Eric P. Rose answered the call of professional speakers for a portable PA system and helped a remote control company evolve into a presentation powerhouse.
Interlink Electronics, Camarillo, CA, made a strategic decision to add branded products to its existing OEM business. The company had been known for its quality OEM remote controls for digital projectors. As the company’s product positioning was evolving, Eric suggested to management that the company was not just a remote control company but rather a company that offered products for people who make presentations.
Eric then developed a relationship with the National Speakers Association (NSA), which allowed him to facilitate a focus group with professional speakers, presenters, and trainers. Eric was able to deeply probe the needs, problems, and opportunities these professionals had. He asked one most important question, “What is holding you back from making more money in your business?” From this focus group came numerous product concepts to address this question and their other pains, but none was as strong as that of a “Ultra-Portable” public address (PA) system. Eric discovered that these professionals would often speak to groups of up to 200 people and did not want to rent a PA system or arrange to ship their own bulky system. He learned that the sweet spot for this new product was a system with a wireless microphone and speakers that would fit into a case about the size of a laptop computer.
After finding the right strategic partner to support the development and manufacturing of the product, the Interlink Electronics GoSpeak! was born. The product was a technical success due to a unique flat panel speaker technology created in the UK called NXT. First-year sales exceeded forecasts and PC Magazine rated the GoSpeak! four out of five possible stars. The GoSpeak! product generated completely incremental revenue in a new but adjacent market segment for the company which lasted for over 10 years. The product’s lifetime revenue generated was estimated to be in the multi-millions of dollars for an R&D and capital equipment investment that totaled only $35K.
As evidence of the product’s success, GoSpeak! sales outsold estimates by 50% in the first quarter, as reported by Sharon Lin, Marketing Manager at Interlink Electronics.