Today we’d like to introduce you to Dinesh Padiyar.
Can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today. You can include as little or as much detail as you’d like.
When I came to the US from England in 1986, President Reagan had started a government-funded research program they called “Reagans Star Wars” program to create the next generation of laser and optics-based technology. One of the projects I worked on was “Head-up-Displays” (HUDs) for use in aircraft because pilots could not bend their neck to look down at the console, so I made a helmet visor that projected the image of the controls out in front of the pilot using holograms. Today, these kind of holograms are available in your car. Another hot item right now that uses holograms are VR/AR – virtual/augmented reality glasses.
My wife and I started our own company, Triple Take Holographics in 2000 and have built an independent research lab where we have helped many large companies create their first prototypes. Our word-of-mouth reputation as cutting-edge innovators and problem-solvers has brought most of our clients to our door without any advertising.
Has it been a smooth road? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
First of all, this kind of work is very niche, so it wouldn’t generally be enough to keep a regular company in business, but we were able to do it because it was only the two of us and we could work from a very small budget. That was our selling point – that big company who had an idea they wanted to try out but didn’t want to invest in a lab of their own could outsource the problem to us.
Our biggest struggle was definitely the business side of things. We are both scientists, not business people, and we never liked the negotiating part. To keep things simple for us, we adopted a “work-for-hire” model, where we simply get paid a flat rate for the designated work. But this also means we rarely get acknowledged (and never get ownership) of anything we worked on or invented. Because of this, we always just earned enough to live on, but never grew the company.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Triple Take Holographics – what should we know?
We are scientists, specializing in the design of diffractive optics or holographic optical elements (HOE’s). We’re proud of the fairly well-equipped lab we built. We love the technical challenges, being independent and creative, thinking about the technology of the future and how we can make that happen.
We are also instinctively educational, both to our clients who may not understand all the technical challenges, but also for our outreach programs: We love to bring our collection of optics toys to school groups from STEM to college to public lectures as well as professional papers. My wife especially likes being a role model for girls-in-science programs.
What sets us apart is that the two of us are known worldwide as a powerful team, and our company name is our personal identity. When people want to think outside the box, they come to us.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Well, of course, our clients. Our clients are usually other scientists and technologists from companies such as Microsoft. As such, they are fairly exceptional and pose very challenging problems. Trying to solve such problems is difficult, but, it increases our knowledge and experience. In addition, friends with specific talents and abilities have helped us with issues that are not our own strengths. So, if I need some software written, I call upon a friend who is very good with software.
Also, being a husband-and-wife team, we can thrash out technical issues without being limited to office hours. So, we talk at length about technical difficulties and work through to a solution because we think in different ways. I’m more theoretically based and my wife is very practical, so we can explore both the theoretical aspects and the practical aspects of the problem.
- Website: www.triple-take.com
- Phone: 760-471-1708
- Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org