Ep. 20 1 hr 20 min

The Story of Livin' Loud with Steve Irby Founder of Kicker

Show Notes

p>Today’s guest in this episode of Cult of Startup is Steve Irby. Steve Irby is the founder and president of KICKER, a company he began in 1973 that produces high-performance home and personal audio, car audio, power sports products, and other vehicle-specific solutions.

Steve’s learned a wide variety of lessons when it comes to creating your own company from the ground up, especially when it involves something you love doing. For Steve, it all started with building and constructing speaker systems.

Some Questions I Ask Steve:

  • Did you have any desire to start a business while you were going to school? [2:50]
  • What was your major in before you decided you wanted to go another route? [3:46]
  • What exactly happened post-grad school that made you do a 180 on your goals? [5:18]
  • What else began to occupy your time when you were close to finishing your thesis and wrapping up grad school? [6:49]
  • Do you have a specific system or method for jotting your ideas down in? [16:14]
  • Do you use the Gallup StrengthsFinder as part of your hiring process? [36:26]
  • What was it like not earning revenue in the early stages of the company? Did you ever want to quit? [44:58]
  • During the company’s growth years, how many employees were there and what sort of contracts did you get that created a new landscape for you? [51:32]
  • During the time period where you weren’t making revenue, what was the toughest day you had? [1:04:54]
  • What would your top one or two pieces of advice for young startups be? [1:13:11]

Some Things You’ll Learn In This Episode:

  • What it was like for Steve to quit grad school
  • How Steve was introduced to building speakers
  • What you need to do if you really want your business to stand out
  • Steve’s views on quitting
  • What KICKER’s biggest sale was in the company’s formative years
  • Some ways in which Steve expanded his business overseas
  • What Steve realized the most important thing about business is