Q&A with Daniel
Startup companies are constantly breaking new ground, coming up with innovative ideas for products and services, and creating a different type of work environment. To be successful in this domain, you need to be a creative self-starter, something Daniel Blumer, CEO and co-founder of Revols earphones, knows extremely well. I sat down with Dan and asked him questions about Revols, the startup life, and even got some bonus answers to some trivia questions about himself. Take a look down below!
How did you first come up with the idea for the earphones?
Well, Navi actually came to me; we’ve always wanted to do something together (the two have been friends for over 25 years), so he came to me with the idea. He pitched me on more comfortable earphones. And as much as I knew about earphones at the time, I was very limited on what I knew on the custom-fit front. And so, when he pitched me that custom-fit was the right way to go, I did my research. I found out that they were actually incredible because of all of the benefits: the fit, the isolation, the sound quality. And I saw -- well actually, Navi and I both saw -- that the biggest challenge was the cost associated with them, and so we both right away believed that if we could get that cost down and develop a way to create them quickly so that the average consumer can have them within 10 minutes of taking them out of the box, it would be very appealing. And that story is initially how we got to this.
Interesting! And how did you actually come up with the name “Revols”?
Okay, this was super difficult. What we did was we all sat around our kitchen table, Tali, Navi, myself, Amanda, and two other good friends of ours, and we brainstormed on the advantages of Revols. We threw out words that we could associate with these earphones and what we wanted to stand for. We had every single person write down -- it started with I think the top 10 words that they associated with what we’re doing and who we are and what we believe in -- and then we went around the room and had each person pitch why those words made sense for them. Then each person had to go back choose the top 3 words based off of all the words everyone through out there. I’m going to give Tali (Revols Marketing Director) the credit, because, at first it was “rebels,” like rebellion, but we decided on Revols because it was a mixture of a revolutionary idea and a disruptive technology that could transform the earphone industry. Plus, the website domain wasn’t taken, which was a great plus!
Wow what a fun brainstorming session! So, what is your favorite part about running a startup company?
The people you meet. I’ve had an opportunity over the past two and a half to three years to just meet so many interesting people in so many different industries, and make so many new friends. It is just so different from a desk job, right? It’s just incredible, I love that! I love the stress that comes with it, I just love all of it.
What do you find is the biggest challenge that you face running a startup company?
Wow, well there are a lot of challenges. I think there are so many moving parts, you have to make sure to communicate and manage properly. Doing it efficiently is not easy, and definitely requires time to get it right. Establishing structure in an unstructured environment can be challenging.
Okay now, describe yourself as a CEO in one word.
In one word? I’d say passionate.
What other CEOs do you look up to?
Wow, that’s a great question. I love Jeff Bezos from Amazon, he’s really played the ultimate long game. To have such a crazy vision and see it through is just incredible. Elon Musk is also a huge idol of mine!
What do you see for the future of Revols?
I see Revols being recognized as a brand name in the premium retail space. But also, we won’t just be selling earphones. We’ll be selling many different ear-related products that can benefit from a custom-fit solution. There’s a real need for our technology in many other spaces, such as: hearing aids, military communication devices, aviation and even gaming… Our intent is to form a solid foundation and then build out from there, and create offerings in all of those additional spaces.
Okay, now for the fun stuff. Do you have any hidden talents?
Wow, okay, do I have any hidden talents? Hmm… I can fold my tongue, and I can move my ears, my nose, and my eyebrows. I think that’s it.
What would you say you just can’t you live without?
My dogs (Golden Retrievers)!
What are your top 3 favorite songs?
The River of Dreams by Billy Joel, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers, and Revolution (of course!) by The Beatles.
Who’s your favorite music artist?
Can you sum up 2016 in one word?
And finally, what are you most excited for in 2017?
The release of our product of course, and the birth of my first child! ...In no particular order.
Well there you have it! Seems like the key to becoming a successful CEO of a startup company consists of being a dog-loving, tongue-folding, passionate person who loves to meet and network with new and interesting people. After speaking to Dan, it’s hard not to feel inspired to make a change and be encouraged to chase your dreams! While I’m at it, maybe jam out to some U2!
Click here to join Dan and the rest of the team on the Earphone Revolution! Stay tuned for more of “The People Behind Revols” coming soon!