Matthias Bollmus and John Schlick’s product, the SwitchID, was born out of a common problem: standing in front of a set of light switches and trying to figure out which one does what. The SwitchID clearly and elegantly labels light switches, erasing a little bit of frustration from their customers’ daily routines.
Bollmus and Schlick started their business out of a shared rapport and drive to innovate. The two met through work in 2007 and went into business together by drawing up a contract on the back of a napkin two years later. They started by patenting The Chillin’ Buddy, a novelty cooler shaped like a football player’s torso, but hit roadblocks in bringing the product to market. In their next endeavor, the SwitchID, Bollmus and Schlick were determined to learn from past mistakes.
When the two entrepreneurs heard about SCORE, they decided to seek out expert advice as they went forward with their new product.
Bollmus and Schlick have met a series of goals they set for themselves including finding a local manufacturer, running a successful Kickstarter campaign and launching a web site. They successfully brought the SwitchID to market and have begun selling it on Amazon, where it has garnered five-star reviews.
They have increased revenue every year and are now setting more aggressive revenue goals and developing an additional customizable SwitchID product.
Bollmus and Schlick say that SCORE mentor Jack Hill, “immediately provided an element of discipline that helped us stay on course, given that we both have families and careers.” They say, “It is just too easy to put off the work on these projects, but Jack really found the right balance between being encouraging and being a pain; he kept us going!”