Robotaton makes short term investments of capital and intellectual resources in businesses to help them implement automation to increase efficiency, increase accuracy, and reduce costs.
MO: What inspired you to launch your business?
Dan: I have been an entrepreneur my entire career. I like to say, “I’ve never had a real job.” My current start up is a company that makes investments in other companies to bring custom automation technology into their business to realize a substantial operational savings. I was inspired to start this business because I saw a way to help other business owners who didn’t have the capital or intellectual resources to implement automation in their businesses in the same way I always have with all of my previous start ups and acquisitions.
MO: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Dan: Robotaton.com for me is the culmination and application of all my previous experiences, skills, and money into one focused business. It’s the first time I have started something where I felt like I had all (or at least the majority) of all the needed areas of expertise. When one is a young entrepreneur there is a lot that you don’t know, and the fun of it is being ready to forge ahead, learn and figure out what is needed. As one gets more seasoned, it’s easier to have all the needed parts of the project at the onset instead of being surprised that something was missing after the launch.
MO: What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Dan: Most small to medium sized businesses don’t have the capital or intellectual requirements to implement automation technology. Automation is the last phase of “outsourcing” to keep operational costs down. The goal is the same: reduce costs of delivering a better product/service. As technology continuous to improve, those businesses that cannot keep up with the operational savings that will be status quo in the new automated economy paradigm will indeed fold to more efficient automated competition. Robotaton.com is not only a business itself looking for profit, but at its core it’s about making sure that all businesses have the opportunity to participate in this unprecedented shift in the way business and our economy functions.
MO: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Dan: Every business I have been involved in has presented its own set of challenges. However, I can say that no matter the type of business one is in, finding the right people, getting them in the right positions, and leading them to thrive is always the most critical and challenging thing for a business person to do.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
Dan: The evolution of technology has always been exponential. Robotaton.com is poised to be a major player in the upcoming automation boom as technology achieves the capacity to automate more and more of our business and personal lives. Our timing of startup and projections are intentionally aligned with forecasts of the commercial application of this technology over the next 30 years. Over the next 5-10 years, automation will be mainstream and an option for any business trying to stay ahead of the curve. In the next 10-30 years, automation will be a necessity and those who did not adapt will no longer be able to compete. We will be investing in businesses to usher in as many as possible in the short and long term into the automated economy.
MO: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
Dan: One I was 15 years old I went to work with the bookkeeper in my father’s manufacturing company. Dado, the bookkeeper, was Filipino and his English was very hard to understand, yet he had such a great sense of humor his jokes and personality always shined through. I worked with Dado for nearly three years. The time I spent with him was one of the best experiences I have had in my whole career. Dado in title was the bookkeeper, but before coming to America from the Philippines he was a very accomplished businessman with a ton of experience. He acted as an advisor on a variety of issues to many of the upper management in the company. He had a sage-like quality that everyone appreciated. From my early years working with him I made it my goal to achieve that quality myself (some day; it has not happened yet).
MO: Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Dan: I ask myself this question on a regular basis and have yet to come up with a definitive answer.
MO: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?
Dan: It doesn’t get easier. No matter how much money you make, or how big your business gets, there are always new problems and challenges to overcome. So get used to it and enjoy the ride. Or if you can’t handle it, get a “real job.”
MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Dan: I spent nearly $1,000,000 starting a comedy venue in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The direct results of the project were rather lackluster (buying/improving/selling the venue real estate at the height of the real-estate bubble is the only thing that kept it from being a complete disaster). However, the business model that was subsequently developed out of that venue gave rise to a Chicago venue (and subsequently a third venue in another location) that continues to be a great success to this day. The lesson is, I guess, you learn more from failure then you do from success; but success is way more fun!
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