How Kite and Rocket got its start
I had been designing prototypes and research devices for universities and businesses on a contract basis for about eight years. I was essentially renting out my brain and selling my time.
What got you interested in starting your business?
Kite and Rocket was founded with the intention of inventing, manufacturing and marketing products of its own design. Kite and Rocket is a product company―not a service business.
A person could make the case that all companies are actually in the service business, since the final consumer in every industry is a person. Kite and Rocket―or any manufacturer, for that matter―must never lose sight of this. Manufacturers don’t exist to make their distributors, retailers or shareholders happy. They exist to make the people who use their products happy. However, it remains true that product companies and service businesses do have very different structures, and require very different mindsets in order to be successful.
What were your experiences getting up and running?
I always had the intention of bootstrapping the manufacturing side of the business. I’m a pretty resourceful person, and I was confident that there must be some product idea out there that was simple enough to manufacture with minimal set-up costs, and that could finance more ambitious products. It was supposed to be a slow, steady process. However, in 2008, I caught a break that sped up that process considerably. The technology from one of my inventions was licensed by Hasbro, Inc.— the second largest toy manufacturer in the world. This was quickly followed by three other products. The royalty revenue from these products fuels Kite and Rocket with an unexpected source of working capital.
What’s been your most rewarding experience so far?
The mandate of Kite and Rocket Research is to develop products that people need―not just want. We are particularly focused on products that restore people’s quality-of-life and dignity. Kite and Rocket is currently developing a product that is both so compelling in its necessity, and yet so simple in concept, that all who have been introduced to the device so far have become cheerleaders for its continued development. That kind of positive energy is extraordinarily motivating—what might have otherwise been just a job becomes transformed into a mission.
How did BizFilings help you along the way?
I’m a great believer in the concept of specialization. People should do what they’re passionate about, and leave the rest to someone else. I’m passionate about creating a company culture that produces happy people and imaginative products. BizFilings is passionate about streamlining a prohibitively complex process for busy entrepreneurs. That’s my idea of a good relationship.
What’s next for Kite and Rocket?
Kite and Rocket is fortunate to be associated with world-class consultants and advisors in several key areas of business development. Aside from the ongoing product development activity, we are currently setting up systems and making decisions that will guide Kite and Rocket Research through its transition from a small innovation laboratory into an internationally recognized brand.