Have you ever dreamed about combining your expertise and passions to become an entrepreneur?
My guess on today’s podcast did just that. Erez Speiser is the creator of machiningdoctor.com, a site for professionals in the machining industry to get technical information to simplify their work. The site offers resources such as a sophisticated feeds and speeds calculator for six types of machining processes. It even contains a machining encyclopedia.
Before creating Machining Doctor, Erez worked for cutting tools giant ISCAR for over 20 years and managed a Swiss machine shop. But serendipitous elements, namely a love of hiking in his home country of Israel and a global pandemic, led him on an entrepreneurial path.
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In 2018, Erez built his first website for a side business called Israel By Foot that provided advice to vacationers hiking in Israel. The company helped people plan for self-guided hikes throughout Israel, providing maps and explanations, booking lodgings, and even dropping tourists’ baggage at hotels.
When COVID-19 hit, the hiking tourism business turned non-existent. At the same time, Erez found himself working at home with a smaller workload for his day job at ISCAR Cutting Tools. The new skills Erez had developed while building the website for Israel By Foot gave him the idea to build a new website devoted to machining, the field he had based his career on.
Machining Doctor Features
Erez says the most popular features on Machining Doctor are calculators that help people assess the correct cutting speed, surface finish, and power consumption for machining jobs. The feeds and speeds calculator works for a number of applications such as turning, milling, parting, grooving, drilling, and threading. It takes into account material groups, types of units, and other variables.
Machiningdoctor.com gets around 250,000 page views and 100,000 unique visitors per month. Erez monetizes Machining Doctor with Google Display Ads on the site, but he wants to change his business model to a subscription based one without annoying ads, in which users pay $1.50 per month. I asked him how he could make money charging users such a low price and he explained that if 100,000 users paid $1.50 per month it would mean $150,000 per month.
Erez has a lot of ideas to boost the value of the site. He is now posting original educational videos about machining. He also plans to use the site to generate clients who want assistance in their machining jobs. He plans to provide complete solutions to jobs, including tooling layout, CNC programming, and simulation tools like VERICUT.
What It’s Like to be an Israeli Living in Israel Right Now
Erez lives in Rakefet, a town in northern Israel, so I decided to ask him a few questions about what it’s like to be an Israeli during such a dark time. His son is a reserve paratrooper and has seen combat for three months. He said the manufacturing sector hasn’t been affected that much by the war in Gaza, though the workforce is somewhat thinner due to workers who are military reservists.
I asked Erez if he thought that Hamas got the result they wanted when they committed the atrocities on October 7. My personal and depressing perspective is that Hamas was hoping for a severe reaction from Israel that would start a destructive chain of events throughout the Middle East. Erez responded that it’s impossible to know how people like Hamas think and that whenever people have tried to understand or predict how they think they have been wrong. Hard to argue with that statement.
We ended the interview discussing Israel’s incredible number of successful startup tech companies. Though I’m not Israeli, I am Jewish, so I think I have some feel for why Israel has so many great entrepreneurs. Jewish culture encourages education, creativity, and courage. Just living in a country surrounded by neighbors who want to blow you up takes chutzpa. Erez claims if it weren’t for a love of hiking and building websites, as well as a global pandemic, there wouldn’t be Machining Doctor. Maybe true, but the added factor of him being Israeli definitely didn’t hurt either.
You can contact Erez on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/erez-speiser-a9444b160