This is a follow up story for Quieton. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 2 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello! My name is Janne Kyllönen. I am the founder of QuietOn.
We are making active noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping and are bringing relief to people who are struggling to sleep in a noisy environment surrounded by traffic noise or snoring. My initial starter story can be found here.
Business is growing as fast. We grew by 70% last year reaching over 6 M€ in revenue.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
Our revenue growth last year was 70%. And all of this comes from our webshop.
This all was made by investing in PR, influencers, and online marketing optimization. Last year we launched an upgraded 3.1 version of the product and that made reporters interested to test and review the new product. That campaign gained a lot of media visibility. Influencer side one key event was the biohacker summit where we met personally many important influencers and that was starting point of the cooperation. In online marketing, we focused on Google. Their tracking works better and we were able to do keyword optimization much better. I think that success in all of these areas has been a combination of hard work and because of the huge demand for this kind of product.
We are still getting a lot of media attention and positive reviews in major publications (For example: Tech radar, Financial Times, Forbes, and more), which drive the growth.
When you are not making any changes you will continue having the same results.
Last year we launched an upgraded version QuietOn 3.1, which has improved the Active noise canceling experience and improved comfort.
What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
Last year the key focus area was to ensure the supply chain. We are building the HW product and therefore we have been working hard to ensure that none of the needed materials run out despite the global shortage of electronic components.
We took over the sourcing of the most critical component from our manufacturing partner to be sure that we have always all the information on time and all needed actions ongoing.
For this work, we hired a sourcing partner company that specialized in this. Also, we have second source options designed for all the components to mitigate the risk.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Online sales potential is much higher than expected.
When you are not making any changes you will continue having the same results. And when this continues you might jump to the wrong conclusion that the market is saturated. And of course, this was not true.
Hundreds of millions of people are suffering from sleep problems because of the noise and we have just scratched the surface.
Last year we took action to start optimizing the online sale and marketing further and the results have been great.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Our mission is that QuietOn becomes a synonym for sleep earbuds. First, we scale up the online sales and brand visibility. Then we collect investment rounds and go to retail channels in key markets.
At the same time, our R&D will continue developing outstanding products which will ensure that we will always have the best solution available.
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
Jens Andersen's book about LEGO. It was an inspiring start-up story and a lot of connection points with our business. They have been driven by the values and goal to make a great toy that is durable and educational. Vision is that many of these “lego engineer” kids become real engineers later. And they will play with their kids with the same legos which were bought for them.
This vision has been leading to the right choices when situations have been difficult. And at the same time, they have dared to make big changes when opportunities arrived. For example when they decided to start making plastic building blocks even though their brand was about high-quality wooden toys.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Work hard to get investments in. Also, get investments before you need the money. It is a much better position to negotiate the terms when you are not running out of the runway.
Your company will make much better results when you can focus on the product, customer experience, and sales and not use your full mental capacity to think of the money crisis.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Next, we will hire sales and marketing people but we are still in the middle of strategic planning and therefore have not opened any positions.
Where can we go to learn more?
Learn more about QuietOn.
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
Get our 5-minute email newsletter packed with business ideas and money-making opportunities, backed by real-life case studies.
- 4,818 founder case studies
- Access to our founder directory
- Live events, courses and recordings
- 8,628 business ideas
- $1M in software savings