Eli Blatt – Founder of GOcase

Ruthless prioritization. There’s so many different things at any given time that you could be working on. When you’re a small company, it’s doubly important to practice ruthless prioritization to make sure you’re working on the right projects.

Eli loves gadgets, tech, and being organized. He has Ph.D in Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University, where he was also a Management and Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Graduate School of Business, and a BA from Brown in Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, as well as a background in management, technology, and UX consulting. His passion is snowboarding (if you check the growing library of GOcase videos, you’ll find him starring in a few!) and music/audio. All these interests came together when he founded GOcase.

His philosophy is that every device deserves to be stored in a case that complements the style and utility of the device, but often devices don’t come with cases, or else they leave something to be desired—the same goes for most aftermarket cases. He founded GOcase with the vision of creating premium cases and packs for cutting-edge products in niche markets that enhance the experience of owning those products.

Where did the idea for GOcase come from?

I discovered a pair of high-end headphones that came with only a microfiber bag and realized people would want a nice case for it. When I looked into cases, I realized there were only very basic, minimum-viable-product type cases available, and that there was an opportunity to make premium cases that matched the look and feel of high-end headphones.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Up early trying to catch the tail-end of the day in China. Work from home or a coffee shop. Tea or coffee in the morning help, but usually my full inbox is enough to motivate me.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Well, I make physical products, so the end result is always something tangible. It starts with an idea or solution, then after a lot of schematics and prototyping, we hopefully end up with a product we can take to market.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Both the GoPro and the Portable Audio boom have been exciting and great for business.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Ruthless prioritization. There’s so many different things at any given time that you could be working on. When you’re a small company, it’s doubly important to practice ruthless prioritization to make sure you’re working on the right projects.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

A market research consulting ‘factory’. We just did one research study after another, all the same, all boring.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have tried early on for some OEM deals with headphone makers.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Constantly sanity check my product choices and how/where we are investing resources. As a small company, every decision matters, especially when it involves an investment of time or resources, so I constantly evaluate whether we are investing properly.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Maintaining our position as a premium brand and maker of the best headphone cases on the market. The accessory case market is flooded with cheap, low quality cases—minimum viable products. By focusing on making products people will actually feel proud to own, we have created a whole new market.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We failed to secure an early OEM deal with a company for whom we were preparing a solution. Live and learn—the reality is we were not optimally positioned to win that bid at the time, and so we simply lowered our heads and pressed on.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Style-oriented medical face masks. Just got back from Asia and you have to think people would want masks other than just plain white.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I put down $100 for a friend to help them buy supplies to make an art piece that they will attempt to re-sell. Paying it forward and helping a friend realize their artistic/entrepreneurial dream—money well spent.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Skype, Odesk, Amazon Seller Central, Shopify, Google Docs, Dropbox, Quickbooks online. I love that these tools help me seamlessly run a business with employees distributed worldwide.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Tao Te Ching. Because it’s probably the wisest book ever written and can help you keep centered with everything seems off-kilter.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, John Paul Sartre, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins,


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