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?

Skullcandy teams up with Yo Gabba Gabba

Not gonna lie, this video is pretty darn catchy.  This might be Skullcandy’s secret ploy to target a demographic fresh out of the cradle to buy their custom headphones.  Yo Gabba Gabba is basically the new A.D.D version of sesame street.  The kids of Generation Y are basically bombarded with options, and now we are stuck offering everyone their own customization possibilities.  YAAAAAAAAAY.  Thankfully, manufacturing technology is also improving in a way that makes a lot of this nonsense a viable thing.  Colors mixing with colors!  C’Mon kids!

BBTX Headphone and Earbud Concepts Unveiled

headphone and earphone design

As of right now, we are a speaker company, but this is not to say that we cannot apply the creativity and core values of our brand into other products.  Initially, Boombotix was formed to provide an alternative to headphones.  We have always prided ourselves in making products catered to a mobile lifestyle so durability, quality, and style have always been core values.  As we look to the future, we realized that we could apply these values to headphone and earbud design too, so this is our first stab at the concept.

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Capturing Portable Audio’s Impact on Urban Culture

Our team recently took a trip to CES and we wanted to really capture the dynamics of San Francisco’s urban culture and share it with the world.  In the video shown below, we romped around with our portable speakers just to demonstrate all of the different places that we could have fun with a little mobile audio device. With all the noise in the city, we figure that you either have to hear it all or be HEARD.  We choose the latter.

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Kidrobot x Skullcandy Headphone Collaboration

We always thought Boombotix speakers were the result of Kidrobot and Skullcandy making love and popping out a child.  Apparently they’ve gone ahead and done it by slapping the Kidrobot logo on Skullcandy headphones.  Not so sure if we are diggin’ the “jacked up” chrome Dunny design, but if you’re going to pay $299 for headphones, you better be getting something shiny.   These headphones launch December 2nd available at Kidrobot stores.

Kidrobot Mix Master

Sleek in black and chrome, the Kidrobot Mix Master is limited to only 1000 pieces worldwide, and is accompanied by exclusive “chrome” 3-inch “jacked-up” Dunny, with decorative jack in the face.  With plush soft touch ear pillows, shatterproof construction, one-touch mute and duel channel cue control, interchangeable deejay cable and cable inputs, and stashable 3-piece foldable design.  Nests into a protective pressure-formed collapsible road case.  Premium sound meets premium style.  $299.99

Kidrobot Agent

Pop-art aesthetic, sleek contours and undeniable attitude. Blue and white with a pop of magenta, the Kidrobot Agent boasts a leather and suede headband, brushed aluminum and plastic headphone, and leather cable with gold plated plug.  $59.95