If you haven’t heard about Peak Design it is well…by design. You see Peak Design a camera accessory company is ok in their own skin continuing to grow organically through their own social networks, growth hacking Kickstarter and selling directly to customers on their ecommerce website. So you’re probably asking yourself: “How the heck did they pull this off?!”
Well it is pretty simple actually. They broke a lot of the rules you learn at school and in business books.
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You need to raise a few million dollars to start a fast-growing company.
Peak Design raised $0.00 and the team retains 100% equity. They averaged 18 people during most of 2016 and ended with $23M in sales. That’s $1.28M in sales per employee. For some perspective, Google does $1.20M per employee.
Only serial entrepreneurs, product designers and MBA-types can start product design companies.
Peak Design’s founder Peter Dering is a civil engineer and Peak Design is his first brand.
Outsource everything you can except for your core competency.
Dering edited his first Kickstarter video on Microsoft Movie Maker, and designed his first products using Google Sketchup. He might as well have used finger puppets and Microsoft Paint. While they’ve started some outsourcing as their company hits scale, a DIY mentality is in the team’s DNA.
Once you find product-market fit, raise money and scale fast.
Nope. Growth is not the goal. The magic is in the camaraderie. Too many new faces too quickly puts that in peril. With an competent A-Team you can keep a barebones headcount and conserve precious cash needed to hold inventory.
You need hundreds of customer interviews and consumer product testing.
For their first product, the Capture Camera Clip, Peter romped across America’s national parks and asked photographers as he came encountered them, “doesn’t wearing your SLR around your neck suck? Yeah? Cool!”
Focus on a niche segment. Don’t boil the ocean.
After Peak Design launched multi-million dollar camera accessory products for photographers, conventional business wisdom would’ve stuck to that audience and product line. Instead, Peak Design launched the Everyday Messenger and Backpack for a mainstream audience.
Yup, we hate to say it but Peter Dearing is just like you. He had $0 in investment from venture capitalists and was able to transform that into $23 million. So what is his secret? Hard work and most importantly…execution. At his core he is a Minnesota-made humble pie who quit his job, worked as a bar-back, and slept in a bunk bed in order to follow his dream. Now that you can no longer use that “I haven’t raised enough money.” excuse what is really keeping you from starting your Shopify store and reaching your dreams?