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Interview with Per Sennstrom from Epickal’s Earin

Earin from Epickal AB

logoEarin is a worldwide first. Not only are we the smallest true wireless earbuds, we are also the first to hit the market. By true wireless, we mean absolutely no wires and no cables anymore. Bluetooth technology did allow headphones manufacturer to create product that don’t request any wires between the smart devices and the headphones. However, with these headphones, you still have an annoying wires between the left side and the right side. Earin got rid of the cable.

The impact in the industry is huge. We can talk about a paradigm shift. Imagine the impact for people running, exercising. Imagine as well the impact in term of fashion and lifestyle. You don’t need to bother anymore with these ugly cables around your head. It is so light, so discrete and it delivers high audio quality. It becomes almost invisible.

logo-earin

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

I am Per Sennstrom, an electronic engineer. I have spent a big part of my professional life working for major cell phones manufacturers such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson. I am also a big fan of music and Hifi in general, border line too interested in stereo speaker systems.

I am one of the founder of Epickal, with Kiril Trajkovski and Olle Linden. I am in charge of financials and the hardware engineering team plus all the things in between that comes with running a company.

per sennstromA wise man said once “Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.” Foolish is important. Don’t let anybody bring you down. Your idea is crazy? Then it could be a good one, or crazy, unless you try you will never know. Go with your heart.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

The exciting part of this new adventure is the fact that no days are similar. The common point between the days are long hours. Being an entrepreneur is a full dedication. It means wake up early in the morning (even if I hate that) and going to sleep very late. For a bit more than a year now, we eat Earin, we sleep Earin, we live Earin.

A typical day is made of so many things: R&D, production management, testing, lab, finance, marketing and many more…earin true wireless earbuds

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I have quite poor music taste but hide it quite well, only listening to it in the car or when i’m running. Back in the days of burnind music CD’s I had a CD labeled “post modern” in the car who was actually “E-type chooses his best Euro-techno hits”
How did you come up with the idea for your product and what made you “go for it?”
Earin came quite naturally. It is very straightforward. We wanted to create a small earbud that fits perfectly IN the EAR. Earin came to us very quickly.
The very idea of Earin came to us quite naturally, a pair of small true wireless earbuds, basically a normal corded earbuds that you remove the wires from. The step going from coffee room talk to actually implementing this to a reality was longer. We went through more than a few concepts of how to make it a reality with different technologies.When we had our first concept up, from a tech perspective not at all similar to the current solution, we knew that it could be done. There was no big decision at that point but we just kept going and set a milestone at Kickstarter, to test our idea against the market.

What made you decide to go with crowdfunding (or venture capital)?
We were talking about paradigm shift previously. To achieve a crazy dream and be part of a revolution, you need money. Of course there is the traditional way of starting a business with Fools, Friends and Family, which we did. Then we had the choice of looking for Business Angels (more than venture capitalist in a first time) or try a crowdfunding campaign. The choice was quite obvious for us. We knew that people were in demand for such a product and we would find some audio geeks like us ready to jump in the train. We simply didn’t measure the impact of it and the success we would receive.
What is the best decision you’ve ever made with your product (financial, emotional, educational) that led to the product we’re experiencing today?

Launching the kickstarter campaign. When we saw the results of it, it was like a booster. We just didn’t convince couple of people in a meeting room to invest in our product. We receive the proof there was a huge demand for such a product and we had the funding coming in with it.

Kickstarter gave us so much more than money to fund the development. It gave us a fan-base, direct customers, lots of PR.

earin wireless earbuds

Where do you see your company or your company’s focus in 1-2 years?
Our plan had always to be a leader in this new field of True wireless devices. We see ourselves as pioneers in this field and our focus will be on the technology and innovation of true wireless. We want to keep an advantage and build a brand that will be recognize as the leader of true wireless devices on the market
If you could time travel back to day one of your start­up and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself?
I would probably avoid saying anything. If I knew everything I know today, I am not sure I would be ready to start that easily. The ride is exciting and I would not exchange it for anything in the world but to be fully honest, you must be a bit crazy to launch such a venture. I would just tell to my former self to get a good night sleep because the day will be long.

per sennstromWe didn’t communicate enough during the campaign but sharing your dream with the people that support you is one of the key element of being successful.

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and work and why?
I don’t think I have someone who has influenced me that much to be honest. I admire some people, like Nick Woodman, GoPro’s founder who basically created a new segment and got his brand to be associated with this segment. “I just bought a GoPro, it’s made by Sony” ☺
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs on how to facilitate a successful financing campaign?
A wise man said once “Stay hungry. Stay Foolish.” Foolish is important. Don’t let anybody bring you down. Your idea is crazy? Then it could be a good one, or crazy, unless you try you will never know. Go with your heart. We learn that along the way with our backers. We didn’t communicate enough during the campaign but sharing your dream with the people that support you is one of the key element of being successful.
What do you see as the biggest advancement in your technology sector over the next 5-10 years?

We are in the beginning of True wireless. 5-10 years is an extremely long period when it comes to new technology and tech advances. We know that many companies are following us closely. I am confident that Earin will be followed by basically all larger headphone companies now that we have hit the market. Short term, that is what will happen, True wireless will expand to be a whole new segment.

From a tech perspective, we will see maybe smaller units and cheaper products, being in forefront of technology is always expensive”

What do you see as the biggest risk in your technology sector over the next 5-10 years?
Again, 5-10 years is a long time but in general, big fish eats small fish, meaning small companies have to be aggressive to not be over-run by larger companies. Nothing to do with our technology since it’s a general remark for the market.

Thank you for your time Per!

Wrapping it up

If you’d like to support Person and the Product, check out earin.com, the Kickstarter campaign and follow them on: FacebookTwitterInstagram

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