“Don’t fix what isn’t broken,” they said. “Break it and make it better,” engineer John Stump rebutted. He knew what he wanted to do ever since he won news carrier of the year at age twelve for the San Jose Mercury News. He wanted to deliver. “I always deliver,” John said.
He put the satchel aside and traded it in for a college degree. He started out at UC Santa Barbara as a math major but quickly switched to engineering after discovering the machine shop. “Sparks were flying! Whatever I had to be to get in there, I wanted to be it,” John said.
His most recent delivery was the GoChair. Merely the size of a water bottle when folded, and weighing in at just three pounds, the portable chair is the type of gadget that every outdoor enthusiast wants for their backpacks. John partnered up withgood friend and sales expert, Sam Chesluk to build the new sitting sensation. The two innovators amassed decades worth of invention ideas, but opted to start with the chair because it seemed the most timely of innovations needed, for their families, and others as well!
“Building a chair is creating a literal trust fall,” John said. The testing process consisted of trial and purposeful error: make and break, over and over again. The chair’s structure wasn’t finalized until it could bear a 300-pound weight and functioned exactly how they had envisioned.
When their design was ready, John and Sam took to crowdfunding to test the market. They launched the campaign at 6 a.m. By the time they finished breakfast, they had raised $50k. “The first day we closed at $110k,” John recalled. When the campaign ended, GoChair was 3000% funded at over $1.5M.
The chair has since become a multi-million dollar success, and the inventors have wisely built a brand around their flagship product. GoProducts will be the host to an entire suite of inventions in the outdoor adventure space.
Reminiscing about his newspaper interview as a kid, adult John reflected, “I was twelve years old. I wanted to have a big family and run my own engineering company. I guess I made it happen.” We can’t wait to see what John and Sam deliver next.