“I love working for myself. I love the fact that if I want to wear shorts and flip-flops to work today, I’ll do it. If I want to bring my dog to work, I’ll do it. If I want to make cool products and have them on shelves in Japan, I’ll do it. I like the freedom involved with being an entrepreneur, and that’s what motivates me as an entrepreneur.”
“I like to think we make really cool stuff all day every day,” says Jason Lucash, co-founder and Business Development Director of OrigAudio. Just three months after their initial product launch in August of 2009, it was clear that others agreed with Jason when the Fold N’ Play recycled speakers made TIME Magazine’s The 50 Best Inventions of 2009 list. “We went from selling 10 speakers a day out of our garage in Chicago to over 1,000 speakers a day.”
OrigAudio is part of a booming personal audio market, which includes Beats, Bose, Phillips, SkullCandy, and others. Just the personal headphones segment of the market brings in $2B in annual revenues.
When working for JanSport, Jason and co-founder Michael Szymczak traveled constantly. They both had a passion for music, but found it difficult to bring speakers with them on the road to listen to their music outside of using earbuds or headphones. Their solution was the first prototype of the Fold N’ Play recycled speaker, which uses no battery power and is made out of recycled material. Jason describes the company as a portable and affordable speaker and headphone company. All of their products are $70 or less and customizable – allowing the customer to design the look of their speaker. Instead of saying Bose on the side or having a large ‘B,’ Jason believes that “products should look and feel how we want them to look and feel.”
Jason Lucash with his Beets by OrigAudio Headphones
Five Years and Still Playing Loud
One look at the brand, or a short chat with Jason, will make it clear that he is living his dream, and having a lot of fun along the way. OrigAudio has released over fifteen products since the initial launch of the Fold ‘N Play speakers and has been able to grow a large base of loyal customers.
Among his accomplishments and accolades, Jason was acknowledged as Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012, Orange County’s 2012 40 Under 40 list, Dealerscope’s 2013 40 Under 40, UC Davis’ Young Alumnus of the Year in 2014, and has helped OrigAudio become one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Companies in America. To say that Jason has been busy would be an understatement, but he’s not losing steam.
Q: Has there been any point along the journey when you’ve been burned out?
A: “I think as a business owner I get burned out every day…that comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur. I think why we’ve been successful as a company is that, yes we all work non-stop all day every day, but we’re all working towards a common goal, and that’s what keeps us energized.”
In addition to his work inside the company, Jason has been able to create an impact outside the office. I was fortunate enough to meet Jason at the 2011 CEO National Conference in Fort Worth, where he spoke to students about his experience as a young co-founder. Jason says he travels over 150,000 miles per year and just over the last 365 days he’s been to Kiev, Auckland, Sydney, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Hanover, and across the US as well.
Q: What benefits do you get out of public speaking?
A: “I really enjoy speaking as I get to see people light up when they hear my story. The biggest and most rewarding part for me is to speak to the young entrepreneurs across the world who are doing big things. We’ve all got to remember it’s up to us, the young entrepreneurs of the future who are changing the way our world operates…because the future is now!”
OrigAudio’s future looks bright due to the growth of the company, growth of the industry, and the passion of the founders. We hear you Jason.
Listen to the full interview with entrepreneur Jason Lucash below!
- Jason’s honest thoughts about the Beats acquisition.
- Biggest mistake – the Sphere.
- “Go out and make your dreams a reality.”
- Most surprising product success: Squid Connector Cord. Started off as just an accessory for one of their products until it outsold all of their other offerings.
- “To be an entrepreneur you have to be a gambler, and I love gambling.”
- How many hours a week do you spend on OrigAudio? “How about, how many hours do I not spend on OrigAudio. At least 60 hours a week.”
- How many hours a sleep do you get a night? 5-6.
- Guilty pleasure movie you like or TV show you watch? “I watch a lot of trashy TV. I really like anything on E! or Bravo.”
- If you were banned from being an entrepreneur, what would you do for a living? “I’d probably work in sports because that’s what I started doing when I graduated college. I’d probably work in baseball operations.”
- If you could add any entrepreneur in the world to your company, who would it be and why? “It would probably be Mark Zuckerburg because everyone says I look like him. This way we could tag-team different events and I’d use his network to better my company.”
Listen to the full interview here: