Over the next few weeks, Carmen’s interviewing everyone at Those (including herself) to find out what makes this startup tick. Today, she’s speaking with one of Those’s three Co-Founders, Jim Rhodes, as he prepares to travel to Shenzhen to collect the very first “beta-production” Joto. Exciting stuff!
#MeetTheTeam: Jim Rhodes
August 31, 2016
[Carmen:] So Jim, can you tell me a bit about your background?
[Jim:] I have a very mixed background. I started out studying Mechanical Engineering & Product Innovation Design, but I hated the maths and physics. I wanted to be more creative, so I changed course and became a graphic designer instead. I’ve now ended up working in a sweet spot between these disciplines.
[J:] It was an idea I had during my time as a graphic designer at a well known department store. I was uninspired by retail window design in general, and wondered if there was a really nice way to bring retail windows to life and display messages on the glass. The Woodpecker was the project that essentially launched Those as a studio, and then as a startup.
[C:] But why turn Those into a startup?
[J:] It became clear very quickly, that just to launch one of our ideas into the real world was going to take all our focus. But with the support of London’s growing hardware startup community and our incubator, the Central Research Laboratory, we decided it was the right time to pivot from a studio to a hardware startup.
[C:] And what would you like to see happen next?
[J:] I’d like to see a flourishing community of users who love their Joto. That would be the best reward for all the love and hard work our team has put into this product.
[C:] Is there anything in particular you love about the startup experience? (Or anything you hate?!)
[J:] I love the fact that no day is the same. We face new challenges everyday, and it’s great watching our community grow as more people hear about what we’re doing. I don’t hate anything about that experience.
[C:] What are the next steps to making Joto a reality?
[J:] We’re aiming to launch our Kickstarter campaign very soon, and we hope to get our community up and running with their Jotos by late 2017. Also, there are some very exciting announcements on the horizon — watch this space.
[C:] Exciting! And do you have any advice for someone who’s thinking of starting their own project?
[J:] Yes. Start your own projects, don’t wait for anyone else! It’s the only way to get your ideas off the ground.
[C:] Ok, one last question. Why do you force all your employees to buy lunch at Wasabi? 😉
[J:] Because I fear for their safety if you find out we’re going somewhere else. It’s a health and safety call.