Listen And Charge: Talking With Cody James About His Recent iPhone 7 Adapter
After posting some of the amazing photos that are starting to come out with the iPhone 7, I was really excited about upgrading to it. Especially after seeing this extensive iPhone 7 camera test (here).
The one thing that was important to me was the headphone jack. I am one of those rare unicorns that still charge and use their headphones. A few people were in the same boat, enough for their to be products that fill that gap. Fortunately, people like Cody James exist.
Shockingly, Cody is only 21 and has an impressive story behind his product. He came across my radar when my friend Chris Lambeth shared his viral post about his recent product. It was an adapter that brings the headphone jack and a charging port.
Out of my own curiosity, I asked him how his process started. I've never developed a product but always wanted to know more about the process and challenges. What's it like as a developer? How do you go from concept to execution? I learned a lot!
You can also check out his IndieGogo for support here:
1. From a design perspective, what challenges did you have to go through to get to the final product? Was it much different from the initial concept?
The initial concept was very simple and pretty easy – but some difficult parts were the choice of material and getting the perfect finish. Did we want to have manufacturers glue it? Or ultrasonic weld it? We chose ultrasonic welding because of the drastic increase in quality – we really wanted to bring the best product possible to the consumer. We also had some obstacles in getting it MFI Approved by Apple in such a short time frame, and selecting the perfect – premium internals for a superior product that will last and be a joy to use. At the end of the day – the product stayed very close to what we initially conceptualized.
2. Based on the response on social media and tech sites, it's become very popular. Did you expect the interest to be this high early on and did you have to adjust anything in production to meet expectations?
Well, Yes and No.. I fully anticipated it to “Blow up” via shares / attention on Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth. Maybe just not 3 hours after we posted it. We also haven’t released the few things that we put in, that were CREATED to blow it up! This is a sneak peak for any member that’s reading here, and exclusive – but our commercial will be launching in 5-7 days which will soar through Facebook among many other places. We will simultaneously launch a promotional campaign that allows people to “Refer three friends and get a FREE L&C iPhone 7 Adapter + 5$” This will all come out during a “Free Shipping” Promotional… so we expect that this is going to go viral next week. Up until then – we haven’t really publicized our Indiegogo – it is live just to make final revisions before the real campaign begins later this week. HD Photos, our Campaign commercial video and some adjustments were and are being made now. Your readers can see it here.
3. When it comes to designing a product like this, what were the overall stages in going from concept to the final product?
So we came up with a concept; determined key features that it will need, what features will be included in this revision – and what will be included in the next revision. We completed the 3D models – determined the internal specifications, judged our options from the lowest to the highest quality ports, boards and materials (went with the highest quality for a premium product) and then we brought it to Manufacturing who were able to connect all of the pieces to create one beautiful product.
4. Do you typically work with a firm to design and manufacturer the product itself? How does that usually work for those who are not familiar with creating a product like this?
I am a self taught engineer and my original inclination has always been to invent. I brought together a team of specific experts – a 3D CAD Design expert in CATIA and myself – also working as an expert in the CAD system CATIA created the initial product. I am a self teacher, and studied Circuit Boards / ports and everything needed until I could draft up our own design then send it off to the electronics manufacturer for polishing and prototyping. We don’t typically work with a design and manufacturing firm and rely solely on the hustle to get things done. For those who aren’t familiar in this – You need a medium to invent. Ours is CAD (Computer Aided Design / Drafting) in this, you can create whatever you like. A perfect means to realizing your invention concepts. In my free time, I hold training classes for the advanced engineering software in a group called “Advanced Engineering Software Solutions” on Facebook. We are at 1,200 members right now.
5. Is this your first product or have you had success with products before?
Most of my focus up until now has been on my career, I am a self taught robotics programmer who was just bought out by Boeing to work on the Textron Scorpion Fighter Jet. I dropped out of pursuing my Business / Engineering degree in my first quarter and went straight to industry. My plan was to acquire enough funds to pursue ventures like this eventually, since I knew I was an entrepreneur at heart. With that all being said – I’m 21 years old now and am following that path with this being my first actual product release. I am positive I will have more to come in the future. This is a good start.