CROSSNET Co-Founder, Chris Meade, sat down with Elaine Pofeldt, writer for Forbes, to discuss the team's journey and how they have been able to disrupt the sporting goods industry and build a brand on track for two million dollars this year.
Below you'll find some of our favorite excerpt's from the piece that landed on the homepage of Forbes on the day the story was published.
Chris Meade used to wake up on Monday mornings dreading his job as an account executive for a rideshare service in New York City.
“I was cold-calling nonstop,” says Meade. “I was tired of the daily grind of going to work, commuting from Bushwick, Brooklyn to Chelsea.”
Meade could have resigned himself to the situation but instead decided to do something about it and become his own boss. One night Meade, now 26, got together with his brother, Gregory, 25, and their childhood friend Mike Delpapa, 25, to brainstorm a product they could invent together. That was a little over two years ago.
“We sat up all night,” Meade recalls. One thing all three shared was a passion for sports. When they noticed the volleyball highlights on ESPN, they started feeling inspired.
Suddenly, they hit on their idea a four-way volleyball game that merged traditional volleyball with the ball game four square. By dividing the court into four quadrants, rather than in half, they envisioned a game that would be "insane," in a good way, says Meade.
Create a prototype. To make sure their idea was marketable before they invested a lot of money, the partners bought a couple of volleyball nets from Walmart and set up a very rough prototype. "We made up a set of rules: Every man for himself in a free for all," Meade recalls. Each person would try to eliminate everyone else.
Invest in yourself. Many would-be entrepreneurs never bring their ideas to fruition because they are reluctant to risk any of their own money on their ideas.
The founders of CROSSNET didn't have millions of dollars to spare but they were willing to self-finance the business using savings from their jobs. "You have to have the faith and confidence to take that risk," says Meade.
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