Everyone, EVERYONE, expects 3D printing to be huge and life altering. At the same time, few people have an inkling of where the technology is at – how it works, what it can be used for, what’s currently on the market. Aniwaa looks to shed light on this dynamic industry.
Aniwaa.com is a great information resource for learning all the basics about 3D printing. The website is also a comparison engine for 3D goods and services available – printers, printing materials, printing and modeling. Amazing technology deserves this place where everything 3D becomes amazingly clear. Aniwaa Co-founder Martin Lansard tells us more:
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
We provide information about 3D printing and unique comparison engines to compare all the products involved in the 3D printing ecosystem – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, and 3D printing services. We want to help you understand how 3D printing works and we strive to use basic terminology and explanations to provide an overview of the 3D printing ecosystem. 3D printing has a huge number of innovative applications, fun and functional uses, but the technology and tools can be complex and difficult to understand. We realized there’s a lot of information about various 3D printing services and tools available online but it’s often fragmented and/or requires deep technical knowledge to understand. We decided to organize all this information in one place: Aniwaa.com, for all things 3D-printed related.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
Our unique comparison engines enable individuals and professionals to easily compare 3D printing products (not only 3D printers!) and find the best products for their needs and budget.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
In ancient Japan, a haniwa was a clay figure used as a funerary object during the Kofun period (3rd to 6th century AD). Haniwas were either buried with the dead or used as grave ornaments. These clay figures were built using the wasumi technique, by which coils of clay were layered on top of one another to construct the figure, a technique very similar to modern 3D printing. We liked the sound of the word haniwa but the domain was not available. So we tweaked it a bit and arrived at Aniwaa.
What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the world wide web?
My parents got a Macintosh LC in 1991. We did not have TV, so I spent a lot of time on the Mac… First time I went on the web was in a cyber café in 1995, in Toulouse, France, where I’m from. No idea what to do!
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
9am, 10 hours workdays on avg.
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
Archive all the useless emails I received during the night and I know I won’t read anyway. I feel much better after this.
When do your best ideas come to you? In bed in the morning? During dinner? On your third beer?
Usually talking to people, friends.
Aniwaa Founder Martin Lansard and MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
I started Aniwaa with my childhood best friend. We’re currently the 2 of us plus his wife, who has a PhD in nano-biology, helping us with her scientific expertise on the bioprinting side of our business.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
Deep belief that 3D printing will profoundly change the way we design, produce, and consume products in the next decades.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
Very challenging to launch a venture in addition to having highly demanding day jobs (me at Google, my partner doing his PhD working part-time at Dassault Systèmes…)
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
I do a lot of muay thai, a great way to get the frustration out of your system! We had lots of issues with the first agency we hired to do some of the developing for our site, which was a very frustrating situation since we depended on them to move forward. The people you work with make all the difference!
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
We do listen to a lot of music, from classical to jazz and hip hop. We’re big fans of gifs and memes as well!
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
We are working on a service to enable companies to leverage 3D printing and distribute 3D-printable products to their target audience. We are planing on building a robust platform to provide this safe environment, and we’re currently growing our team and hiring developers.
Who or what inspires YOU? Role models? Quotes? Running? Video games? Snack food?
I’m very inspired by some hip hop moguls like Jay-Z, Diddy, among others. These guys really started from the bottom and built lasting empires, branching out into many industries beyond music while inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs. I find them much more inspiring than most of the typical Silicon valley type of tech entrepreneurs…
How’d you fund this venture? VC? Self-funding? Crowdfunded?
Self-funding so far, but planning on raising funds through VC.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
Make sure you work with people you get along with and that you’re comfortable with criticizing them (in a constructive way of course!).
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
Nobody’s gonna do it for you. Stop thinking about what could go wrong.
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
Buy an island in French polynesia, a boat, build an awesome tree house, and live their in complete autonomy with my girlfriend!
Top websites you couldn’t live without and why?
- WordPress – platform for Aniwaa
- Google Analytics – addicted to this
- Youtube – I spend too much time on this…
- Le Monde – not top quality but best way to keep in touch with french news
Top 5 mobile apps you’re in love with and why?
- Google Maps – getting better and better
- Gmail – of course
- Twitter – main source of info
- Whatsapp – how I communicate with my people
- Play Music – always listening to music
What is your music streaming player of choice, and what are you listening to right now?
SoundCloud. I only listen to hip hop and RnB… Currently the new French Montana mix tape.
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet? (And why that country?)
Thailand !! Love countries that offer the trifecta dream beaches/great culture/incredible nature
People (other than you) we should follow on Twitter and why?
Where else should our readers find you online?