Name: David Shields.
Company: Component Surfaces.
Company address: 11880 Community Road, Suite 380, Poway 92064.
Company phone: 858-776-0602.
Year founded: 2004.
Prior business experience: Engineering positions at Kyocera America, Alcoa Electronic Packaging, Engelhard and Polese.
Average hours worked weekly: 60.
Source of startup capital: Personal funds.
2007 revenue: $900,000.
2006 revenue: $420,000.
Number of employees: 15.
Web site: electrolessgold.com.
Birthplace: Denver; grew up in Michigan.
Education: B.S. degree, Ohio State University and Master of Science, Pepperdine University.
Current residence: Rancho Bernardo.
Family: Wife, Karen; daughter, Kristin, 23.
Hobbies: Golf, travel.
How do you relieve stress? Work out at the gym, being a Padres and Chargers fan, travel.
What are the biggest achievements in life aside from your business? I’m happy, healthy and have a great family. I’m fortunate to have done some world travel. That’s only an achievement because I’ve made choices (like joining the Navy) with hopes of traveling.
What is the biggest lesson you have ever learned? That’s a big question, but one lesson I’ve learned in business is that everyone has something to add and I’m better off if I listen closely to find out what that is.
Reason for getting into business: The challenge of finding out if I learned enough along the way to get it right and create something that contributes effectively.
What need, in your industry, did you perceive was unmet? Much of this technology was not accessible to the manufacturers who could really use it.
How did you see you could do better than others already in your field? I have been fortunate to work for very good companies and learn about these products for 20 years.
How I plan to grow the business: Continue to develop new processing technologies and become better and better at delivering them to manufacturers.
Greatest advantage of owning your own business: Of course there’s the limitless upside, but certainly it has been enjoyable getting to execute my own vision of how this should work. I had written the business plan three times before getting the opportunity.
Biggest disadvantage of owning your own business: All of the eggs are in one basket. It’s certainly a large bet that this is the thing to do right now.
Business’s major strength: Our ability to effectively do this processing for our customers.
Business’s major weakness: We are tied very closely to the success of our customers, although this has so far been good to us.
What is the greatest need you have in your business? Good people and more of them.
Smartest business decision: Starting up with no partners. Later maybe it would be better, but starting up I’m sure it’s less stressful doing it independently.
Biggest ongoing challenge: Making sure the business is developing well and in the right direction for the future. I would like to think it’s infinitely sustainable.
The most important part of my business: Safe and environmentally responsible operation , then everything else.
My business works best when: We are adding new customers and new products.
Best way to stay competitive: Having the right technologies and delivering them efficiently and effectively. Making sure customers can find us when they need us.
How I measure success: Just being proud of what we are doing.
Goals yet to be achieved: Where do I start? There’s so much that can be done with this business. I’d like to be able to afford a world-class process lab just for development.
My five-year business plan: In five years I hope to have developed a great engineering and production staff and the kind of production business that can support a certain level of automation.
I would sell my business only if: I was convinced that it was a win-win deal.
, Andrew Schweizer