One thing I would recommend fellow entrepreneurs do is find a way to stay connected with your consumers and target audience.
Jimmy Buchheim is the founder of StickNFind, a product development company. Since 2001, Jimmy has designed a variety of products, from automotive Bluetooth solutions to various health and fitness Bluetooth products, for international OEM manufacturers as a white label service. With this experience, Jimmy established his own company to design Bluetooth-enabled products that improve the daily lives of consumers.
Jimmy is also the inventor of the StickNFind, the location sticker that can be placed on just about anything – from wallets to remotes to keys to pets – and is able to be tracked through a free smartphone app, within a 150 ft. range. After a series of unfortunate events, which included misplacing his keys and his daughter continuously losing her phone, Jimmy realized the need for a new technology that helps people keep track of misplaced and lost items. Since its launch, the StickNFind generated more than $925,000 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo and has been featured on various consumer, technology and business outlets, including the TODAY Show, New York Times, Wired, Engadget, Wall Street Journal and Fox Business News.
Jimmy currently resides in Davie, Florida with his wife and three kids.
What are you working on right now?
For the StickNFind, we will introduce an updated app to the App store that includes GPS location. We are also looking for beta testers for a pilot run of BluTracker, which is a Bluetooth-enabled location tracker that tracks up to 2500 ft. and stores a log of visited locations using GPS. We are working to get BluTracker ready for production and expect to ship by late October.
Where did the idea for StickNFind come from?
The idea for StickNFind came from my family: I was constantly misplacing my office keys around the house and my daughter kept losing her brand new phone. It was frustrating having to always search for missing things, so I wanted to create something that would make everyone’s life a little easier and less stressful.
How do you make money?
We currently sell the StickNFind stickers on our website and also in Brookstone stores nationwide.
What does your typical day look like?
As a startup company, everyone here wears multiple hats on a daily basis, depending on what we need to accomplish for the day. A typical day for me might include: product development, testing our products and their mobile apps, retail development, partnerships, fine-tuning some of the products we will be mass-producing, checking in with our community on social media, touching base with our manufacturer and strategizing future plans for StickNFind, as a product and company.
How do you bring ideas to life?
The ideas we’ve had were based on our own experiences. We wanted to create products that make everyday life easier. A high electricity bill was actually the inspiration for another Bluetooth-enabled gadget we’re currently producing called Meterplug. Meterplug plugs into any electric outlet and measures the electricity consumption of each appliance and details in dollars how much is being spent to keep something on standby mode. I thought it would be nice to have something that lets us identify what drains the most in currency and program it, so that it automatically turns off through Bluetooth.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
As someone who has experience designing Bluetooth-enabled products for more than 10 years, it’s exciting to see more mobile designs incorporating Bluetooth SMART into cars, houses and even clothing, making them smarter and connected with the user. We recently opened up the API for StickNFind and are also excited to see what kind of applications users come up with.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I am a firm believer in working for myself and the work I’ve done to date has always been independent. With that being said, the worst job I’ve had was designing products for other companies that never appreciated our work and took us for granted. Through this, I’ve learned that successful companies (from large corporations to small startups) treat everyone – consultants, employees, contractors, etc. – with the utmost respect and show how they are an important cog in the big picture.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I honestly wouldn’t do anything differently the second time around. StickNFind was the fourth most-funded campaign on Indiegogo. If I was going to start a new campaign on Indiegogo today, I would repeat many of the things we did, but without much of the guess work this time around.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing I would recommend fellow entrepreneurs do is find a way to stay connected with your consumers and target audience. For StickNFind, we had the luxury of going straight to the consumers to get their feedback and create something that everyone wanted. We initially planned on releasing the StickNFind in just black and white, but through Indiegogo, we received an overwhelming amount of requests for multi-colored stickers. Because of that great feedback, we started producing additional StickNFinds in pink, red, blue and clear.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Though I try not to reflect too much on my past failures and keep looking forward, there was one product I released too prematurely and didn’t deliver the end results we wanted. The lesson learned from that failure is to double, triple, even quadruple check the end product to truly know what it is capable of and how it can be improved in the future.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I would make the world one big country with a universal currency, by changing statutes and limitations across country borders to make it more fluid. Having one currency would enable fair trade worldwide and not give trade advantages to a specific currency, solely based on the exchange rate.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I am an Israeli who can speak three languages fluently (English, Hebrew and Spanish).
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Survey Monkey – This resource was great for us, because it helped us to see what StickNFind’s Indiegogo contributors wanted us to add to the sticker. Being able to collect these results in one place made our research easier and allowed us to work more proficiently.
Twitter – Staying connected is something StickNFind prides itself in and Twitter is helping us engage in real-time conversations with consumers. Whether it’s addressing technical issues or getting feedback on future updates, Twitter is a great tool to start conversations.
Google Drive – Our headquarters is in Florida, but we have several team members located in other parts of the country. Finding and setting up a shared drive that everyone can access from different remote locations can be expensive and challenging for startups like ours. Google Drive allows us to keep tabs on all documents, from who’s viewing it to what information has changed, and because we’re always on the go, being able to view it on nearly any device makes things easier for us.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Rather than a specific title, I recommend reading anything within the comedy genre. Life’s too short to not have a good laugh and I found that the best writing in comedy gets me to critically think, which then stimulates the creativity side in me.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Indiegogo – Slava Ruben and his team gave us our big start and have been professional and supportive of our campaign since Day One. I also enjoy seeing what new tech projects Indiegogo is pushing, because it allows us to fund ideas that can be turned into reality and also gets our creative juices flowing for future projects.
Engadget – We want to stay connected to the latest tech and gadget-related news and Engadget’s coverage allowed us to keep tabs on the latest Bluetooth innovations, new gadgets other startups were creating and gadgets that are similar to the StickNFind.
Bill Gates – He is my hero and his work inspired me to find StickNFind after years as a white-label service. I want StickNFind to be forward thinking and progressive as a company, much like what Mr. Gates instilled in his company when he created Microsoft.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
The last time I laughed out was this weekend, when I was playing with my kids.
Who is your hero?
What advice would you give to those who are considering a successful crowdfunding campaign?
Approach crowdfunding like any other business. Clearly define a problem and identify how your product will fix the problem. For me, people losing things and not being able to find them was something that everyone could relate to. The StickNFind solved these problems and we generated a lot of interest because this was a scenario everyone’s experienced. For those considering crowdfunding, when you define your problem, have your solution and truly believe it will work, the sky’s the limit.
Have you REALLY used the StickNFind on your cat before?
Absolutely. We found the cat in several different locations on different occasions – we found her in the yard, in the garage, even under my daughter’s bed.