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Thread: Interview with Tom Kaye

  1. #1
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    Interview with Tom Kaye

    AO,

    Once again I have been asked to give an interview for a school paper. This has come up before and this time I am posting it on the forum. AGAIN I am going to give truthfull answers that a lot of people are not going to like. This is the real world, you have to take the good with the bad. This is not for someone asking what path he should take in life its for a school report.

    1.) What schools did you attend and how many years did you attened each?
    High school only, I quit college after one semester because I didn’t like it. Don’t make this mistake.
    2.) What degree did you obtain?
    None (see above)
    3.) Why did you choose this career?
    I didn’t choose to be in paintball I was forced into it when a very large customer went overseas. I did want to own a business that manufactured things.
    4.) What factors or people influenced you to choose this career?
    While hitch hiking across the country at 17, a man I met saw my backpack that I had made myself. He told me that I could make A LOT of money working for some people he knew. That didn’t happen but it started me thinking….
    5.) What do you do with math(like what products do you make using math)
    I don’t use math directly but do use it extensively in the software we use like CAD and FEA. Fortunately todays software makes a lot of math invisible.
    6.) How do you use math in your career?
    See above
    7.) What are some joys and struggles of your career?
    The joys are when you make it work well. The struggles are when they want it to be a different color
    8.) What are some joys and struggles that have resulted for you because of your career choice?
    Creating things from nothing means that most of the time, most of the people don’t think you can do it. The joy comes when you finally do but that only lasts a short time compared to the climb up the hill. You really have to love the climb.
    9.) Would you recommend the career you are in to a person and why or why not?
    I would recommend a career in engineering but NOT in paintball. Engineering means you make something that works, paintball means you make something people THINK works.
    10.) What classes or other things should one be doing during high school to prepare yourself for joining a career like yours?
    Classes are boring, projects are fun! Do something like a robotic competition, if you get into it then the classes are a lot less boring.
    11.) Are there any other important things I should know about?
    Besides making money a career must have some personal accomplishment to be fulfilling. Too many times people choose a path that looks “cool” on tv etc. Make sure what ever path you choose it’s as natural for you as going to sleep at night, you will be in it for the rest of your life!

    AGD

  2. #2
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    thank you so very much

    thanks again, i liked the different color part lol .
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  3. #3
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    I was quite surprised by a few of your answers, Mr. Kaye. But none the less, It really comes as no surprise once I think about it. People of your caliber have unique backgrounds that create their personalities.

    More applauding from Python's house.

  4. #4
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    wow....wow....wow...lots of cool info...do you think if i become an engineer and keep up my 4.3 gpa i can work for agd
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  5. #5
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    Tom you are the man

    You are demystifying the reality of the paintball industry for these kids.

    Your candor is laudible and impressive.

    Hope to see you at AOSC!


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  6. #6
    Paintchucker Guest

    Re: Interview with Tom Kaye

    Originally posted by AGD

    7.) What are some joys and struggles of your career?

    The joys are when you make it work well. The struggles are when they want it to be a different color

    And oh, tis true, tis true !!!!


    BTW, what were you doing when the "very large customer went overseas" ???

  7. #7
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    i think

    he was like making stuff with metals or sumtin, i read it in Faceful once but i dont have that issue anymore.

  8. #8
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    Being an Engineer rules!

    It's not an easy thing to be or achieve, but when it goes right it is ever so rewarding.

    I just found some of my old notebooks and they have maths notes where I was working out calculations and stuff, and it was weird to look at some hand written G code considering I now do all that with a computer. That's what Tom means by how a lot of the maths is hidden now. It's still important to know it and occassionally I still have to apply it directly.

    The one thing that was great about learning maths, was solving problems and getting a definitive answer. If you like problem solving Engineering may be a good career. Not all problems in engineering can be solved quite so easily, but when you do, it's ace.

  9. #9

    Re: Interview with Tom Kaye

    Originally posted by AGD
    7.) What are some joys and struggles of your career?
    The joys are when you make it work well. The struggles are when they want it to be a different color
    I about fell out of my chair on this one.... LAFF!!!!

    I feel ya there...remember the cool flames in the hoppers I did for myself a few years ago? I got a bout 30 PM's from ppl asking me if I can do theirs. I replied with "yes" and because it's not a buisness and it's got to be worth my time I added a price tag that was reasonable.

    About 10 never responded the other 15 wrote back and told me it was alot. 2 told me they could do it themselves cheaper and 3 cussed me out telling me that there's no way they would send me their hopper for that price. in the end I did "0" other hoppers... which was just fine with me too . But I feel your grief.

    I just hope all your had work isn't wasted now because of SP's I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want to know how you feel about it and what you think is going to happen... but I know you can tell so I'll just sit tight and watch.
    "I want to thank the Canadian people who came out to wave, with all five fingers, for their hospitality,” -President Bush (Tuesday November 30/04)

  10. #10
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    Bravo, Mr. Kaye... Bravo.
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  11. #11
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    The joy comes when you finally do but that only lasts a short time compared to the climb up the hill. You really have to love the climb.
    I couldn't agree more.
    I knew there was a reason I liked you!

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  12. #12
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    Re: Interview with Tom Kaye

    Originally posted by AGD
    AO,

    3.Why did you choose this career?
    I didn’t choose to be in paintball I was forced into it when a very large customer went overseas. I did want to own a business that manufactured things.
    AGD
    Tom,
    Could you elaborate on this?

  13. #13
    ERut Guest

    Re: Interview with Tom Kaye

    Originally posted by AGD
    AO,

    9.) Would you recommend the career you are in to a person and why or why not?
    I would recommend a career in engineering but NOT in paintball. Engineering means you make something that works, paintball means you make something people THINK works.

    I dont get it... your products work great. What do you mean by that?

  14. #14
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    one question i think should of been asked, was if Tom Kaye even likes his career and what he does. hmmm

  15. #15
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    Re: Re: Interview with Tom Kaye

    Originally posted by ERut
    I dont get it... your products work great. What do you mean by that?
    I think he means that in paintball hype and marketing sells poor products better than quality engineering sells great products.

    Making people 'think' your product does something is better at selling them, than making a product 'that does what it was intended to'.

    If you ever meet Tom in person, ask him his view on barrels...

  16. #16
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    Take a look at his post, think deeper into his replies. That question has already been answered. Tom, never have really talked to you, but I admire you because you are a straight foward guy. You don't mind telling people the opposite of the answer they are looking for.

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  17. #17
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    Haveing something to apply what you are learning toward will make almost anything more interesting.

    When reading some of the deep blue threads I wished I remembered my physics class!


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  18. #18
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    Re: Interview with Tom Kaye

    Originally posted by AGD
    AO,

    10.) What classes or other things should one be doing during high school to prepare yourself for joining a career like yours?
    Classes are boring, projects are fun! Do something like a robotic competition, if you get into it then the classes are a lot less boring.


    AGD
    im in one of those right now we will be going to the FIRST (company name or something )robotics competition in florida at i beleive disney (they close the entire park exclusively to FIRST for this event) this year. and as long as it all goes well, we should be travelling to Cali for one too. not to mention there is a milling machine in the class, that in spare time i am allowed to use to machine a new trigger for myself . hrm, to make a slug or not to
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  19. #19
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    What happened when I was forced into paintball.

    In 1985 I started doing some machining work for a startup company that made electronic air cleaners. I was working in my basement and eventually ended up making 1000 housings a month for them.

    After about a year I moved out into a real shop on the second floor over a welding shop. I had been working out of my basement for almost 10 years (another long story) and was excited to get out of there. I only had about 6 customers but this one air cleaner guy was 80% of my work.

    I had played paintball about 5-6 times and had gotten shot in the forehead and my girlfiend had been shot in the neck and passed out. Back then there was really no face protection.

    One day my big customer came and told me he had jobbed the whole product out to a single company instead of using multiple subcontractors. Right there I knew that if I didn't get more work fast I would be back to the basement in weeks.

    I had been making vacuum formed housings for the air cleaners so I knew all about it. I went to PMI, who at the time was in a little tiny shop near by, and told the owner that I could make them a full face plastic mask. He said “well let me see a prototype” so I went back and worked all weekend making a mold, then forming the parts and finally drilling the holes. On Monday I went back and he ordered 500 masks.

    We ended up making about 40,000 of those masks and the rest as they say is history. The air cleaner guy took his product to the other company. Before that happened I tested his product in controlled conditions and told him it didn’t do anything. He didn’t believe me because he was selling 1000 units a month and had a stack of testimonials. About a year later we had dinner and he told me he had to fire his main salesman for “severely overstating the product in his sales pitch”. After that his sales dropped into the hundreds and a year after that the company was bankrupt. That taught me a lesson because this guy was a millionaire businessman that just went down the tubes, DON”T SELL STUFF THAT DOESN’T WORK.

    AGD

  20. #20
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    That mask was a great idea. You should see the one that a friend of mine modified. He cut out the "eye holes" so that a pair of JT goggles fit snuggly inside the mask. This was when the JTs only had the small mask that attached to the bottom of the goggles. John from JT took a lot of interest in it when we showed it to him. He was in the process of making a new mask for his goggles that had more coverage. I'll have to see if he still has it and post some pictures.

  21. #21
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    So, what you are saying is that you also invented the face mask too.

    It's interesting where we learn the lessons that make us the adults we are.

  22. #22
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    Re: Interview with Tom Kaye

    Originally posted by AGD

    High school only, I quit college after one semester because I didn’t like it. Don’t make this mistake.


    Engineering means you make something that works, paintball means you make something people THINK works.


    AGD
    2 dam fine quotes. thanks Tom

    jb

  23. #23
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    I work with oodles of engineers, EE's , Civil, Enviromental,

    believe me, the answer to number 11 is more, MOST important.

  24. #24
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    Mr. Kaye?

    I was wondering if you have ever wanted to take one of those online college courses for physics, engineering, ect. People do it all the time. However, it would be tough having to run arguably the best company in paintball.
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