Have you ever had an idea and thought “I bet I could quit my day job if I brought this thing to market.” While it wasn’t quite as simple as that, the Plugfones story roughly follows that script. Karissa Neely recently wrote an article for the Daily Herald that does a great job of walking the reader through Plugfones relatively short (since 2008) history. It’s an interesting read.
Shaun Knudsen was a successful realtor in 2007. After the real estate crash, Shaun was forced to take any job he could find to support his family. The job he eventually found was in a glass foundry, and required that he wear ear protection. During his 12-hour shifts, Shaun craved music or audiobooks — and the Plugfones idea was born. He made his own pair of DIY Plugfones, and pretty soon co-workers were asking him to make some for them. Light bulb.
Shaun created a website and began making Plugfones at home with his two teenage sons. Eventually, Shaun talked with his cousin, Tyler, about marketing the idea. With Tyler on board, sales soon tripled.
This past March, Shaun and Tyler ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund their new Bluetooth-enabled model, the Liberate. They had hoped to raise $35,000 for manufacturing costs. By the time their campaign ended May 13, they’d raised $427,248. They had such momentum, they are still taking Plugfones Liberate orders through Indiegogo.
Plugfones has been going strong ever since. Shaun has gone from scrambling for work to helping others in the community with rewarding jobs. To learn more about Plugfones, you can read the full story here.