Nikos, what is a CNC machine and why did you get involved with this industry?
First of all, I have to explain that the acronym “CNC” stands for Computer Numerical Control and it refers to machine tools that can be controlled via computer. In other words, a CNC machine is a motorized maneuverable tool controller by a computer.
I started programming computers at the age of 14 and I’ve been working in the software industry for more than 15 years. All these years I really liked to write software but I always wanted to get the software outside the computer’s screen. This is why I finally decided to get into the CNC machine tool manufacturing business, because I can actually build things by writing code.
How old are you?
Almost 35, I was born on July 8, 1986.
So you‘ve been writing software for 20 years. More than half of your life. How did you get involved with the software in the first place?
My father was working in the publication industry and we always had a computer at home. After I got bored of gaming I tried to see what else a computer does and I got involved with programming. At first with Visual Basic, later with Java, C# and a few other programming languages.
And then you got bored of writing computer code and wanted to expand into machine tools ? Is that what actually happened?
Ha ha. Yes, you can say it like that.
When was SourceRabbit founded and what were the first steps?
I started SourceRabbit in 2012, as a software house that offered custom mobile, web and back-end software solutions. CNC machines were my hobby all this time and in 2015 I decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign for a small desktop CNC milling machine of my own design, called the Rabbit Mill. The campaign launched on Indiegogo, with almost zero budget in advertising and within a month we raised almost $6500 from the total goal of $12000.
Until then I had no feedback about the machines I was building. I was building them for my own personal use, for my own hobby if you prefer. The crowdfunding campaign made me realize that there are several people and businesses around the world in need of a CNC machine tool to make their production. It was the first time I looked at a machine as a product and not as something I just like to build on my afternoons.
Would you do a crowdfunding campaign again?
I would probably do it. It is a great opportunity to introduce a new product to the market and get immediate feedback from clients all over the world with a small budget.