My fifth grade crush on my older brother’s friend got me into Star Wars. And though the nervous butterflies for him eventually passed, my feelings for a galaxy far, far away were not so fleeting. I’ll extol the unsung heroism of Wedge Antilles or debate the virtues of an A-wing versus an X-wing with any willing partner.
So imagine my glee when I discovered Wicked Lasers on the site. They make the highest powered laser pointers available in the consumer market. The lasers come in red, blue and green and their handles have a certain sci-fi appeal. So sci-fi, in fact, Lucasfilms LTD sent them a cease and desist letter because their designs were too lightsaber-esque.
Steve, the CEO of Wicked Lasers, took some time to talk about his experience living the future now:
How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?
We manufacture the world’s highest powered laser technology. Think of sci-fi movies like Star Wars, we want to make that a reality one day.
What made you use crowdSPRING?
For some reason, we got a crazy idea about wanting to try to crowdsourcing for our industrial design. Once we used it, we loved the results.
What are some industry specific challenges you faced?
There were numerous challenges we have had to face, from government regulation to George Lucas sending us a cease and desist letter because our lasers looked too much like light sabers. Now that’s our design credo.
What was your biggest learning curve/experience?
Our biggest learning curve was dealing with increased orders and manufacturing volume. We started getting a lot more orders after the Lucasfilm lawsuit and it was very hard to cope with that.
What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?
There are many crazy stories, but the origin of the company was started by an Canada- born 18- year- old in a college dorm.
If you could go back, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?
There are a lot of things we would do differently, but making mistakes is part of learning and we have no regrets.
How do you see your company growing in the future?
We are looking forward to expanding consumer laser technology into the living room of every household in the world.
Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.
All you need is passion.
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