Experienced Technical Director and businessman Scott Arnold recently launched a new company, TechFulcrum. InPark caught up with Scott to find out about the new venture.
InPark Magazine: What is TechFulcrum and what do you do?
Scott Arnold: At TechFulcrum we are a team of experienced entertainment professionals providing Design, Engineering, Consulting, Technical Direction, and Project Management for the technology of entertainment. We specialize in Audio, Control, and Video. We have especially extensive experience with sizable audio networks and distributed audio systems and well as projection and LED. Our team has worked on projects ranging from cruise ships to entire theme parks, as well as individual attractions and theaters. We offer services to operators (i.e., museums and theme parks), producers and directors, and system integrators.
TechFulcrum is not a system integrator, but rather we focus on the client’s perspective while engineering an appropriate balance of technology to further the project or story. We help determine what is needed, engineer a solution, and, if desired, help prepare a bid package to go out to system integrators and assist in choosing an appropriate integrator.
IPM: What does the name Tech Fulcrum stand for?
SA: TechFulcrum is about supporting the balance that is so important in our industry. There is an appropriate balance between too much technology and too little, between how visible or hidden that technology is, between cutting edge and what is tried and true. Further, there is an appropriate balance for budget, guest experience, and execution of a project. The TechFulcrum goal is to strike those optimal balances to promote a compelling guest experience at an appropriate budget while minimizing the headaches.
IPM: What inspired you to create the new company?
SA: Every project has a team comprised of stakeholders, the client, various people or departments in their organization, architects, creative people, vendors, and others. Generally all of these parties are coming to a project with different perspectives and different priorities. The creative people have a vision they want to make sure does not get tainted, the operator wants something easy and inexpensive to maintain, the contractor may want to build something quickly and move on, a vendor may want to sell more product, and of course the finance folks want to spend as little money as possible. Not all of these priorities are aligned.
What I enjoy doing is working with all of these parties to strike a balance where the important priorities are respected, and the final product is something to be proud of. The easiest way for me to help promote this balance is to not add on any outside motivations. I have created a company with this philosophy. Our priorities are what is best for the project. We earn a fair fee to promote this balance and that is it. We are not motivated by selling widgets, or by using specific manufacturers. At TechFulcrum we create designs and engineering packages to be the most appropriate solution for the project. We manage our portion of the project to promote what is best for the project. The TechFulcrum team respects these values.
IPM: You’ve started and built up companies before, what have you learned from that process?
SA: I have been fortunate to have some business successes in my career. While spaced out over the last 25 years, I feel that I have learned important lessons and personally grown with each company. Here are some lessons I learned that I feel are important:
- Work with people you respect and trust. Having to excessively worry about how an individual will act or what they will produce is a waste of time and effort.
- Hire good people and empower them to do their work. Having an experienced person does you no good if you hold them back.
- Be honest with the customer. Inevitably there will come a time when you face a challenge or make a mistake. Don’t hide. Step up and figure out the solution. No one likes surprises.
- Bigger is not always better.
- Don’t choose a solution because it is the newest coolest thing, and conversely don’t choose a solution solely because you have done it many times. Weigh the options and figure out what is best for the project.
- Understand the difference between passion and business and comprehend when they should align.
IPM: What projects are you working on?
SA: We are fortunate to hit the ground running. As is typical in our industry, we can’t share many details yet but we are in the process of an exciting project in the US, and another one in China. We are also working with Renaissance Entertainment, collaborating on some new and unique attractions in North America and Asia. I hope to be able to share some additional details soon.
IPM: How are you planning for growth of the company?
SA: I am excited about the team we have assembled so far and at this point the team is growing daily. We are looking to round out our group and IAAPA seems a perfect place to meet with people. If you are an AV design engineer, a CAD person, of if you feel you have skills and experience that fit in with TechFulcrum either as an employee or as a contractor, please contact me at scott.arnold@TechFulcrum.com. Perhaps we can set up a time to meet at IAAPA if you will be there. You can also visit our website www.TechFulcrum.com.