ZipBuds: a short story in product development

When students ask what it takes to get a product developed from concept to consumer, I now have another great example to share with them: ZipBuds, from Digital Group Audio (DGA).

A little background would help, wouldn't it?

Here's how it goes...Erik Groset, President and Co-Founder of DGA, has been a featured Guest Entrepreneur in my classes over the past 2 years and has done a masterful job of making entrepreneurship look approachable and realistic to the wide-eyed and optimistic business students in attendance. While Erik has shared with us the measured approach he and his partner, Robin DeFay, took in developing their first audio product, the LiveSpeakr, their greatest story of persistence and precision is now found in their latest product.

The ZipBuds story started more than a year ago when DGA ideated on the concept of how zippers bring two things together in an orderly fashion. When paired with the frustration of tangled headphone cords, the team decided that a zipper could bring some semblance of order to the left and right strands of a headphone cord. Within a short amount of time, the team created the ZipBuds name and launched a thin-on-detail website that provided only a silhouette of what was to come.

What many of you on the periphery didn't get to see, I did. Over the course of nine months, I watched as the DGA team further refined the concept with multiple material mock-ups, fabric and zipper batches, in-ear audio tests, user feedback sessions, photography stagings, marketing and packaging conceptualizations, and on and on and on. What resulted from all this diligence is what we now see as unveiled yesterday.

I suspect that we'll be hearing more from the good students at DGA and we'll see the ZipBuds sales go well as we head into the holiday buying season.


Chad said...

Just ordered two of these, one for me and one for my little sister for xmas! Great gift ideas :)

Bennett Cherry, Ph.D. said...

They work well as gifts...I can assure you of that.