What It's About
Outlet struggles overseas inspire a Hong Kong executive to create a compact device that would allow him to plug in no matter where he goes.
Words of Wisdom
OneAdaptr focused on Mac products at first because Apple standardized the MacBook charger connector, setting an easier design target over the myriad types of PC connectors. They also felt that Apple fans adopt new products faster than PC users.
Know your audience and make choices based on what you know! You can't always create something for everyone, so start with what your customers use the most and expand based on what you determine from that initial first run.
Thank a fellow named Philip F. Labre for designing the third ground prong for electrical plugs in 1928. Before that prong, people could unknowingly create a short in a circuit with an electrical plug, and their body would become the only path from the live wire of the plug to the ground. ZZZZTTT! Labre’s third prong elegantly made an alternative "path of least resistance" so that instead of flowing through you, the electrons flow through the ground prong to the earth.
Notes from Chris
With seven years under his belt as a Product Manager in a company producing power chargers, Michael Ma had the scoop on all things electric. A global traveler who has long taken business and pleasure on the road, he became exasperated with the tangle of cables and adapters he had to stuff into his travel bags, and the peculiar plugs and outlets he encountered in different countries. Since he also had the moxie to make the one adapter to rule them all, he used a little crowdfunding spark, and his new company, OneAdaptr, plugged in. In 2015, Michael and OneAdaptr led a successful Kickstarter campaign called TWIST and World Charging Station that offered a MacBook connector, with four USB connections and universal adaptability, all in a single unit. That’s the best kind of power surge! From the first idea to Kickstarter prototype took between 6-9 months—and that means going from concept to product-definition draft to design, prototyping, and testing until satisfied with the result. They raised over 60,000, which covered tooling and certification costs and the ability to make final adjustments to their designs. In Michael’s eyes, the worst part of the experience was the stress of hitting product timelines, and in putting in considerable initial investments before knowing if the product concept and execution actually worked. But having made 500K gross profit behind the 200K startup costs seems to have relieved those tensions.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- OneAdaptr: Read more about Michael's side hustle journey on his website!
- Kickstarter | Twist: A ultra-portable universal adapter for your MacBook: Here's the Kickstarter campaign that started it all
- How To Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea: Learn more about how you can find a manufacturer for your product
- Alibaba 101: How to safely source products from the world's biggest supplier directory
- Clothing Store Salesman Invents Baby Harness, Earns $100k Per Year: An innovative salesman creates a baby harness that benefits both parent and child, all the while creating a six-figure side income for himself
- Hair Salon Owner Designs Mittens for Cold Runners: An avid runner has a difficult time finding gloves or mittens that feel comfortable enough for running while also keep her fingers warm in the winter. She decides to make her own and pursues a patent for her idea
- Nomad Family Cooks Up $40,000 Profit With Houseware Import Business: A traveling family creates a houseware reselling business using the Fulfillment by Amazon model, with profits going straight to their travel fund
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