Concept: What if we embedded a GoPro into a Boombot?

There’s already a microphone. Why not add an HD Camera?

GoPro-with-Boombot-Concept

 

When I think of GoPro, I think about the ultimate experience capturing device. When I think about Boombot speakers, I think about a device that creates the best experience. I’ve always been a fan of wearable technology and device consolidation. When I say device consolidation, I believe that over time, we will make a movement towards owning fewer devices that perform a broader set of tasks. I came up with this concept taking two great outdoor gadgets and consolidating them into one. This concept product integrates a GoPro Hero3 HD Camera and builds it into a Boombot REX ultraportable speaker.

Additional Mounting Positions

The Boombot REX clip design would actually allow for a lot of additional mounting positions for a GoPro. Using it on a back pack strap or on pockets might provide some new and innovative POV camera angles.

GoPro-with-Boombot Concept Speaker Camera

Mobile Video Editor

Imagine being able to film your video content anywhere in the world in high resolution. Using smartphone based editing software, you would be able to edit your content on the fly and play back the audio using a full fidelity speaker built into the same device. You could have music playback during your activity and just use raw audio to capture added realism. This is what I was listening to and this is where I was.

Real-time Content Captured on the Cloud

You could create a Youstream channel and broadcast live all day. You might never miss a moment if you capture all of it. Might want to consider upgrading your data plan.

Anyhow, this is just some silly idea I had. Or maybe it’s not so silly after all. What do you think?

Justing Wyper Dirt Jumps with Boombot2 Wireless Speaker

imagine trail riding with this bike speaker and doing this

Justin Wyper is one of the premier leaders of the dirt jumping scene.  Last year at the AT Showdown held during the SF Bike Expo, we set Justin up with our Boombot2 wireless speaker for a couple runs on the course.  A lot of the riders were talking about how cool it was to use a speaker like this for trail riding and building.  Having a portable speaker that lets you get hear a lot of the things while riding are important.  A lot of times we gauge surface texture.  We listen to our cogs, our chain and our derailleur to understand our bikes.  The new bike handlebar mount should really free up riders to explore using our product in these more demanding situations and we’re excited to see it.  Big thanks to Justin for helping us get this footage on the GoPro.  

The Fear and Excitement of Entrepreneurism

Jason Arens Getting PAID

Making it to the top of the podium takes courage and passion. That never changes. (Skier: Boombotix team rider Jason Arens at VT Open)

Most of the press we see around startups thrives around new funding rounds, exits, mergers and acquisitions.  Sometimes we see speckles of bankruptcy, but usually it is only press worthy when a Goliath figure goes down.  When I started Boombotix, I didn’t think about the private equity market.  Actually take that back.  I didn’t give a shit about private equity or banking.  All I wanted to do was make this awesome speaker.  With my friends and family support, I was able to get a business started.  This is the beginning of digging yourself into a hole in hopes of coming out on top.

Naturally, you are rejuvenated with hopes of success and triumph.  Go ahead and pop a bottle of champagne but just know that the bubbles are short lived.  Getting funding is a very challenging thing for a business.  Getting a hardware company funded is even harder.  More than twenty times more money goes into software.  Why?  Well it’s simple.  Hardware requires more cash to scale.  A lot more.  Building a real brand takes even more cash.  Investment funds of $250 million or less might cringe at the thought of pumping $100 million to build a category.  Fail and that fund is hosed.  Hardware exits are also not quite as glamorous as software.  Investors know that they require more cash, so by nature they also get a softer multiple on trailing revenue.  Some investors even refer to hardware as being “dirty.”  This was completely new to me.  I grew up looking at brands like GoPro and Skullcandy with idolatry.

Despite all this, we are here with a mission.  We are building the most technologically sophisticated ultraportable speakers ever.  This is where the brand values have to be engraved into the organization (forward-thinking industrial design, acoustics, mobility, innovation).  This is when you make the tangible become intangible.  Suddenly you transform from being a hardware company to being a brand with purpose and direction.  When you cross this chasm, investors are no longer looked at as sources of growth capital.  You treat investors as partners to help achieve a grand vision.  The goal embodies more than just making money.  It involves driving change in the world.

Products whether they are tangible, web-based, or mobile are all the driving forces behind change.  Without a great product, you cannot have a great business.  Some of the things we want to build take so many resources that we are forced to manage our wish lists, feature sets, and expectations.  As entrepreneurs, we have to swallow the reality of the current always being less ideal than the future.  Just know that no matter how far into the future your propel yourself, that will never change.  Be sure to find just as much pleasure in looking back on the past, or prepare yourself for a world of pain.

What was I getting at here in the first place?  I don’t want to scare anyone off from starting something.  I just wanted to paint a realistic picture at my view on the world of private equity.  Hardware is hard.  But you like a challenge right?

Using Instagram to build SEO

A method to crowd source content generation

As an ultraportable speaker company, we promote our users to take our product out in the field and engage in the world around them. One dilemma has always been being able to effectively capture the experience our customers are having. We followed GoPro closely over the years and saw how their users were using the video content in order to promote their product. GoPro was essential crowd sourcing customers content and educating future buyers how to use the crazy helmet camera. As a result, GoPro benefited from cost effective content creation and positive brand association with top athletes.

How we adopted the GoPro content creation strategy

Our product was initially created for the urban rider and we envisioned cyclists taking videos with their Boombot. As it turned out, photos became a much more popular medium than video content for our users. The growing popularity of Instagram and the simplicity of generating photo content attracted a larger user base.

Scarface

Say hello to the SEO Machine we call Swagonomics

The idea was simple. We called it Swagonomics because it rewarded users with gear for great content. Users would sign up for an account using their already existing Instagram account. Anytime a user hashtagged #boombotix in their post, it would get pulled onto our feed. We wanted users to capture their active lifestyle while stimulating brand interaction between our users. Over time, users connected with other Swagonomics users due to interest in each other’s photographs.

Our site flooded with hundreds of photos in just a matter of weeks. Naturally, this introduced more problems, but importantly we were acquiring user generated content.

And voila! It was crowd sourcing at its infancy.

In SEO, content quality is always king

What happens when people start hashtagging #boombotix on random photos just go get points? How do you determine what adds value to the site versus detracts from it? The questions bounced around internally, so you could imagine that the community was wondering the same things. The need for a site moderator became very clear early on. Suddenly we had to make decisions on what we wanted our brand to represent. Looking back on it, this was a positive problem. We were essentially defining our brand values and creating the rules around what we defined as swag.

We created a back end that allowed us to disable posts from the feed in bulk. We tried fostering an understanding in our users of the quality we wanted to see.  By moderating the feed quality, users are able to gain a better understanding of what to put on the site. It was tricky and feelings were hurt, but we had to make moves for the better interest of the brand.

We didn’t drop our bloggers that we worked with. The content from our Swagonomics site did not replace the keyword rich content we developed on our blog. Swagonomics was just supplementing the site with a massive database with SEO rich images in a very cost effective manner. On numerous occasions, employees in the companies grabbed content from Swagonomics to use in marketing. That’s convenient.

where our company is going with swagonomics and gamification

The Swagonomics experiment is far from done, but this site has created the foundation for a gamified brand experience. The introduction of points and rewards built around promoting the brand in real life can be applied to a number of activities. As our community grows, the potential for our users to spread the word does too. When traditional marketing mediums like print are on their way out, brands that leverage digital media with social content marketing will be the ones that come out on top. They will drive the most direct eCommerce sales and build the greatest brand equity of all.

Optrix Fisheye Lens for iPhone Review

shoots everything you could dream from an iphone

Optrix Fisheye Case modified
 Today was also our first day out with the Optrix iPhone case.  This case fits a fisheye lens to your iPhone.  On Instagram photos and video, the field view is PERFECT although on the normal camera mode, you start picking up the edge of the lens.  Could just be a mechanical tweak made for a bigger lens with the same radius/magnification.  As the smartphone cameras continue to improve, one must wonder if these kind of adaptations could replace the GoPro.  One thing is for sure, the speakers on iPhone’s always suck, and the microphones have a lot of room for improvement too.  Which devices will consolidate into the smartphone?  All that is left is the video camera and car keys.

We took ours and cut out the screen in front and shaved a hole in the bottom to charge.  It kills the waterproofing but makes it so that the piece is more of a day-to-day piece.  We used an exacto knife to remove the screen on the front so that we could get better touch input.  Then we used a Dremel tool to cut a hole in the bottom to allow the charging connector to move through and allow the on-board speakers to be exposed. Might also be good to look at a product like the Olloclip, but then you have to remove the case.  Anyone know an iPhone fisheye that is built into a case (non-waterproof?)

here are some photos we took with it today

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