at this growth rate?” Mark said. “Love for your employees and customers and passion for your business.”
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Karen Talley of CEOFierce recently provided a quick Q&A with Greg Mark in an interview she published Monday, March 19th, 2018:
When did you know you wanted to be a CEO?
All my life I loved building things and you have to engineer the company around it.
What is your favorite question the ask on a job interview?
I like to know how people found us and what they knew about the company coming in.
What keeps you up at night?
Making sure in this era of hyper growth that we don’t lose sight of products, customers and people.
What is the key for revenue growth?
Moving fast and not breaking things.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?
Growth comes really fast. If I knew how fast, I would have been more aggressive with hiring.