Starting his business from a 1-bedroom apartment with a CAD machine and 3-D printer, Jason Klug has built a product design powerhouse over the last decade. But like many entrepreneurs, he didn’t start his journey with Klugonyx in mind. Learn about his journey and how it might help your experience as a founder in this episode of TechBeat.
Our guest for this episode of TechBeat is Jason Klug, founder and CEO of Klugonyx. Klugonyx is for anyone who has a napkin sketch idea and wants to get it into the marketplace. They specialize in all aspects of the product development process including design, engineering, prototyping, manufacturing, and logistics.
As a kid, Jason was always taking things apart and putting them back together (or trying to). He always had a mind for learning how things worked and loved getting involved in entrepreneurial side hustles while in college.
He grew up in Georgia but visited some friends in Utah and fell in love with the mountains, opportunities to ski, and the fact that Utah is one of the best places to start a business. He was almost done with his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering but dropped out and took a chance on moving to Utah.
The short version of his road to Klugonyx is this: After some time in sales with Scott Paul, founder of many businesses, Jason used his design skills to build products for Paul and convinced him to go out on a limb and invest in a 3-D printer and CAD machine.
Jason noticed a need for product development services in the area and started Klugonyx almost 10 years ago. Listen to the episode for the full version that covers all the twists and turns!
If you’re starting a business by yourself—without funding or a founding team—you’re a solopreneur. You’ve recognized there’s a need for something you can offer and now you’re trying to make it work on your own. That’s the reality for so many business owners. But Jason shares that the main challenge with this is that you are the bottleneck of your business.
When he started Klugonyx, he was great at the design and overall management of the projects. But he had no idea how to build a brand or do the marketing. Those were not his skills. He had to find help from people in his circle—his wife, mentors, online resources.
His most important piece of advice is to identify the skills that you don’t have or won’t easily be able to learn, and as soon as you’re able, outsource those to someone else. It will feel scary because you’ve put so much work into your business, but if you find people you trust, your business will see immense growth.
He shared, “My biggest mistake was that I tried to do too much, too soon.” He spread himself thin with so many different ideas and needs. When you’re selling a consumer product, you can offer unique value. But that also comes with unique challenges. Consumers, rather than businesses, don’t have the same resources to buy your product or service.
To combat this, Jason suggests you offer high-quality products or services that help you stand out from the millions of other things vying for consumers’ attention. Lots of people can build a cheap product that goes on Amazon but he wanted to design things that would add the most amount of value possible.
If you’re selling to consumers, remember that you have a great opportunity to provide extraordinary value with your product.