Radiant at 30 – Staff Stories: Our Big Break
Paul Matthai joined Radiant in 2007 as a salesperson. He is located in North Carolina.
I started for Radiant in September 2007, then I left in 2012, and came back in October 2013—and I'm still here. A total of about 14 years. Before Radiant, I worked in the telecom industry, back when everything went from digital signals to packets and this thing called the internet started driving packet technology on semiconductors. And then I worked with some optics companies.
When I joined Radiant, the company was a bootstrap startup with about 18 people. We were located in an office in Duvall over a Domino’s Pizza. When I came out for initial training, I kept smelling pizza at about 3:00 in the afternoon, and then all I could do was think about pizza.
Travel on a Budget?
I was the only salesperson in North America back then. In the early days we didn’t have big budgets for traveling. As COO, Doug [Kreysar, now CEO] had to scrutinize the spending. One time I arrived at SeaTac airport, and I’m picking up a rental car—the reservation was for a Yaris—it’s the smallest car Toyota ever made, a subcompact.
The agent said, “Oh, sir, you’re a regular customer, we’d like to upgrade you.” But I said, “Oh no, I’m driving that car to Radiant today!” I parked right under Doug’s window and when I got up to his office he was standing at the door: “I love it! Our sales guy is driving a Yaris!”
Radiant’s Big Break
When I started at the company, two-dimensional colorimeters were still unproven, they were just coming into the realm of spectrometer accuracy, and a lot of people were still focused on spectrometry. Then a major consumer device company took an interest in our inspection testing because they had been finding defects in one of their leading display products. That was Radiant’s “big break” when our systems were able to help them solve their problem.
Once 64-bit processors came out, we were able to enhance our TrueTest™ software to provide all kinds of tests at a faster speed for production. So now we could give customers the accuracy of the cameras plus the production software to measure displays down to the subpixel level—other competitors didn’t have that. That’s when our business really started to explode.
Since then, I’ve been involved with customer projects for AR display devices, setting up production teams in China, semiconductor wafer inspection with our Microscope Lens, and now optical inspection for microLED wafers.
It’s been fun to watch!