Can we get much higher? So high
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Of course we can. We will.
This is only the beginning.
About 6 years ago, I dropped out of college — last semester before graduation. Kanye West, Gates, Jobs and Zucky were great inspirations at that time! In fact, they still are.
After 6 months at La Politecnico di Milano, one of the top design schools in Europe, my mind was blown away. What is happening in Italy is just phenomenal. Salone del mobile is the bomb… music shows… starchitects trowing huge feste… pop up shops… crazy cool stuff!
I received a call late at night. It was my friend and ex-boss Michel in Montreal.
Hey Renaud! I just sold my company to Warrior, a division of New Balance. Come work with me.
Yeah, cool. But I gotta finish school in Montreal.
I was the first product designer at the Warrior Hockey Montreal HQ. I worked directly with Michel Paul. Michel is a wiz kid, a serial entrepreneur, an innovator, a hustler. Michel was a fascinating guy to work with, a mentor, a product champion, a mass customization expert and precursor.
I worked like crazy, learned a ton of things, made a few mistakes… We designed products from ideation to manufacturing and participated to marketing. I travelled in south-east asian factories more than a few times, sometimes alone. I designed the first product configuration platform for Warrior with my high school friend Simon, a creative full stack dev.
The customization part of things was booming. I guess that the “higher-ups” could not believe that two twenty something year old kids were in charge of a platform processing thousands of orders.
They wanted to outsource to an agency.
I talked to Simon. Simon talked to our buddy Thierry, a true hacker and visionary system architect. Let’s create a company and grab this contract!!
We got the contract. 12PUNCH was born! Our elevator was “Take Over The Web”! Life of the party. 3 young guns working for a Fortune 500. What could go wrong?
Seriously, service business is great because you learn to please your customers and you work on big, serious, projects that matter… and you are paid good money for it.
But I did not wanted to scale a service business. I was reading all I could about Zuck and Getting Real was my bible. Sean Parker, Peter Thiel and Jason Fried were my new heros.
So we started a startup : MyCustomizer. We went to the startup fest in Montreal. Listened to the Pirate. Met with John Stokes and Ian Jeffrey. Got into Founder Fuel. Boom! Let’s change the world. Let’s empower the Customization Revolution.
2 years of hard, hard, hard work! Building, hacking, coding, hacking, cold calling, more coding, interviewing, design — more design, meetings, pitching — more pitching, selling, branding, rinsing-repeating…
We celebrated small victories and chose to forget about small defeats.
Here we are. We finally have traction and product-market fit. We are making money. We went from 1 to 40 live products in about 3 months. We are now empowering 10 brands. It’s so rewarding for the team when we push a new product live. It’s like scoring a goal or making a big save. Pure joy.
We don’t really care about money. Don’t get me wrong, cash is great.
We care about transforming the world.
It’s Mass Customization vs Mass Production.
It’s Good versus Evil, David vs Goliath.
People want to stand out. People want to express themselves. We should not be producing products people do not want. We should be building exactly what they need, when they need it.
Let’s Empower the Customization Revolution. One step at a time.
We are far from done. There are so many things to accomplish.
This is only the beginning.