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Adam started KLOS Guitars in 2015. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on KLOS Guitars?
KLOS Guitars is the first company that I started. And how I got here is quite the unconventional path.
I’m from the suburbs of Chicago originally. After graduating high school I went to Princeton University to study electrical engineering with an emphasis on semiconductor physics, which was fueled by my passion for science and a curiosity of how things work.
I first dipped my toes into entrepreneurship my junior year when I entered into a Hackathon with two of my peers. The three of us felt that our curriculum was too theoretical and we wanted to test our hands on skills by building something practical. We came up with Dorm Control, which was a bluetooth controlled power strip that you could control via your phone.
We were surprised to win the hackathon, the prize being a $20k summer accelerator with StartEngine out of LA. I didn’t ultimately take that offer, but in analyzing the decision, I for the first time thought about not just the technical side of a product but the market size, competition, and product launch strategy - areas that I found to be fascinating.
Fast forward about a year, I was visiting my brother Ian in Utah for a ski trip in the winter of 2015. Ian was a very good guitar player and was also beginning to become quite the expert in carbon fiber through his mechanical engineering degree from BYU. The idea for the first KLOS carbon fiber travel guitar really came out of the happenstance chain of events that a couple months previous, my wooden travel guitar had cracked due to cold temperatures. Ian had been wanting to build a carbon fiber guitar for quite some time out of his affinity for the material and the instrument, and the fact that all other carbon fiber guitars on the market were $1500+ finally pushed him to finally make the first prototype.
Some background on carbon fiber and the instrument world should help contextualize the idea of a carbon fiber instrument. Instruments have obviously long been made out of wood, and although it is a great material for making instruments, wood is quite a fragile material. It dries out and warps with time, it’s very affected by temperature and humidity, and most importantly all of these changes can be destructive in an instrument. Because of this, it’s very common to have to humidify most wooden instruments to prevent their ultimate self-destruction.
Conversely, carbon fiber is an extremely strong material that has an incredibly high strength to weight ratio, about 10 times that of steel. The material begins as a carbon fabric, that when infused with resin, hardens to whatever shape it is molded to. The most common question we get with using carbon fiber in instruments is does it sound good? Well, the amazing thing about the material is that there are many variables you can manipulate to have it behave exactly how you want it to. We manipulate the thickness of the carbon fiber, the internal foam material we use in the soundboard, the density of said foam layer, its thickness, bracing shape, size, thickness, etc.
Suffice to say, the idea was one that I really believed in, especially having fallen victim to a broken wooden guitar myself. Being an eternal learner and having insatiable curiosity, I was ecstatic to have the opportunity to learn all aspects of starting a company with a product that I loved. It was the spring of my senior semester at Princeton and given how much free time I had, I threw myself into researching every aspect of product market fit, competitive landscape, market size, value proposition, pricing, go to market strategy and everything in between.
Though I had no background in business, the scientific method that had been ingrained in my head through electrical engineering helped me identify and quickly learn everything I needed to as problems arose. Because prototyping and setting up manufacturing took so long during the first two years of the company, I actually had the opportunity to have two other jobs in addition to working on KLOS Guitars. The first year after college I taught English in a high school in Innsbruck, Austria as part of the Fulbright Fellowship.
In the second year I was a management consultant for the consulting firm Strategy& in Washington, D.C. Both of these jobs definitely provided me with a lot of life experience that helped a lot when I finally jumped to full time with KLOS Guitars.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater