We’re back for another monthly installment of Talking Shop with Mark. Mark is on an adventure right now, but took some time away from his busy schedule to talk shop and provide a few updates.
You recently hired a couple of new engineers. Can you explain their new roles?
The speed that we can create the products that our customers want is dependent on the speed that we can make innovation a priority in our organization. It is hugely important to us to take care of the people that make up our organization. But the need to innovate and stay on the leading edge of product innovation is the byproduct of a great culture that people love to be a part of. Over the last number of months, we've worked to make Trayvax excellent internally so that we can offer excellent products externally. Now that we're in a more healthy organizational place, the new engineers are going to help us expedite our innovation!
What do you look for in an employee?
For the folks that work directly with me, it's vital that they can field ideas that arise. Great ideas start as seeds and grow into oak trees. Someone's capacity to look at the seed of an idea, mentally extrapolate its potential, and pursue its (sometimes daunting) beginnings is the trait of someone that becomes an indispensable member of my direct team.
For employees that are making our products, they have got the be the type of person that's relentless on quality. Our brand lives and dies on the quality and product longevity that we bring to our customers. Repetitive manufacturing is NOT easy and we know that. But the types of people that will make this company great are the types of people that hold themselves to their own new high standards.
The Trayvax Mission is “to design for longevity, inspire to action, and give from passion; to drive a greater love of the outdoors to humankind." Can you elaborate on that mission statement?
Technology is not our gig. It's a rapidly moving target that will continue to pull future generations into a cycle of being indoors more than outdoors. Our mission is designed to combat that. Our mission is to design products and opportunities to experience the serenity and calm that the outdoors can bring. In a world of increasing stress, overexposure to information, and a greater degree of instant gratification, It's my belief that future generations will need the outdoors in order to truly experience the beauty that life has to offer. And we're going to be right there when they're ready to do so.
In regards to longevity, nowadays products just don't last. They're designed to produce money for companies, not experiences for the people. We're here to change that by ensuring that our products stand the test of time so that they can truly take on meaning and purpose.
And for "giving from passion", that's speaking to the importance of giving to others. It's my belief that people who give to others are more full of life and wisdom than people who don't. So we want to attract those types of folks, those that place a high value on giving, assisting, and pushing to make the world a better place.
To what do you attribute your success?
When I was 6 I wanted a Timex watch from our local Ace Hardware. I had this laser focus that came over me and spent a few days musing over the ways that I could raise 40 dollars to purchase it. I ended up doing what I knew well...building a cardboard/duct tape fort. I strapped it to a red wagon with a wobbly wheel, rolled it around the neighborhood and told every neighbor about my goal to sell the fort to purchase the watch.
By the end of the day I had sold the fort to a family with two small children, and as quickly as I could, I biked to Ace to make my purchase. When I looked at that watch on my wrist, I realized that there was more than one route to an impossible goal.
That philosophy is still a part of who I am, it's what keeps me pushing past what others would call failure, and it's my intent to ensure that future teams of Trayvax act on that philosophy as well.