Our Small Business Snapshot series features photos that represent, in just one image, what the small businesses we feature are all about. The co-founders of Pocket Radar Inc., Chris Stewart (president/COO), Steve Goody (CEO) and Grant Moulton (CTO), explain how this image represents their business.
Pocket Radar designs, engineers and manufactures revolutionary speed tracking technology for a wide range of applications. By providing an affordable and convenient solution to pro-performance radar technology, we are forging a new standard in accurate speed-based training that is now accessible to the masses.
Easy to use and rugged enough for professionals and amateurs alike, Pocket Radar is ushering in a new era in speed radar technology to transform the way in which players, coaches, fans, traffic professionals and everyday consumers understand the importance of speed and data.
The Pocket Radar product line was originally inspired by a friend who had resorted to driving down the road to a police radar sign trailer to track the speed of his little leaguer's pitching. We said that accurate radar speed measurements should be accessible to anyone and set out to design a product line to be used by both professionals and everyday consumers alike.
We have always been entrepreneurs and inventors at heart. When we decided it was time to start our own company we looked at opportunities for bringing a true innovation into a market that would help people. We set out to build a professional grade speed radar that would be accessible to anyone, and aimed to completely redesign the radar gun from the ground up. We knew that the core radio wave technology inside radar guns had not changed significantly in decades. We decided to start from scratch with all new technology and shrink it down to fit in your pocket.
Of course, like most entrepreneurial endeavors, this turned out to be a much harder problem to solve than we anticipated. There were several points along the way where we have to start over with a completely new approach, but we never gave up on the basic concept.
Once we had the basic technology working well we then found we needed to focus our solutions on specific customer needs. We talked to many college and MLB coaches and asked them what they wanted to see, and then created a new model specific to their needs. This led to the development of the Ball Coach radar for sports. Then we did the same thing with traffic engineering professionals to create another product to meet their needs.
In the photo, the three founders are where we feel the happiest and most comfortable, in the R&D lab creating new innovations. All three of us are inventors at heart and truly enjoy developing advanced new technology. As a small company that was bootstrapped with no outside investors, we are able to have our hands in all facets of growing the business.
Our biggest challenge is education. Technology is changing rapidly, especially in sports. There are many misconceptions out there about radar and speed measurements. We are making a wide range of products that are helping make the world a safer place, from traffic calming programs, to helping prevent injuries in young athletes. Objective measurements can give you direct feedback on if there is something wrong before it becomes an injury. We are working hard to help people understand how many different things that speed measurements can do for you. For instance, people in baseball always think of the speed of a pitch. But not very many of them understand that the ball exit velocity as it leaves the bat is the only direct measure of the power of a hit and every extra 1 MPH you can add to your exit velocity results in about 5 more feet of carry distance on a well hit ball. Moving forward we are working on becoming the brand that is recognized for continual innovation, listening to our customers and providing the highest value products to meet their needs and the best customer service in the industry to build a great long term relationship with all of our customers.
When we see our products helping Olympic athletes win medals or helping beginning athletes gain enough confidence to just have fun, we are motivated to keep making great tools for them. When we see someone use our product to do something completely new and different, like trying to set a new speed record with a rocket powered skateboard, we enjoy the fact that we helped make that possible.
Our best advice is to find joy in making your customer amazed with your products and services. Find the intersection of following your passion while doing some good in the world, and work hard at it – which it often easy if it's truly your passion. This leads to success in the long run.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Nicole Fallon.