Interview with the CEO
“Nihilo’s culture of innovation will light the future of technology”, says Bryce Hirschfeld, CEO of Nihilo Engineering.
By Teddy Alshaer
Centennial, Col. — Bryce Hirschfeld, CEO, of Nihilo Engineering expressed his vision on additive manufacturing and the technology of today. We discussed what possibilities may arrive in the future and what it can do for us. I began by asking the question:
Teddy Alshaer: How can marketing and engineering produce a thriving business model in this era of changing environments?
Bryce Hirschfeld: The unity of marketing and engineering is what creates a thriving company because once that unity happens, you know, great things begin to happen. If you have one without the other, then you don’t have a company. Without marketing, engineering goes nowhere, and without engineering, you don’t have a product to market.
Teddy Alshaer: Yes. It’s the chicken or the egg dilemma.
Bryce Hirschfeld: In this case you have to develop them together.
Teddy Alshaer: New product development is a constantly innovative practice, it’s always happening at the behest of making the new and improved. You wouldn’t be innovative if you weren’t making a new product in the first place. Must we always be constantly researching, iterating, developing, and creating insights?
Bryce Hirschfeld: What really comes to light of what what we are doing is that we’re on the cutting edge of the tools that are allowing those new products to come into existence.
Teddy Alshaer: What do you think being on the cutting edge would require? What are the steps and where can we look to?
Bryce Hirschfeld: I think it really is going to come down to everyone having curiosity, everybody must be constantly learning, and we need to be sharing knowledge and information with each other because as we shared earlier, the idea of the mastermind, the mastermind really closes in on a particular order of collaboration and invention allowing us to come together and say, “What are the things that we’ve done in the past and what are the challenges that we need to accomplish?” We talked to Greg and he has been able to bring to us several new technologies, new tools out there from his experiences and the knowledge channels that he’s synchronized to, and then even myself, I can bring in my knowledge of doing my own research into new printers, trying to understand the 3d printing lab landscape and the history by just being able to bring all that knowledge together and then figuring out from each other, what are the channels that we’ve figured out to look on those new paths.
Teddy Alshaer: Always Be on the lookout for new channels, that is the key, right there. In doing so, we will create, like we said, our own channel that engineers can collaborate on. I really feel inspired of our collaborative effort to come up with something like this, a place where anyone can go to reach others and get new ideas to create and produce new things. It is a place we can find purpose and we’re giving that identity to people and allowing them to be part of that. Eventually, I see this as something bigger. Will engineering services adapt to new needs and the common human inventor?
Bryce Hirschfeld: Oh, absolutely. And I think the other piece of that too is you’re setting up that space when you’re enabling those new ideas and new technologies to become a reality by giving them that space to start thinking and start getting ideas to a much more concrete and thought-out perspective where they can act on it and utilize our services, where we can actually help them, then take that formulated idea, and make it into an actual product. Even beyond that as you’re also giving the space where the new tools of the future might even come into fruition and then we can play a piece in it and bring those new tools to reality. That will then allow us to be even more powerful to those groups later on.
Teddy Alshaer: I’m just anticipating, it’s so interesting. We can be seeing so many different individuals here and we will learn so much from it. I only wonder that if individuals will perceive that their ideas may be taken from others. And that’s one of the concerns I wanted to bring up that we did talk about. Are there are ways that we can ensure their safety when it comes to intellectual property?
Bryce Hirschfeld: Yes. So, as far as anyone who comes to us, as confidentiality is a huge component to our businesses, we take mutual NDA is very seriously, we take confidential information very seriously and the other aspect of that is if you come to us, we can help guide them through the process of protecting their information, whether it is going through the patent pending process or setting up them up with the networks to get to the next level of getting their utility patents.
Teddy Alshaer: That’s wonderful. I think that will give people a lot of incentive to collaborate and pursue new and better things. What is the opportunity for new product development in this time? Given that we’ve gone far as an intelligent species, we’ve done so much, we’ve produced so much. Are there even more possibilities for making money in products? Even though today is so cluttered with noise, and we have so many products available, what is the future for new product development?
Bryce Hirschfeld: So, the future for new products is, one, new product development will never go. I will be saddened by the day that there will no longer be products and I don’t think that is coming anytime soon. We are always pushing the edge with new products, it’s always going to be improving, it’s always going to be getting better and that’s always going to be pushed by newer and better tools that are coming around. 3D printing additive manufacturing is constantly bringing the product development cycle closer and closer to the consumer, becoming more and more available to smaller organizations. It used to be back in the day where if you wanted to develop a new product, you first had to do all the design, not even on a computer, and then, in order to realize that design you’d have to cut it into steel and if there are any problems with it…well then you had to go cut another piece of steel. And you know that would cost 10s of thousands of dollars just to get one product to market. And nowadays, you can go ahead and iterate on that design way before you even get a piece of steel. In order to get a prototype, cutting a piece of steel took a long time. Now you can just hit the print button and you can get your product validated right then and there. I imagined that trend to keep continuing of products, the product development cycle is going to continue to be more and more available to everyday people. Creativity is just constantly being enabled by technology.
Teddy Alshaer: Now we can reduce that barrier to entry and help lift individuals out of their doom of extremely high investment requirements. You have the confidence of knowing what you’re getting from prototyping, you can create new iterations, and all while keeping within a conservative budget. How has the advent of new product development affected the market place?
Bryce Hirschfeld: If you notice how newer things start to break down a little bit easier. it’s because they’re able to design with a lot more precision nowadays. I can design within the factor of safety, I can design the entire product life, or you know, why things used to last forever, like old cars, is because they had no data, they designed everything with a massive factor of safety. It was like four or five X factor of safety. Nowadays they can design for exactly what they want and push the limits.
Teddy Alshaer: A specific goal in mind or specific end-result, you’re referring much to our electronics industry.
Bryce Hirschfeld: Exactly. On the other piece for wanting to push into electronics. It’s an interesting space that we’re getting into. How far we push electronics is that the size of components is getting to the point of being so small that in order to go any smaller, you must start accounting for quantum mechanics. All the diodes are at that point where it’s now quantum principles that are dictating the behavior of the computer not the old-fashioned capacitors and transistors. Transistors are getting so small that, the on/off are not just on or off, it is on and off at the same time.
Teddy Alshaer: This is quantum mechanics vs the binary system.
Bryce Hirschfeld: Yes, quantum mechanics applies zero and one at the same time. The only time you know what the transistor is, is once you look at it. And that’s just how quantum mechanics works is, everything is all possibilities and are the same at the same time until you look at it. And that’s just how quantum mechanics works, is that all possibilities are the same at the same time, until you look. It’s all happening.
Teddy Alshaer: The probability theory is applied here and that’s a fascinating reality. The position of a particle cannot be determined until you observe, and it acts both as a wave and a particle at the same time. I can’t wait to hear more about what you have to say next. Thank you for the interview.
Bryce Hirschfeld: Thank you.