Matthias Wagner, co-founder and CEO of Flux, has had one of the most unusual and interesting career paths. And now, he is inviting Moore’s Lobby listeners to come use Flux as they try to make the PCB design “tool of your dreams.”
Matthias Wagner learned early in his career that not everything is like an engineering “marketing video…all so streamlined and perfect.” Sometimes you have to dive into a project with no documentation and no roadmap and “figure it out now.” That fearless, can-do attitude has led him on a circuitous and amazing route into, out of, and now back into the electronics world where he is leading Flux as they try to remake the PCB design flow. Last week, All About Circuits featured an article about Flux CoPilot, the new AI-powered design assistant integrated into the company's namesake online PCB design tool.
Screen capture of the Flux design environment. Image used courtesy of Flux.
While others have previously tried and failed, Wagner recognized that many of these were “too small of dreams to make any meaningful change…you just need to start from scratch.”
And yeah, that's scary. And it's a lot of work, don't get me wrong, it's very hard. But then what else were you going to do with your time that was worthwhile?
One of Wagner’s career pivots was out of the electronics industry and into the music industry. In this fascinating interview, Wagner reflects on that decision and states, “that was a really dumb idea at the time, but I made it work.” And, boy, did he ever! During his foray into the music industry, Wagner’s work sold over 1 billion units across the globe and was honored with platinum and gold records. His song, Axel F by Crazy Frog, has nearly 3.8 billion (yes, billion with a b) views on YouTube.
Matthias Wager made the music for Crazy Frog’s cover of Axel F. Image used courtesy of Matthias Wagner via LinkedIn
And we haven’t even mentioned his experiences developing energy systems for Burning Man that then lead to working at Facebook on products with billions of users. You will just have to listen to hear about those. And, after listening to this episode, you might be inspired to “give yourself permission to dream big dreams.”
Other highlights from this Moore’s Lobby interview with Matthias Wagner include:
- Why hardware engineers are jealous of software developers
- The competition between hard core gamers and general users when developing Oculus
- What the PCB and electronics industry can learn from developments in the music industry
- Learning how to run a business by NOT running a business
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Meet Matthias Wagner
Matthias is the CEO and co-founder of Flux, a web-based PCB hardware design platform. Before founding Flux, he was a product manager at Facebook (Meta) where he worked on multiple major products including the Moments App, AR ads, and Oculus VR.
Matthias has built a modular, off-grid building system for his Burning Man campsites. The challenges of building hardware for these electrical systems was part of the impetus to found Flux. Prior to Flux, he was the co-founder of several other startups.
He was also a songwriter, producer, and record label owner for nearly a decade working with major labels including Universal Music, Sony, EMI, and BMG. During this phase of his career, Matthias created a ringtone that unseated Coldplay from the #1 spot on the UK charts.
Matthias has a degree in Systems and Telecommunication Engineering from Siemens AG.