The man from the boat who started his
engineering career in kindergarten and wouldn't miss a single year of Burning Man for the world
life before shape
Scott was born and raised in the sunnier side of California, SoCal. He grew up in Irvine and went to college in Santa Barbara to study engineering.
“I remember that I wasn't sure exactly what sort of engineering I wanted to study, but that I was going to become an engineer was never a question. In fact I thought that I was already an engineer, as ever since I can remember I was always building stuff. While other kids were playing with racing cars or riding bikes, all I was interested in were my little lego blocks.”
So he ended up pursuing his real passion and graduated from UCSB as a Mechanical Engineer. As soon as he got out of the university lecture theaters, he jumped right into real life and started working full-time. Scott got his first job at Printronix, an American suppliers of industrial printers who offer the most-trusted brand names in the industry.
“I was at Printronix for 3 years and definitely learnt a lot. You know, printers are just great because they have a lot of mechanical elements and so working on them early on in you career is a great way to expand your skills and knowledge.”
After Printronix and a couple months of traveling in Europe, Scott eventually found his way back to America as well as printers. He joined CalComp and was put onto a project code-named “Topaz” dedicated to a new technology in ink jet printing. As part of the Topaz crew, he relocated to Silicon Valley and fell in love with the innovative spirit of the city and the abundance of beautiful nature to explore nearby. So even after the end of the Topaz era, Scott decided to stick around and move his tool kit to IDEO's office in Palo Alto.
“I had some very interesting projects at IDEO, like the Handspring Treo, the Eye Module Camera and the Steelcase Shelving System. But what I'd say was the best about my work there was seeing people day-by-day using my products. I still remember the first time when I was standing in the line at a Trader Joe's and this man got his Handspring Treo out of his pocket and I was like 'Oh my God, I built that and someone is actually using it in his everyday life.' There is literally no better validation than this as an engineer.”
Once Scott finished his journey at IDEO he decided to take a more independent and less linear path and became a contractor. His first contract wasn't just a “real dream come true” to him, but was also a real “wow, that's the coolest thing ever” type of project.
“I worked on a “Mummy” animatronic robot for Universal Studios' $80 million attraction that was based on The Mummy movie. I absolutely love theme parks so it was definitely one of my favorite works ever. But personal feelings aside as well, it was an incredibly fascinating project. Universal Studios set the bar really high when it came to articulation and dynamic movements. They wanted us to build a “real monster” that would make their visitors feel like actual movie characters. And I would say we succeeded because the Mummy has been one of their main attractions ever since.”
Finally after his proud “Mummy moment” and a few other jobs, Scott felt like it was time to take a turn in his career again and settle with a company. Contracting was fun, but “I just felt like I was ready to leave dating behind and get married”. He wanted to own a product again, get into deeper details and work on something more complex and meaningful.
“So when I stumbled upon this job opening at Shape, it really felt like one of those 'right place at the right time' moments. The product, ShapeScale, didn't only catch my attention, but I immediately felt that it was exactly what I was looking for. A device that could empower so many people and create a positive impact in many industries.”
But of course, as an experienced engineer, it was also essential for Scott to join a company that can put him into challenging situations.
“ShapeScale is a very complex device. It's mechanical, but also has a lot of data processing, which is essentially a blend of the two best worlds. An amazing opportunity for any kind of engineer really. And on top of all this I've already had a lot of experience with consumer electronics and industrial design. Meaning that I was confident that my expertise would also be a perfect match for the team and ShapeScale.”
A Day In Scott's Life
Scott is a Senior Mechanical Engineer at Team Shape, who is responsible for the design of the physical components of ShapeScale. In his own words his job involves a “lot of time in front of the computer, designing stuff, prototyping and testing.” And in our words, his job is critical for building an amazing, reliable and durable product for our consumers.
“Let me give you a little bit of context. As the arm telescopes, you might only see this cool device moving up and down from the outside, but there's a whole lot more going on inside. During my first weeks, I had to make sure that all these inside mechanisms are working smoothly. For instance that when this arm telescoping happens, the cables can extract and retract without tangling.”
These are mechanical tasks that are the building blocks of ShapeScale's proper operation in the homes of hundreds of thousands of people. Which is where Scott sees the device in the near future. “I am actually super excited about ShapeScale's initial use-case in the personal health & fitness industry. I've always been a sporty guy, so definitely see its value and can't wait to get start using one regularly.”
But as we know health & fitness is just the first stop. Scott also believes that ShapeScale could make a huge impact in the fashion eCommerce industry in a couple of years.
“I mean I am a perfect example for this, as I am really not into the whole clothes shopping thing and try to do most of it online. It's kind of a 'let's just get it out of the way' type of activity for me. But when something that I order doesn't fit and I have to return it and get a replacement, the whole process just becomes a pain.
With ShapeScale, this pain element could be eliminated entirely. Imagine that you'll be able to try everything on in a virtual environment and have a 100% success rate when buying clothes online. It's going to be groundbreaking.”
Highlights Of Working At Shape
Scott thinks that team Shape is full of interesting people with very diverse backgrounds. He likes the whole multicultural aspect and sees the opportunity of getting to know other cultures as one of his job's hidden perks.
“We're definitely a very productive bunch with open communications and mutual respect for each other. And the fact that everyone has such different backgrounds and come from different places only adds an extra layer of creativity to our daily work. The result is countless amazing ideas that are born cross-teams.”
Scott's goal when taking an in-house role was to “get married” instead of “dating”, and if not even literally but he has definitely succeeded with Shape. He found a team that he doesn't only enjoy working, but also spending his free time with.
“It's strange because it really went further than I expected or hoped even. Because I kind of wanted to join a team and be part of a team, except this particular team seems more integrated than any other. Like a family, it really feels like that.”