In this episode of the podcast, my guest is David Barnett, founder and CEO of PopSockets.com. Back in 2010, David scratched his own itch and invented what is now a wildly famous and extremely popular product called aPopSocket – which is the little finger holder that you see people all over the world using to hold their cell phones.

Since their launch in 2014, PopSockets.com has grown their revenue by 10X every single year and expects to sell 60 million pop sockets in 2018.

Suffice to say, David’s business has been wildly successful and there are some incredible insights that he shares in this interview.

Questions Asked During the Interview

  • What is a pop socket?
  • How many will you sell this year?
  • How did you come up with the idea?
  • How did kickstarter play a role in the early days of your company?
  • How did customer feedback influence your product design?
  • How did participating in a trade show impact your brand early on?
  • How did celebrities play a role in your early brand development?
  • What new challenges did this massive growth bring?
  • Was product quality ever an issue?
  • When did you land your first big deal with a retailer?
  • How did you get strangers interested in your product at trade shows?
  • How have Standard Operating Procedures had an impact on your company?
  • If you were to give advice to other entrepreneurs what would that be?
  • What does your life look like these days, now that you have built a team around you?
  • What do you focus your time on most?
  • How do create enough space in your schedule so you have time to focus on big picture topics? (This is what Monday’s are for. He works from home every Monday)
  • Now that you are making a lot of money, where do you find your motivation to keep setting bigger goals? (“Do Goods” Program)

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Today’s Guest

David Barnett is the founder and CEO of PopSockets LLC. He was a philosophy major at Emory, a physics major at University of Colorado Boulder, received his PhD in philosophy from NYU, and from 2005-2015 was a philosophy professor at University of Colorado Boulder. His research specialized in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind – that is, before he reached enlightenment, stopped doing philosophy, and became an entrepreneur.

In 2010, Barnett was looking for a way to stop his earbud cord from getting tangled, and he achieved this by gluing two buttons to the back of his phone and wrapping the earbud cord around the buttons. As ugly as the buttons were, they worked. In the course of improving on the idea, he developed about 60 different prototypes, making the buttons expand and collapse via an accordion mechanism, so that they could function as both a stand and a grip. In 2012, Barnett launched a KickStarter campaign for an iPhone case that would have two PopSockets grips integrated into the case. In addition to getting successfully funded, the KickStarter campaign enabled Barnett to show the world his dancing prowess. Two years later, in 2014, Barnett launched the business out of his garage in Boulder, Colorado, and has subsequently sold over 50 million PopSockets grips around the world.

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