Stratasys Acquires MakerBot: Hip Tail To Wag Big Dog?

MakerBot Is The Mac To Stratasys’ PC (redux John Hodgman?) AND Now They’re Joined At The 3DP “Hip”

[20 June 2013]   Today, I covered the Bot/Strat news conference—to officially announce Stratasys’ buy of MakerBot for upwards of $600 million—held in the 21st Floor, sun-bright HQ of MakerBot in MetroTech Center #1. (Link HERE for my video commentary and full conference record of the remarks and Q&A of Bre Pettis/MakerBot and David Reis/Stratasys, respective CEOs.)

Lots of delicious ironies here: (1) MetroTech-1 is also the corporate headquarters of the energy company National Grid—19th C. utility jowlly-by-cheeky 21st C. omni-tility; (2) MakerBot started-up in their “BotCaves” of stygian Gowanus, where there were no windows at all in the converted, Canal-perfumed warehouses out of “The Cask of the Amontillado”; AND (3) the BotNot beige-on-beige corporate venue gave Stratasys Execs no clue as to the Brooklyn Techreative foment and ferment whence hyper-innovative MakerBot sprung. Yowza! Minnesota/Israel—Strat’s dual home-bases—have much to learn…

Brooklyn’s Tech-VC Pioneer Sees An “Exit” That Isn’t…Thankfully

Charlie O’Donnell—Founder Partner at Brooklyn’s first VC outfit, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures—blogged twice today about this tech-transcendent acquisition. Hey, this is Brooklyn’s first, native-startup “exiting” Big.

Charlie opined in his usual incisive fashion—complete with the added Boro brio & braggadocio of a homey who positioned himself in the right place at the right time. He loves the BK Brand. What’s not to love?!

Chas O’D flatly states: “Brooklyn is the creative capital of the world.” I wonder if Stratasys really understands the MBot secret (BK-foodie?) sauce. But, I agree with Charlie that our Boro is a Techreative magnet. And, from that, ALL else is possible—in this braver new world of ultra-urban concentrations of synergizing talent…

Another of Charlie’s points is that this isn’t an “exit” for MBot or its talented crew—including, most importantly, Desktop/DIY/3DP “poster boy” Bre Pettis. Nor is it a cash-out in the get-rich-&-run sense. Bre & Team doesn’t manipulate digits, they manufacture 3DP desktops. That hardware ethos—people making reality stuff—gives the entire Bot/Strat merge a gravity, a gravitas, that will redound to the betterment of NeoBrooklyn and NYC. Weight keeps you rooted.

MakerBot Magic Can Make You Cool…

David Reis—Stratasys Ltd.’s CEO and a man with the Look & Feel of an engineer—launched his comments at the conference by claiming the title of “cool.” Bre—starting the newser as host—had stated from the podium that the Strat leader was cool. (Well, you can’t tell a smartphone by its cover, especially if it’s a 3DP’d steampunk gear-train doubling as worry-beads…)

David claimed that no one had ever nominated him as cool. He seemed enormously pleased—and genuinely surprised. AND, David went on to state that his daughter—likely of a parent-skeptical age (when does that end, anyway?)—would be shocked and delighted by the moniker.

Conversations With CEOs

After the conference, I spoke with David—sometimes reportage gets you access. I averred that Brooklyn Bre might soon move him up to “hipster.” He looked both bemused and concerned…

David’s humanity and Bre’s urbane aw-shucks bode well for the corporate marriage—on an interpersonal level, at least. Time tells…post all nuptials.

I also spoke with Bre before the newser started and congratulated him—with a suffixed “…I think?!?” He assured me that the acquisition was going to be good for MakerBot.

OK. I think that IS true. And, here’s why: the MBot tail will wag the Strat dog. And, I further told Bre that he would likely run Stratasys one day…

C’mon Back!


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