BY DOLA ADESANYA
Jason Lucash and Mike Syzmcak were regular travellers. They were on the road 200 days a year for their marketing jobs at backpack maker JanSport. Propelled by just one idea, both guys are now successful business partners.
Being music lovers, both Lucash and Syzmcak carried big bulky speakers to amplify the sound of their music players. The speakers turned out to be such a hassle – took up a lot of room in their suitcases and ran on battery power. It was in their desire for a portable and transportable listening solution that the idea for OrigAudio was born.
Inspired by a Chinese take-out box called Origami, they figured that a fold-up paper speaker could flat pack easily, be inexpensive and would be eco- friendly. Aptly labelled “Fold n’ Play”, these foldable speakers are made from recycled materials and require zero external power , and of course, it took up less suitcase space, just what they needed!
In August 2009 Jason Lucash and business partner Mike Syzmcak decided to form the company- OrigAudio and it hasn’t stopped growing since. Within the first 120 days of business OrigAudio grossed nearly $500,000 in sales. In that same year, the “Fold n’ Play” speakers landed both guys a spot on Time Magazine’s prestigious “Top 50 Inventions of 2009”list. The day the publication hit the Internet and news stand,the firm sold 2,000 speakers.
Shortly after, the producer of the ABC television show, Shark Tank, who saw the Fold ‘n’ Play in Time Magazine invited the OrigAudio partners to submit an audition tape. As the show aired, the company’s servers crashed seven times,all thanks to the orders that poured in to the website! On the programme, four investors, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and millionaire investor Robert Herjavec, fought over the right to invest in the company. Herjavec “won,” but Lucash and Syzmack didn’t take his money. Lucash said. “He would have gotten 15 percent of the company for $150,000, and our valuation is $4 million.” Indeed after the show aired, the valuation of the company tripled!
Had they stopped there, it would have been sufficient, but OrigAudio kept going. They debuted their signature product: Rock-It, a palm-size, battery-powered device, that turns audio from music players into vibration sequences and connects via adhesive pad to almost any object to turn it into an impromptu speaker. OrigAudio now has nine products under the brand name and are in process of rolling out more!
Unsurprisingly, Lucash admits the road wasn’t without a few struggles, but says there’s always room in this world for good ideas that are backed-up by passionate people.
Today, OrigAudio is doing business in 38 countries, has sold about 2 million units, and is projected to gross $5 million in sales this year!
You got an idea….make it work!
Dola Adesanya || is an astute lawyer with a good business acumen. She loves everything motivational.