In late February Tony and I attended Inside 3D Printing conference and expo in Dusseldorf, Germany. The whole event was a bit boring. It was more industry oriented and 80% of the participants were wearing suits J. Nevertheless, we managed to find cool guys from the 3D printing startup community with whom we had a very good time. One of them was Davide Sher. I had read Davide’s stories at 3D Printing Industry and meeting him was awesome. He is a very nice, very cool guy with a lot of experience in the industry. He shared with me that right now he is working on a very exciting project: the world largest 3D Printing Business Directory, so I invited him to talk about it in our blog.
Stan, Threeding.com: Hi Davide. It was very nice meeting you during Inside 3D Printing in Dusseldorf and thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview. First, can you tell us more about you and your background?
Davide Sher: Sure. I was born and I live in Milan, Italy, however I spent 12 years, during the 90’s, in the US, while I was in high school and college. I have been working as a journalist in consumer technology since 2002, mainly writing about the videogame industry. As the videogame market changed I began covering all consumer technologies and discovered 3D printing. Since 2013 I have been covering only the 3D printing industry, both through my own Italian website, Replicatore.it and international blog 3dprintingindustry.com.
Stan, Threeding.com: What is your current project?
Davide Sher: I have now launched my own international website, which you can view at www.3dprintingbusiness.directory. It is both an industry news blog with exclusive content and, primarily, the largest listing of 3D printing businesses in the world.
Stan, Threeding.com: How many companies do you have in your directory?
Davide Sher: We currently have listed over 2,500 global 3D printing businesses. For each company we include the logo, a short description, their exact geographical location (on a map) and all their contact information: generic email, phone number, fax number and their main social pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn). They are all divided into 15 main business categories and 60+ subcategories.
Stan, Threeding.com: Why should people use the directory?
Davide Sher: It is meant to be both a place for 3D printing companies to find out about each other to develop synergies and for those who are interested in implementing 3D printing into their current workflow to gain a clear understanding of who makes up this industry, what they do and where they are. We also provide updated, original information through our official Directory Blog page.
Stan, Threeding.com: What is the business model and why should people come to you?
Davide Sher: Our subscriptions start as low as €2,90 per month and the top plan is $24,90 for Featured Listings. These give the companies that subscribe a broad range of advantages and services and we invest the money we receive into providing accurate and independent new and industry information. Everyone could easily afford $2,90 which means that there would be no favorites when reporting news and that we would not be dependent on any company in particular. That differentiates us for other international blogs that rely on a single investor or on expensive advertising from a small number of companies. We have already created the page, so most of the work is done. By subscribing to any plan a company can claim their page and keep it up to date. We will not be able to update companies so those companies that will not be claimed are eventually going to be removed from the directory.
Stan, Threeding.com: What is the best subscription plan for well established businesses and startups like Threeding?
Davide Sher: Any startup can contact us and obtain a free basic subscription. If you are already out of startup and are regularly launching or pushing new products we recommend the Featured Plan. In this launch phase we will create a custom press release for all startups that sign up for a Featured Plan and send it out to our contacts among the leading 3D printing media.
Stan, Threeding.com: As an industry analyst, how do you think 3D printing industry will go forward after the end of the 2013-2014 hype?
Davide Sher: Even though 3D printing is something entirely new, the trends that it follows are not so different form any other potentially disruptive technological advancement. It has been around for many years although it was not accessible to the masses. Then the expiration of patents brought it to a price point that just about anyone can afford and the enthusiasm from these masse took over. Then this enthusiasm clashed with the limits, not so much in the technology but in terms of a lack of understanding about what to use it for. Now that phase is coming to an end and I believe that a new, slower but more stable phase of growth is beginning.
Stan, Threeding.com: Thank you for your time, Davide. I wish you good luck with all your 3D printing projects.
To find out more about Davide and his projects, visit his website, his 3D-Printing-Business-Directory, Relicator.it