In addition to phone cases, phone accessories are just as prominent in the phone accessory market. When it comes to making your phone experience easier, there is one phone accessory in particular that gets the job done: PopSockets.
The brand, PopSockets, is a brand founded by David Barnett, “he was just a guy trying to keep his earbuds from tangling. A couple of buttons and some crazy glue later, he had the first PopSocket grip”(PopSockets.com). After David had his PopSocket prototype or MVP, he realized it could turn into something big. In Innovation and Entrepreneurship Class, we learned about the process of what needs to be done in order for a product to hit the open market. After 3 years of perfecting his idea, his product became what we see today on hundreds of thousands of phones across the United States.
There are certain people who go about life always looking to improve things around them; these people have an entrepreneurial mindset. David Barnett used creativity to come up with his idea of the PopSocket. Creativity has many definitions, but the one used in Entrepreneurship is defined as the capacity to produce new ideas, insights, inventions, products, or artistic objects that are considered to be unique, useful, and of value to others (Entrepreneurship: The Practice and Mindset). Often, people come up with new inventions and ideas because they have faced that problem in their daily lives. Phones are becoming more and more necessary to social survival and since we are on our phone all day, making the experience more enjoyable and comfortable has potential to make big money and improve the lives of thousands. David saw a problem in his life, and instead of waiting for someone else to come up with a million dollar idea, he did it himself.
PopSockets are a brand that uses the highest quality material in order to ensure that consumers enjoy their experience with the products they purchase. But once a successful product hits the open market, there are many smaller organizations that recreate that product with very cheap materials. They then sell their product for less than the original business price in order to steal customers. The PopSocket Company went through a process known as the design thinking process. The first step in this process is the most important, in my opinion, and it is the step, empathy. When the design team leaves their office to go out into the real world and ask consumers if they would use their product and what they would do to improve it, they are practicing empathy.
Empathy is composed of three steps: Observe, Engage, and Immerse. In order for a product to succeed, the consumer must want to purchase it. The company will go out of their office and observe the consumers using their product in their every day lives. They must interact with the consumer and interview them, asking what they would change, and if they would purchase one on their own. Immersing yourself into the situation your consumer underwent and experiencing what they experienced is one of the most important ways to figure out ways to improve your product going forward.
In my own personal experience, I heard about PopSockets from a friend in my economics class. Before class, he was reading an electronic news article on his phone while his phone was propped up in front of him, with nothing for it to rest against. After class, I immediately went back to my dorm, did some research on the product, and purchased a PopSocket online. If one were to buy a PopSocket, I would recommend buying a PopSocket from the original website. In order to do see the difference between a real PopSocket and a fake PopSocket, I purchased a fake one for $4, and it was even much lower quality than the original brand. I have purchased one PopSocket phone mount from the real website and it has lasted me one year and counting. The quality is present in the build and will not be a waste of your money. The design thinking process that the PopSocket team went through to create their product was worth the extra money spent.
If anyone is looking to enter the phone accessory market whether they have already come up with their idea or not, remember that if you follow the steps provided in the post like the PopSocket Design Team did, you have a much greater chance to succeed in the phone accessory market. There is always room in this market for another creative product, and I would love to see what people will come up with in the future.
In class textbook. Entrepreneurship: The Practice and Mindset by Heidi M. Neck, Christopher P. Neck, and Emma L. Murray.