That was 2016…
Adam Blair • January 02, 2017 • 2 Comments
2016 was an incredible year for PUMP Audio…
It started with us doing our first ever equity raise with help from our friends at Seedrs.
It meant that the people who believe in us the most – PUMP users – had the opportunity to invest in the business and become shareholders.
Frustratingly we couldn’t accept investment from many of our Friends around the World who were desperate to take part for the first round – particularly in the United States – due to the fact that we’re a British company.
We’re planning on sorting that by doing a second round some time in 2017, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to accept investment from our Friends across the pond as well as in the UK.
One of the best things that we did in 2016 was to do a deal with an external sales company to represent us to major retailers instead of trying to do it ourselves, which is rather like teaching a dog to rollerskate – possible, but far from an efficient use of time.
Our new sales partners have the track record, contacts, and crucially the strategic thinking that should see PUMP in at least one major retailer during 2017.
They also really helped us crystallise who we are as a company – our core values and how these should effect everything we touch.
They forced us — in a good way — to think in an entirely new way about brand consistency, decision making, and design language of everything from the way the headphones look and feel, down to the exact position of the barcode on the packaging…
This is all stuff that’s obvious to major brands, but was a big eye opener for me.
We also had our first “major” retailer – QVC – take us on in December, selling out in under 5 minutes.
They’re super keen to do more in 2017, which is a big endorsement for PUMP since QVC have a reputation for working exclusively with quality brands and are notoriously hard to partner with.
Lastly, we developed 3 new headphones which are evolutions of our much loved “V1” and “V2” in ears using feedback from our Friends (users) around the World.
The first of them, MIX Wireless, has already launched and if you haven’t yet got your set, they’re live on Kickstarter as we speak.
The initial feedback suggests that people love them even more than the originals.
The other two models (called MIX and BOOM) will be launching very soon.
Aspirations for 2017…
Last year we learned a lot about recruiting Team Members slowly.
After our equity raise, I felt a responsibility to grow the Team quickly, which with hindsight was a mistake.
I’ve heard some very successful business people who live the mantra “small is beautiful”.
I now understand what they mean after going through the pain of having to let people go who simply didn’t live up to our (incredibly high) expectations. This was almost always because they didn’t share our core values and culture.
I’ve learned that its way better to have a small team of Stars than a large team of average people who have no real passion for the brand and/or don’t fit in with our culture and shared vision.
I’ve made it my personal mission to get really good at recruitment in 2017 so that we can be sure to only hire people who are a) exceptional at what they do and; b) share our core values and so will fit in to our culture.
Although the Team is my main priority in 2017, we’ll also be pushing ahead on future developments, always with one core philosophy at the forefront:
Sound. Above All Else.
Have an awesome 2017, whatever challenges and opportunities it holds in store for you!