Issue #1 - Introductions

Navigating life, entrepreneurship, the web, PLC programming, and more...

I have been creating content on the web for as long as I can remember. In fact, I had launched my first website after taking an HTML class as an elective in college. At the time, in 2006, the web was a completely different place. There were no tools for newsletters, social media was much less prevalent in our culture, and those who spent a lot of time on the web were considered “weird.”

As I built the first website I had ever created using raw HTML and iframes, I remember looking at it with extreme disappointment - it was much rougher around the edges than I had envisioned in my mind. Having a good idea of what other websites looked like, I knew I could do better.

I stumbled upon a tool which wasn’t as popular today - Wordpress

WordPress was built on PHP, a language that was much more popular in those days. It allowed users to deploy a website without programming knowledge - the “backend” was hidden behind a superb (at that time) UI.

The First Business Idea

I had ventured into different ideas before creating this website, but at the time I remember distinctly needing a blog for what I wanted to do. iOS was all the rage, and naturally, being somewhat of a gamer, I wanted to create a blog that would allow me to review games on iOS. I hand’t given it much thought as many platforms that stemmed from print media for gamers were already doing the same.

The project died within 6 months.

The Creation of EEEnthusiast

As I continued to build my knowledge in Electrical Engineering at Concordia University, I followed and listened to various engineers on YouTube. Most notably, Dave Jones - The creator of EEVblog; Jeremy Blum,  Patrick Hood Daniel - The creator of BuildYourCNC. The three of them cemented my knowledge of electronics, embedded systems, soldering, Arduino, and other semiconductors. I couldn’t be more grateful for what they’ve created and published on YouTube.

As I began transitioning from student that was blindly following tutorials to a professional that was writing software and creating hardware for actual projects, I launched a page called “EEEnthusiast.” As you can probably guess, it was inspired by Dave and stood for Electrical Engineering Enthusiast.

I began the journey by creating tutorials of what I already knew and was using - KiCAD, Arduino, FPGAs, Altium Designer, etc. To my surprise, the videos in which I was explaining certain technical concepts grew in views quite quickly.

I learned a ton from building the EEEnthusiast brand and continued to publish content in written and video form for the years to come. Although I’ve lost the domain (it had multiple issues with Wordpress), the YouTube channel is still in place; you can check it out!

The Creation of SolisPLC

As I pursued a career in control systems, there was an opportunity for me to create technical content in the industrial automation space - I had learned quite a bit, and there was a lack of content on the web, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. Based on my previous experience, I decided to throw together a website and began publishing content that was relevant to what I’d be interested in when it comes to industrial automation.

At the time, I had a few Allen Bradley (Rockwell Automation) PLCs and I assumed the stance that I’ll simply share information that I wish was available when I was learning to program those systems. I began with creating videos on YouTube on how to program certain functions of the PLCs I was familiar with showcasing the software and hardware.

In the early stages of SolisPLC I had created a website, a YouTube channel (I decided to create a new channel over re-branding EEEnthusiast) and social media. At this time, I had also discovered Udemy and the course creator scene. I had made up my mind to create my PLC programming course as the YouTube traffic and enthusiasm for what I was building picked up.

Bringing on a Co-Founder

The decision to work with someone on SolisPLC was difficult. At the time of the discussion, the business was generating positive cash flow, and the demand for the training I was creating continued to grow. I knew that I wasn’t able to give all the areas of the business as much focus as I would have liked. Many improvements could have been made on the website, the training platform, the social media presence, etc.

After multiple conversations with a childhood friend of mine that was running marketing at a startup in the database space, I decided it was the right call. My vision was that he’d carry out the sales and marketing efforts of the business while I’d continue to grow the content by bringing on different instructors to help expand our portfolio of training materials.

Full-Time Entrepreneurship

As both Karim and I began working on SolisPLC full time, we dealt with many challenges. We created a strategy of building out an enterprise presence that was a fairly significant pivot from what we were focused on until then. In hindsight, we should have given this a lot more thought - going after enterprise customers is a very different game.

We revamped the website, we revamped the content, we brought instructors to create content, we secured partnerships for some projects, and we began our focus on manufacturing facilities rather than individuals.

Manufacturing Hub & Podcasting

As I was running SolisPLC, I became much more involved on social media. LinkedIn was my platform of choice besides YouTube. I met various professionals and built a presence by sharing content, interacting with others, connecting with peers, etc. LinkedIn was the place I’d check on a regular basis to see what everyone was up to, learn about new companies, understand what engineers were interested in, etc.

In fall 2020, I connected with Dave Griffth after he made a post asking if someone was interested in creating content on Twitch. I don’t remember the exact details of his post, but I remember being the only one to reply as I knew what Twitch was due to my prior gaming background. At the time, I was also looking into other platforms than YouTube for building a brand on. Twitch was particularly interesting as it had a scene of software engineers who would code for hours, but it certainly didn’t have anyone in the industrial automation space.

As Dave and I talked, we found a common ground for launching a podcast aimed at industrial automation professionals. We realized that there wasn’t enough conversations happing in our circles that were “casual” in nature. Our vision was to create conversation where we’d share our thoughts on the industry, ask guests questions about what they’re working on, and have a back and forth that others may benefit from listening to.

Long story short, we’ve been creating consistent episodes on a weekly basis for close to 4 years, have traveled to multiple venues to talk to different podcast guests, and believe to have delivered tremendous value to the industrial automation community.

Launch of Kerno

While both of us were pushing various projects (sales and content) on SolisPLC, Karim had a few conversations with colleagues about cybersecurity. The opportunity was brought to my attention in spring 2022. At the time, there was a lot of confusing around the direction, roles, and deliverables for the project. That being said, the 6 of knew that we wanted to build something interesting in the cybersecurity space. Having Electrical Engineering, an MBA, and experience in large companies, followed by a small startup, I knew I was the perfect fit to contribute toward building something interesting. Long story short, I joined a seemingly strong team with some initial sense of direction and a willingness to build something great.

During the first year, we spoke to multiple connections of ours and conducted extensive research on the market. Our idea morphed into building something in observability. We noticed that there was an opportunity for disruption; the market was quite large, and it seemed to be a big enough problem worth solving. Most importantly, we understood that the people we spoke to had various pressures for finding better ways of solving the challenges they were facing and it appeared that they’d continue to face increasing pressure for solving those problems.

The Current State of Affairs

We continue to run SolisPLC - we’ve hit multiple milestones we’ve set out for the business on the content and sales sides. The business continues to grow, and we’re more focused than ever on delivering the best online-first industrial automation training for engineers, technicians, and automation professionals. We’ve cut out any and all projects that aren’t related to the direct impact we can have on our customers.

Kerno is growing fast - we’re getting ready to launch our MVP across different verticals and early adopters, we’re pushing hard on building out a variety of features through the technical team, we’re continuously improving our outreach strategy, we’re building out multiple channels we’re using to market and sell our initiative. The opportunity in this space is huge - every person we’ve gotten on a call with has expressed their desire for a “better way to do things.”

Manufacturing Hub is a growing podcast that continues to grow, and my interest in the manufacturing space has only increased in 2024. We’re seeing a lot more content in the space, while at the same time the content seems to be more disconnected than ever. In other words, we’re seeing a lot of companies jumping on the podcast and social media trains while completely alienating their end-users by creating corporate content. I continue to see the opportunity to bring Manufacturing Hub to greater heights.


This brings me to my personal website / this newsletter. I’ve always been passionate in technology, business, and personal growth. My goal here is to start sharing what I’ve learned, how things are going, and some of the interesting information I come across. More importantly, for me, it’s a place to reflect on what worked and what hasn’t, a place for me to pass down some knowledge onto those who are following similar, or different paths. The goal isn’t to convey that there’s one approach to anything in life; simply to share my approaches and curiosities.

If that’s of any interest to you, make sure to subscribe as I’ll be putting these out on as regular of a basis as time allows.