Meet Chief Commercial Officer Eddy Martinez, Reticulate Micro’s own Tech Innovation ‘Shark Tank’ Guru

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Meet Chief Commercial Officer Eddy Martinez, Reticulate Micro’s own Tech Innovation ‘Shark Tank’ Guru

Wide-ranging discussion on Innovation, Disruption and Leveraging First-Mover Advantage 

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At Reticulate, Eddy Martinez is leveraging his strong entrepreneurial and leadership experience to bring new products with broad commercial application to market. He oversees Reticulate Micro’s sales, marketing, business development and program management functions across industry verticals.

Prior to joining Reticulate Micro, Eddy ran “shark tank” for technology investments at Fortune 500 companies. He was responsible for due diligence, program management and annual capital expenditures for all projects totaling over $100 million. Below, Eddy discusses what excites him most about Reticulate, the key drivers for building successful tech businesses and what it takes for new products to achieve scale.

Q1. You have a very diverse background over three decades as helping bring to market technology-enabled solutions across transportation, logistics, hospitality, and other sectors. You even ran a “shark tank” for technology investments at Fortune 500 companies. What did you learn about the importance of innovation and disruption when getting to market? What makes the most successful tech businesses

Eddy: The critical lesson I’ve learned over three decades in the business of technology is the importance of understanding the market and getting feedback quickly and often. Technology itself is just a part of the equation; the true value lies in being able to achieve widespread adoption and effectively scale the business. You must streamline the entire customer journey to make it easy to do business with.

Many companies underestimate the challenges of getting people to adopt new technology and changing established behaviors. This process often takes longer and is more challenging due to the natural resistance to change, especially when the product is disruptive. To overcome this resistance, you need to make a compelling case for why someone should use your product. Consider the impact of change and the ripple effects it will create.

Early adopters are vital as they are always seeking innovation and willing to experiment with new technology. They have the motivation to appreciate changes in status quo and don’t require the same burden of proof as the broader market. They need demos, trials and some hand-holding, and once convinced, they become powerful advocates for your product.

Engaging early adopters strategically is crucial; timing is everything. You only have one chance to make an impression, but speed and time to market are equally important. I’ve seen instances where everything was executed flawlessly, the product met all the requirements, yet the prospects were unwilling to change their established ways. It’s easier to enter a blue ocean market with unmet or underserved needs than to replace entrenched incumbents. Targeting and owning a niche market allows you to build a base of early adopters who then become advocates helping you transition to a broader market.

In Reticulate’s case, it’s even more important to have visionaries and enthusiasts who understand and appreciate enabling technology. They will reap the benefits of a first-mover advantage and, at the same time, help us sharpen our message. The challenge with enabling technology is to avoid coming across as a solution in search of a problem.


Q2. As someone who has always appealed to innovators and early adopters, what attracted you to Reticulate Micro, with its mission of delivering resilient comms capabilities over any medium?

Eddy: There’s always a certain appeal in adopting technology used by our military forces or NASA. What truly attracted me to Reticulate Micro was the passion our CEO has for our mission and the personal experiences he shared from his time in the Special Operations Community. As the former branch director of Communications and Research at DEVGRU (aka Navy Seal Team Six), he has lost friends in battle where secure, resilient and trusted communications could have meant the difference between life and death, winning and losing. As he often says, “You can’t defeat an enemy you can’t see.” It doesn’t get more real than that.

Our VASTTM video-streaming product embodies this mission by enabling video transmission from virtually any location and transporting it across any medium, even in the most challenging environments. This capability opens up limitless possibilities, making a significant impact not just in the military defense arena but also in adjacent markets.

Our mission would be incomplete if we didn’t have VisionOSTM – our foundational, open standards-based communications platform that makes it easy to ingest videos and images and integrate them into mission-critical workflows. It is one of the most secure communication platforms, with end-to-end encryption available to any comms service – voice, video and chat.

The ability to combine these capabilities securely with post-quantum encryption technology is a game-changer, especially in today’s world with the emergence of AI and the threat of deep fakes. Secure, trusted, and resilient communications is more important than ever.


Q3. It’s not always enough to have great tech. You also need to bring products to market at scale. Is the “at scale” piece a challenge, especially for startups? How do newer tech firms need to change their thinking if they want to achieve scale?

Eddy: Scaling a product is indeed a significant challenge, especially for startups and emerging growth companies. Beyond designing for adoption and scale, there is a big difference between a working prototype, a minimal viable product (MVP) and a commercially viable product. Entrepreneurs lacking the experience to operate at speed and scale often hit a wall that is difficult to overcome, if not fatal. They might have a great idea and be incredibly resourceful and determined, creating a prototype or MVP with minimal resources. However, they often focus so much in getting the product to market that they overlook the broader business needs across Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Operations, and administrative functions like HR, Finance, Legal and IT.

Moreover, many overlook the buying process at scale from the customer’s perspective. For example, targeting large corporations requires understanding that their costs can become substantial when adopting new capabilities across their entire operation. Even with a compelling ROI, the upfront costs are certain while benefits may take time to materialize. If the investment isn’t planned and in the forecasted budget, it likely won’t happen.

Reticulate knows how to operate at speed and scale. We have a senior, multi-disciplinary team that shares a product-led growth mindset, emphasizing user-centric design, try-and-buy features, a frictionless onboarding process, feedback loops, high-quality standards and technical readiness levels.


Q4. Reticulate is focused first on military and defense with our video encoding compression and transport via tactical radios and ground segment terminal management and satcom. How is the military changing the way they buy technology? Is it a good time to be a startup with innovative defense technology?

Eddy: It’s always a good time to be in defense technology when you have something innovative that can improve outcomes for our military.

Reticulate’s business development team is seeing significant changes in the way the U.S. military procures technology, driven by the need to keep pace with rapid technological advancements and maintain a competitive edge.

We’re finding that the government is willing to support rapid prototyping and fielding, enabling quicker responses to emerging threats. Several federal agencies actively participate in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs that encourage engagement in federal R&D with potential for commercialization.

The US Space Force and DoD are emphasizing dual-use technology and a modular, open systems approach (MOSA) across programs. MOSA will speed up technology adoption and enable easier upgrades and integration of new technologies. The Space Force’s Commercial Space Strategy calls for new pathways for commercial partnerships and to capitalize on rapidly emerging technology. The strategy reflects the imperative to seize on the commercial sector’s ability to rapidly develop and field technology.

The military is prioritizing the procurement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to enhance decision-making, autonomous systems and cybersecurity. We also see a focus on quantum computing research and technology to gain strategic advantages in encryption, communications and sensing.


Q5. Reticulate isn’t just a defense tech firm – what are the most promising commercial industry verticals that Reticulate hopes to penetrate in the next year?

Eddy: We’re addressing the biggest needs at the edge, which in military and defense applications means the front lines and remote locations where communication infrastructure is limited or non-existent. Critical needs include reliable, secure and efficient communication channels that ensure real-time information sharing and operational coordination. Those needs are common to so many other sectors. That is what is so exciting, innovative and potentially disruptive.

We’re seeing traction across several markets, including drones, robotics, critical infrastructure, emergency management, smart cities, fleet management, security and surveillance systems, healthcare, and maritime operations. In short, we’re positioned to deliver high-quality video and images in ways never thought possible.

Think about the prospects of compressing video as much as 5,000: 1 or images at 98% without compromising quality at super low bitrates and latency. It opens a lot of possibilities where previously you couldn’t get video either due to bandwidth constraints or cost concerns. If we are capable of providing high-quality, real-time, video streaming under 100 milliseconds for weapons systems, we can do the same for emergencies, transportation networks, broadcast media, and gaming applications.

For cruise lines, where downloading video via satellites links is extremely costly, being able to compress those signals is a big savings for them. Anywhere where there are surveillance and security camera systems, the amount of video and images that they transport and store is huge. We are seeing demand for secure, real-time communications like video conferencing, interactive global webinars and telemedicine applications.

Where it gets really interesting is the ability to couple our technology with AI compute at the edge, enabling real-time data processing, analysis, and decision making. This allows for immediate object detection, facial recognition, threat assessments, customer experience, and more. For example, in disaster-stricken areas where communications infrastructure is damaged, it can save lives by identifying survivors, assessing damage, and prioritizing rescue operations. In healthcare, AI-enabled edge devices can analyze video feeds and sensor data to monitor patient health in real-time, detect falls, and alert medical staff to emergencies.

Video feeds and AI at the edge can be used to monitor and manage critical infrastructure such as oil rigs, wind turbines and solar panels. Real-time data analysis helps in predictive maintenance, optimizing energy production, and ensuring safety by detecting anomalies and potential hazards.

None of this is possible without the expertise and experience of solving complex problems. Our CTO John Dames is a multi-patent holder in situational awareness and advanced user interface breakthroughs that have solved many complex problems like the ones I shared. One standout example is John’s use of facial recognition in concert settings to pinpoint individuals deemed a security threat to a global entertainer.


Q6. How important is forging relationships with channel partners to Reticulate’s commercial market strategy? Who are some of the partners that Reticulate is working with today?

Eddy: I firmly believe that technology has to be sold not bought and trusted relationships are vital. It takes active participation from solution providers to engage with business customers. Our channel partners are incredibly important to us as they have the relationship with end customers, and they’re able to provide the value-added services that go along with implementing our technology. We’re working with partners who bring a significant amount of credibility to our sales efforts in aerospace and defense and key commercial verticals.


Q7. One of your roles is creating a charter and recruiting members for Reticulate’s Advisory Board. What is the function of this group and what value do you see them bringing to Reticulate?

Eddy: We’re growing our advisory board with influencers who have an affinity for solving problems and bringing innovative products to market. They’re essential in getting early adopters to work with us on novel use cases. They are industry leaders who open doors and connect us with partners and customers in respective verticals, including military, entertainment and critical infrastructure such as oil and gas. We appreciate their trust and guidance as we continue to make inroads in key markets.


Q8. What are you most looking forward to this year at Reticulate Micro? Is the commercial market ready for what Reticulate has to offer?

Eddy: I want to see our VAST and VisionOS technologies fully adopted in the different programs that we’re engaged in demos and trials. We continue to impress prospects in achieving what they thought was not possible. The enthusiasm is palpable. I’m seeing that as well in some areas that I’m not at liberty to discuss at this point. All I can say is that first movers stand to win big. I want to see our partners excited at the prospects of making a huge difference in the market. And I want to meet those technology enthusiasts trying to solve problems or looking for potentially new revenue streams or operational efficiencies in the world of video streaming, image processing and real-time communications.

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