[Podcast] Flex and Friends: Sunny Han and Eddie Saunders Jr.

Sunny Han talks to Flex Tools' Eddie Saunders Jr. about the automation and the future of manufacturing

Eddie Saunders Jr.: What's up everybody, this is Eddie with Flex Machine Tools. And hey, welcome to our latest segment of Flex & Friends, a video cast experience series, where honestly I get to sit down, hang out, chat and pick the brains of some of the industry's loudest, proudest, best, brightest, most passionate and profound human beings. And we're talking about everything, you guessed it manufacturing. So we thank you so much for joining us today live on LinkedIn as well as YouTube Live.

So today we have a very, very special guest and a good friend of the Flex team in Sunny Han from Fulcrum. So before I get too much in here, I know you all didn't come here to listen to me talk, let's bring in our special guest, Sunny. Sunny, my man, he is in the house, welcome, welcome, welcome. It's an absolute pleasure to have you here on Flex & Friends. First and foremost, how's Sunny doing today?

Sunny Han: I'm doing great. It's fall, it's my favorite season and we're here chatting about manufacturing.

Eddie Saunders Jr.:
There we go. Wonderful things, I'm a huge fall fan myself, so you just won some brownie points with me. Not that you needed them, but nonetheless, I love it, absolutely love it. So awesome, really it's great that you're here today, we really, really appreciate it. And then as we're moving on, man, obviously you're really well known, you're on a speaking tour, if you will, and you're a very well known individual, but let's dive in, let's get to know Sunny personally and professionally. Man, what do we need to know?

Sunny Han: I don't know, man. I don't really like talking about myself. I like seeing you wear the Fulcrum t-shirt, that's a good call out.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: Oh, yeah.

Sunny Han: It's nice premium Pima cotton. Hopefully it's nice-

Eddie Saunders Jr.: Seriously, super comfortable. No joke. Everyone, if you can get your hands on a Fulcrum t-shirt, one of the most comfortable t-shirts I've worn in my life. So thank you all so much, it was great, it was great for it. So well, aside from that, obviously I know you're a pretty interesting person in general. So is there anything specifically that you'd like the world to know about you on a personal level?

Sunny Han: I think only that the journey into manufacturing was really an accident. I think a lot of people see me and talk with me and I think the impression that I might give is that I was born on a job shop floor or something like that, but that's not how I was raised. I was very much playing video games and writing computer softwares as a little kid and building computers and stuff. So it wasn't until way later in life that I stumbled into it. But talk about a foundational part of the economy, right? What is more important than manufacturing?

We've realized that over the last few years that you can't build houses without manufacturing, you can't sell goods without manufacturing, you can't transport stuff without manufacturing. So there's nothing that I could be more proud of being so passionate about.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: No, for sure. We're going to dive deep into that passion here shortly. So one thing that a little bird or two may or may not have told me at a trade show is you're obviously very interested in sushi as well as coffee. So we won't dive too much into it, but I'm curious if you'd like to potentially speak to that a little bit because I think it's a fun part of who you are that a lot of our viewers may want to learn and know more about you, man.

Sunny Han: I think where it all starts is that since starting the company, after six-and-a-half years of doing this I'm not really allowed to write code or do anything anymore, I'm just a hype man really inside the company. I had to find some outlet to do something creative, so cooking has always been a passion of mine. My mom's a really good cook and Japanese food has always been something that I've loved for a long time. And so I just started making sushi about six years ago.

At first it was just getting some frozen fish and whatever rice that I could find. And by now I started importing fish from Japan, my rice is imported from Japan, the seaweed and the vinegar and all the components are all imported. And I mix it all together and try to of as close to an authentic sushi experience in Tokyo to my friends as possible.

Sunny Han: And it's something that I've gotten really good at, mostly through repetition, trial and error, getting really sensitive palates and people who know things about cooking to come taste it and criticize me and then really rip me apart. And that experience is really gratifying. It's something I can do with my hands, I can make something really beautiful, something really tasty and share with people that might not have the experience of being able to fly to Japan and get the type of fish or that type of technique otherwise.

So something I really enjoy and it gives me this calm feeling of self-improvement. I think we all like that craftsmanship and that's my outlet, is sushi, coffee, other things like that, so.

Eddie Saunders Jr.:
Well, I love it. I'm writing on the list tonight for dinner with wife sushi, got it. Cool, you got me in the mood, man. But also, hey, what you got me in the mood for is learning a little bit more about you. So I feel like we as human beings we all have a super power. So if you had to list maybe either one or two of what you would consider to be your specific super power, what would you say?

Sunny Han: Oh, man. I think I'm probably way better than average at understanding people, what motivates them. Mostly it's through a lot of trial and error. I was an only child as a kid, so anytime I wanted to do anything there was no built-in friend that I had at home so I had to convince somebody to do something with me. And so I think my entire life has been a learning exercise in reading other people and seeing what they want to do and see if that matches with what I want to do. So I think one thing that I've had a lot of experience in is just understanding what makes other people tick.

Sunny Han: And I think people like to be understood. You can ask some prying questions, makes some awkward jokes, but fundamentally speaking, once you get to the point in time where you actually get somebody to reveal themselves, so you will not judge them and see them as who they are and accept them, it's a good experience. So that's something that I think I do pretty well, and I think it's really valuable. It's really valuable in understanding the end user and designing a good product, it's really good in motivating the team and coaching leaders and things like that, so a good skill to have. Not anything that I decided that I wanted to get good at, but just out of the serendipity of life that's something that I've developed over time.

Eddie Saunders Jr.:
No, that's definitely a superpower indeed, because there's always the alternative where you can't work with people, you can't motivate people. And so speaking of that, obviously I think that translates into you essentially being a leader, which you are the leader, definitely high impact individual over there at Fulcrum. So two-part question, explain what your role is at Fulcrum, and then also tell us what's going on for someone who doesn't know what you do, what your company's about. Give us a low-down, man, what do we need to know?

Sunny Han: I think my job has evolved into holding a bunch of information in my head and synthesizing it into decisions. I think my job is one-third making sure that the environment that we have here at Fulcrum is conducive to making a fantastic product and making the employees, the people that are here are having a really fulfilling, enriching time, not only developing the software, but developing themselves and working with each other. So at least a third of what... The number one priority and about a third of my time is hiring, coaching people, developing them, giving them advice, talking with them, understanding them. At this point in time I'm still able, I have the luxury still to have one-on-ones with every single person in the company, and that's something that's really important to me. I don't think that can continue forever, but it's something that I really enjoy doing.

Sunny Han: And so people really do come first, and creating the architecture for how they talk with each other, how they work with each other, how they develop, where they go, what things I think they can work on, who they are as individuals and how they work together as a team, as a tribe, that is the number one thing that I do and the most important thing that I do.

Number two, I think is I set the direction for the product. I try to envision what manufacturing's going to look like two years from now, five years from now, 20 years from now. I try to envision what technology is going to look like two years from now, five years from now, 20 years from now. And I try to piece together who we're going to need, when we're going to need them, how we're going to work together to achieve that and I'm constantly adjusting the things that I think about because everything's changing so often.

Sunny Han: So putting together a compelling product roadmap vision and where we want to take it, doing things that have ever been done before in a really nice and classy way, that I think is my number two priority and the thing that I'm really passionate about when it comes to leading this team. And then lastly, I do all the minutia of raising venture capital and deciding where to spend the money and when or not to and how to organize compensation plans and benefit and performers and all sorts of the mechanics of running the business. That's very important, it's not unimportant, but the ranking is people first then product and profit, so.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: Yeah. No, seriously, I love your perspective of that so much, couldn't love it anymore. And then, so aside from that, obviously you have a lot going on, you're a very important part of that team obviously being the leader of it. And so let's talk a little bit about your journey. So you had mentioned previously you were that kid who's just messing around with computers, playing video games, the only child developing some skills to convince others if you will be convincing. So where were you before Fulcrum? Can you give us maybe just a couple steps before you got to that point so we can tie in the journey for you? Because you have an interesting story, man, you really do.

Sunny Han: I think I've just been lost for the majority of my life. When I came to America as a little kid, my parents were studying here in graduate school and they weren't expecting to bring me over. And there was the tenement square incident, I think a lot of people are aware of that. And because of that my parents were granted permanent residency here, brought me over, I became a US citizen, and really I've just been talking about this recently benefited from a lot of luck. There were a lot of programs here. I took math at the University of Minnesota when I was in elementary school, I was part of some summer programs at Macalester, I was part of a charter school here that brought together a lot of really talented kids.

Sunny Han: And I think all of those experiences were things that were not decided, my parents didn't move here because of that, they're just serendipitous things that Minnesota and the Twin Cities have offered to me and it's given me this ability to understand that I'm not nearly the smartest person that exists, that give me some humility about that. It's given me exposure to learn things way earlier than other people, and it's given me the ability to practice leading people and organizing people. So that was my entire childhood. I went to school thinking I was going to be a doctor, that didn't go so good. Went through an experience where I was just sitting in observing a surgery I couldn't stop throwing up, realize I hated blood and quit that pretty quickly.

Sunny Han:
And so I think when you lose sight of what your dreams are for yourself, I think it oftentimes takes a long time to discombobulate and reorganize that, right? They say a part of depression is not being able to predict your future. And so I think, I wouldn't say that I was clinically depressed, but I was definitely lost for a long time trying to find where I wanted to go, and doing consulting work is a great way to try to find yourself. So I'm really glad I did, that was the way that I got exposed to manufacturers. It was just the types of clients that I was in introduced with, and part of them were short assessments and analysis that I did on these companies, parts of them were very involved projects and implementing ERPs and writing custom software for them.

Sunny Han: But being able to go through hundreds and hundreds of businesses and learn about them and really settle in on small business, which is a strong, a weird niche in consulting, it's not a big part of the consulting world, those experiences really formed all the insight, all the information and knowledge that I have today and in starting the company. So I wouldn't say that I've always been entrepreneurial. I knew this was a problem for the whole industry that most of the software, that most of the ERP software, most of the foundational operating system software was written in the '70s and '80s and '90s, I just assumed for three years that somebody else was going to start a company. And it wasn't until I realized no one was that I started it.

Sunny Han: So yeah, it wasn't this thing where I was hunting for an idea to do something, it was just something that I got so convinced in over time that I could not do it. So it was something that I probably should have talked to my wife a little bit more about, we moved into my parents' basement and I quit my job really without too much discussion. So that's a lesson to learn for other people, not going to do it that way, but-

Eddie Saunders Jr.:
Write it down. No, that is great. And you have such an interesting story and I love just the grit behind it as well, and how essentially you didn't fine manufacturing, obviously there's a lot of people were manufacturing found you. And I also love the idea that you're switching out the word clinical depressed, the other words for lost. I think that's great, that takes a lot of ownership and accountability. And I feel like manufacturing is blessed that you stumbled upon it one way or another, if you will. And so obviously that resulted in the amazing company that is now Fulcrum, your baby. And so really what are you up to now? We've got some of the prefix what brought you there, this decision, that decision. Really, what are you up to now, man?

Sunny Han: We're trying to keep the pace high on delivering new features to all of our customers. I think a lot of what the industry is used to is lots of consultants, lots of upfront fees and software that doesn't change. It's exhausting, but also really rewarding to do it differently, to do all the implementation ourselves, to learn from our customers, to roll out cool new features every month, every quarter that other people haven't seen. There's a lot of excitement that we have, but as a company scales, one of my really good friends who worked at Google gave me this concept that, "As you increase the team and size, you get linear improvement in velocity if you don't go one unit faster for every one person that you hire."

Sunny Han: And so as we start to grow we're having diminishing returns, which is normal, but trying to keep that excitement and momentum high, trying to continue to deliver really great product that takes coordination, that takes effort, that takes research, that takes me being a hype person every day and it takes me listening to people, understanding problems and solving them as best as possible. So really, as a company we have this incredible culture that we lucked into. We always wanted to have a great culture, but you can't imagine what it looks like or feels like, we have a sales team that's incredibly collaborative that doesn't hide anything from each other, that's always sharing information with each other. We have an implementation team that's super empathetic towards all of our customers. They go above and beyond, they work long hours, they work on weekends even though we don't ask them to, they just do every possible thing to make our customers successful.

Sunny Han: We have a product team and a design team and an engineering team that really just fights and wrestles and hashes things out until we get the best answer. And we build stuff and we trash it, we rebuild it again just to make it that little bit better. So some of the principles that drive who we are as a company, those are the things that are strong, and it's always a balancing act as you grow really fast. We tripled from last year to this year, we're probably going to triple again this year, next year. At some point in time the limiting factor isn't the ideas you have or the talent that you have, it's really the organization, how do you keep that culture together as you grow that quickly?

Sunny Han: And recently the team asked me how I'm feeling, and the description that I had is that I feel pre-nostalgic. Even though this era hasn't come to an end yet, it feels like we're growing so fast that I need to focus on enjoying each and every day and each and every week that we have and just being grateful for it. So it seems weird that you're nostalgic already for something that hasn't even ended yet, but it feels like it's going by so fast that I will be nostalgic at some point in time. So it's giving this gift of being more present in the everyday.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: No, I completely understand that. And I can only imagine from the business ownership perspective. I'm over here dad of four and I blinked and I now have a 10 year old, so I very much understand you, you've really taken these days for what they are. And it's awesome to know that there's not only growth currently happening, there's growth that's going to continue to happen in foreseeable future, which is amazing. Not everybody can say that, especially after last year, Sunny. So tip to the cap for you on that one, that's nothing short of incredible. And then obviously you're really basing a lot of technology for the industry, you're providing a significant amount of convenience, but what specifically is your technology doing for manufacturing? That's what we need to know.

Sunny Han: Yeah. I think I'm a big believer, I've been inundated with all sorts of videos and speeches that I've listened to all throughout my life that you have to start with what the problems are in the industry for the end user and work backwards the technology in. And I think that there's a lot of really cool stuff that we can talk about, a lot of the technological gizmos and gadgets that are behind the scenes, but there's this concept, this principle that I preach too much of and probably put too much stake in, but it's called Conway's law. It says that the way that you communicate with each other dictates the type of company you are and the type of product that you make. And as the products that you make change, it changes the way that you talk with each other.

Sunny Han: The best way to describe what Fulcrum does for our customers isn't through the technology, but through how it changes their business and how they talk with each other. 30, 40, 50 years ago, corkboard, construction paper, colored pencils and grid paper where you're doing all sorts of math, and you'd have these big charts and easels where you'd present things and everybody would disseminate information, fast forward 30, 40 years we have ERP databases, older systems where we can pull reports from and every week we have a production meeting and we share a bunch of information. With Fulcrum that information, that analysis is right there at the fingertips for the end user, the operator can see if they're on time, if they're behind, the production manager can see what's going on live in the shop floor.

Sunny Han: And all of those things are buzzwords and whatever features and we can talk about web technologies and AI and all this other stuff, but fundamentally when the operators and the end users have access to that data and that information themselves, you no longer have to have somebody that holds the key to the kingdom to share that information, people can self-service it. And that doesn't mean they've stop talking with each other, it means they start talking about more important problems and they start talking deeper about their problems, and they start to figure things out about where the constraints are within their business and alleviating them. And so we can talk about how our customers get increased throughput or lower scrap or all these other things, but the key thing is that it changes what's possible and how they communicate with each other, which allows them to evolve into a different or a better business. And so that's my non-jargony, non-buzzwordy way of putting what I believe the best impactful, the best for our customer.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: I've never heard of that specific law before, but that is so relevant. And it's really interesting how you can tie in your technology, it's specifically in how that changes the conversation. Because really we exist in such an evolving industry and technology is no exception to that specific role, especially what you're working with here, and it's crazy to see that. And speaking of technology, I know we're anti-buzzwords and you did a great job of staying away from them, but we got to sprinkle some in here, industry 4.0 automation. So for, Sunny, let's see, what do we need to know about this big concept, if you will, and what's trending in your world? Give it to me all real and authentic my man.

Sunny Han:
Yeah. I think that manufacturing and industrials or Industry 1.0, 2.0, there have been multiple industrial revolutions, right? At some point in time we made everything for ourselves. Our shoes sucked, our cars, well, no cars, but our bicycles sucked, everything we used just sucked unless we were really good at making it ourselves, right? Over some period of time we started to develop repeatable processes, we had steam and then electricity and we had all sorts of technologies that allowed us to make things in mass.

Sunny Han:
And I would rather categorize what's been happening as a shift in a paradigm from individuals creating sometimes bad, sometimes good, very rarely amazing things into mass producing everything that's not perfect but is way better than the average person could make for themselves and then refining that and refining that and refining that. What I think is happening to all products from aerospace to defense, to consumer, to food and beverage and medical, is that we're starting to get to the point in time where the quality of what we make is no longer the limiting factor, it's what the market demands. And whether it's an iPhone, or a car, or a pair of shoes, I think the market's becoming more fractionalized, more personalized, where people want things of different quality, or they want things for different reasons, and they want things made of different materials or made locally, or they don't care if it's made locally.

Sunny Han: I think the preference in personalization for every human being is increasing and it's increasing at a non-linear rate. I think it's because of the internet, I think it's because of social media, I think there's a lot of reasons behind it, but I think we're just evolving faster. We're designing more, we're making things better, we're making things more specific to the end use case. I think that's a good thing for civilization, but regardless of what you make, whether it's heavy machinery or consumer goods, what you're going to start seeing, what we're seeing right now with our customers, what we're seeing in the market in general is smaller order quantities, more frequently, more blanket orders, more weird quantities, closer to just in time, still flexible, more revisions, more iterations, faster, faster, faster, faster.

Sunny Han: Whereas you might have designed something and made it for 10 years now it's eight years and seven years and six years. Whereas you might have made four versions of something now there's 12 versions of it. And I think that trend isn't going to go to infinity, but that trend isn't going to go away, it's going to stay.

And I think that actually that drives a huge amount of value for local manufacturing. It means that doing something in a really large volume overseas in a country that has cheaper labor laws and lower labor standards no longer has as big of an advantage, right? You have to wait six months for something to come across the ocean. And we saw what happened to that with COVID, I think Industry 4.0 is about using technology to connect people with the right fabricators and the right manufacturing firms so that you can get things produced at the right quantity, in the right geography for the right purpose at the right quality.

Sunny Han: And so, our long-term vision at Fulcrum is to make sure that Fulcrum is so powerful and so widely applicable that we can make this internet of manufacturing happen and just change the paradigm of how manufacturers find each other, how designers find manufacturers, how manufacturers find vendors and raw material suppliers. There's just this magic of the internet that we use for dating and for our food delivery but somehow don't use for manufacturing and supply chain logistics. And I think our efforts, other people's efforts, a lot of really cool companies are working on making that happen.

Sunny Han: And to me that's what industry 4.0 is. You can talk about IoT and devices and things like that, all of that is working together to increase the speed of information, the speed of decisions, and ultimately making this industry much more fluid, much more frictionless and much more efficient. So that I think is that industry 4.0. I don't think myself or anyone can really predict what's going to happen because of it. Obviously I have my own ideas and my own suppositions, but I do know that no matter what it's going to be fundamentally different.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: Yeah. No, I completely agree. It's just interesting to be able to hear this variety of different perspectives on what these specific words mean to each individual and where they think it's going to go. So aside from those two little, I guess, semi molded topic that we're talking about, what other hot ticket items are you hearing about, are you seeing out in the field or that you're personally experiencing that you think, "Man, I wish manufacturing would know all about this because I'm seeing this a little bit of everywhere?" What is that?

Sunny Han:
I think that the one thing that is the most important is that, when we're in a volatile situation like this there's opportunities everywhere. And I think people might not know that there's actually huge opportunities to win deals that otherwise would not have been winnable in the past. There's a lot that flexibility and speed can do for you to win some of these deals that are out there that we're still having lots of supply chain issues.

There's this academic notion called the bullwhip effect, where if you put a stress on the supply chain you're going to have huge amounts of production then it's going to go down, it's going to go up again and the wrong people are going to have the raw material when it's short and then there's going to be more raw material and then there's this inefficiency.

Sunny Han: And I think we might think that because COVID is coming to an end soon, hopefully everywhere and some of these supply chain issues have smoothed out that it's going to be smooth sailing, but I really think that from the data that we're seeing, from what I'm hearing from the market you can piece together that this bullwhip effect will continue for quite some time and there's going to be quite a bit of opportunity going forward in the next two, three, four, five years to form new relationships that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to form to participate in production and fabrication with companies that you just written off because they've outsourced their production or whatever maybe.

So I would say that the one thing is just keep your ears open and keep your eyes clear for whatever opportunities that might be there, and whatever intuition that you might have that's been based on the last 20 years of knowing manufacturing, some of that intuition might not be right anymore, so.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: Yeah, for sure. I have a great amount of respect for the individuals who when they see problems they instantly, naturally, organically view them as opportunities. And that's exactly what you just did, so I have a great amount of respect for you for not being afraid, because you hear people who are afraid of what's going to happen. Even to this day given everything, I mean, depending on your perspective on the pandemic where it lies, whatever it may be, I do love and so much respect that you're seeing this as an opportunity and highlighting that for manufacturers who may be more timid when you're saying, "Hey, iron is hot, let's get to striking, let's have conversations you didn't think you could have before," love it, love it, love it.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: So, and you may have just answered this indirectly. So if you had a magic wand, if I handed Sunny the magic wand of manufacturing and you could wave that sucker one time and then be able to have really what it is you wish or make a big change that you would want, that you think would better for everybody, what would happen when you wave that magic wand?

Sunny Han: Well, if it's actually magic, so something that's not really that possible, but what would actually be magical is if you could wave a wand and every manufacturer out there instantly knew about every other manufacturer and knew where they sat in the supply chain. I think that would give every single company a piece of clarity on who they are and what the value is. It would reduce anxiety and uncertainty, a massive amount. It would improve collaboration, you would be able to give everybody this belief by proof that it isn't a zero-sum system, it isn't that I do more work and someone does less. It could be collectively much better even if I'm growing, everyone else can grow together, we would have much more efficient networks and much more efficient markets.

Sunny Han: So if it really truly is a magic wand and it's something that's probably not possible anytime soon, it would be to just give everybody instantaneous knowledge of everyone else, what they do, where they are, how they do it, and that knowledge would be super valuable for every single manufacturer.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: Truly. So what I got to do first is, I need to invent this magic wand, you're going to give me some time, right? So by the time I'm finished, the problem will probably be solved. But no, it's always interesting hearing... Exactly, it's always this interesting hearing the thought leaders within our industry like yourself really how you feel about that question, because everyone gets to reveal the problems in which they feel are the most rooted. And so it's wonderful to hear that, man. It sounds like the internet of manufacturing.

No, it's good, I love that. So I've love so many terms that you've dropped today. I've learned so much and we're not even done yet. So when we're talking about again, maybe in that theme of big wild, big hairy audacious goals, if you will, what do you think is your big claim for manufacturing for the next 10 to 20 years? What do you see on the horizon as some good things that can happen? Or if you say, "Hey, if we don't avoid this, this could be a problem." What are you seeing down your lenses Sunny?

Sunny Han: So I think a big thing that we get a little bit of flack for is, we really tout and advertise how much time we spend on making the user experience super good. And the question I get asked all the time is, "Well, don't you believe that all of manufacturing is going to be automated?" And my answer to that question is, "Yes, I really do believe that's going to be the case," but I don't think it's going to be done in two years. I don't think it's going to be done in 10 years, I don't think it's be done in 20 years or 30 years.

And there's a lot of companies out there that are working on this. There's Machine Metrics, there's all sorts of robot arm companies, there's all sorts of companies and startups and established companies all working on this problem.

Sunny Han: But I think that in the near term, in the near term being five to 10 years human beings are still going to be incredibly important parts of manufacturing, that the craft and the knowledge of how to treat different alloys of steel and different gauges of sheet metal and different EPDM durometers of rubber and what to do with them and how to react when the humidity goes up or goes down or all these different things, it's still going to be a long time before we're going to codify that information and make it so that a machine could do all of it. I think it'll happen in my lifetime, but the reason that we're spending so much time on the humanism of it is that I don't think in the short-term we're going to escape the need for humans.

Sunny Han: And it's harder to hire than ever before and it's harder to hire production managers, it's harder to hire operators, it's harder to hire shipping and receiving folks, it's harder to hire warehouse people, it's harder to hire than ever everywhere in the market. So we need to make the job of each and every one of the humans that decides to commit their lives to this important industry as easy as possible.

We need to make each and every one of them as effective and efficient as possible, make them as superhuman as possible. And I think that's really what the near term call to action is for technologists in applying technology to manufacturing is, how do we make the humans' lives more enriching, more valuable? And that'll drive the average wage up, it'll drive the average margin up, it'll drive the average revenue up for each and every one of these companies, and it will allow for this machine automation to happen.

Sunny Han: And I don't think that these people that will give their lives to manufacturing over the next two or three decades will be lost. There's not going to be a big layoff because I think that the per capita demand for manufactured goods will rise way faster than we're going to be able to have humans in this machine. And I think that the automation will happen just out of a necessity to meet that demand.

So a lot of people approach me thinking that these two things are at odds with each other, and I really don't think that they are. And I think that our bet on really great human experiences and augmenting human minds is paying off for us right now. I'm certain enough that I've bet my entire life savings and all of my wealth on it and all of my effort and all of my attention, but I'm still not so certain that I would tell you that you should be able to plan on it, but is one of the strongest personal beliefs that I have for the next 20 years.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: No, which is great. Because I do hear a decent amount of there's some fear involved with individuals thinking, "Automation and robotics reduces and it takes away my opportunities and it's a scary thing." And I feel like that's such an old rusty mindset, for lack of a better term. And no offense to anybody who currently feels that way, but just like as you said, Sunny, I mean the writing is on the wall. I don't think that your claim is as wild and as crazy as we may originally think, if you will. I really genuinely believe that there's a lot of merit to what you're saying and really again just agree with it, so it's cool.

And then, so with that one last little tidbit. So for those who do say that automation and robotics in this technology advancement they pose a threat to the future of the human experience within manufacturing, what would you say to that person?

Sunny Han: I think that the whole world is moving into a different era that we can't predict. I think that it's really foolish to think that every single human will have a contributing purpose at some point in time. I don't think we need to be scared of it.

And I think the automation that happens in manufacturing will drive the wealth generation to afford it. And so I would say that the people that are afraid of it, I understand. I understand even just on a microcosm that I've hired really fantastic and intelligent people and I've been replaced in a lot of the things that I do, but just like everybody else that's working here now is allowing me and enriching my ability to take the knowledge that I've had and make decisions at a better pace and in a better frequency. I think we'll see the exact same effect across the entire manufacturing industry.

Sunny Han: I think we'll have more tools that will allow us to do more and make the job more interesting and more meaningful and better for everyone that's involved, right? Regardless of what your personal philosophy is, part of me is definitely stoic where I believe that suffering is somewhat unavoidable, adding meaning to what we do is the only way for us to cope with things and make sure that our lives are fulfilling.

So even if you feel like your job is going to be automated away, if you can dig into the meaning of why it's happening and that you're helping it happen and you're creating a future that looks different than the present that you experience now, I think you can still motivate a lot of really talented people to work in an environment where they're essentially destroying their own jobs over time so long as it's creating a better world for their children and their child's children, so.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yes, creating a better future and world. That's the key, and I love so much so I talk to all these individuals in our industry, and that seems to be the underlying purposes, is generally making the industry and the world run more efficiently and be overall better. Right in the feels man, right in the feels. So honestly during our conversation today, Sunny, I've learned so many incredible things, not only about you but just the different principles you've provide, the laws that I didn't even know existed that are super relevant to not only the industry but to life in general.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: And it's been a true pleasure to just be able to sit back and just listen to all the value and all just the passion that you have for not only your company but just the industry and the solutions as a whole, I really, really respect it. So for anybody who may want to learn more about yourself, keep up with you or keep up with all the amazing things that are going on with Fulcrum, where can we get more information? Where can we look? What do we need to do?

Sunny Han: I'm still at a point in my communication sanity that I can just offer my email. It's Sunny, like the weathers, S-U-N-N-Y@fulcrumpro.com. Email me if you want to talk about anything, if you want to shoot me a line, if you want to trade of jokes, send me a funny meme, whatever it is that you want to send, you can contact me directly.

If you want to learn more about us and our product just go to fulcrumpro.com. You can see screenshots of the product, you can see what our mission is, you can see what we're all about, you can book a demo, you can talk to one of our lovely people through our chatbot. Whatever it is that you want to do, that's probably the best way for you to engage with us.

Eddie Saunders Jr.: So if you have good jokes and good memes, email Sunny. If you want to learn more about Fulcrum, hit up that website, but specifically with those memes, I didn't know you're a meme guy. You best brace yourself my dude because you're speaking my language, man. So this is truly wonderful, and then Sunny, the utmost amount of respect to you for everything that you've done, that you're doing and very excited to see what it is that you're going to do with you and your amazing seemingly, awesomely growing team there at Fulcrum.

So is there any last little bits that you want to put for our live audience or for anybody else who may be viewing this? Any last little claims or statements you'd like to make about your company, the industry, or yourself in general?

Sunny Han: I just want to call out that I and everybody else who's been on the show are all collectively super grateful for what you do, the energy that you put into all the shows that you do, and that we need more of this everywhere in manufacturing and I'm glad you exist and you do what you do and thank you for taking the time to research me, research these topics, talk with me, have a great conversation, I appreciate it.

Eddie Saunders Jr.:
Oh Sunny, you're pulling my heartstrings, bro, you're pulling my heartstrings. No, seriously thank you, utmost respect. And we appreciate each of you for viewing this live if you have, if you're watching this secondary, we appreciate as well.

Make sure you go on Fulcrum has some amazing content, check out the website, email Sunny directly or they've got some wonderful socials. And also check out flexmachinetools.com, we're releasing a lot of amazing content, always advocating for this wonderful industry that is manufacturing. So again, much appreciation to our guest as well as all of you for joining us on our latest episode of Flex & Friends, our video cast experience series brought to you live. So hey, until next time you all stay awesome, stay flexing and we'll see you next time.

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