I’m Jason Stoddard, the co-founder (with Mike Moffat) of Schiit Audio. You may have seen some of my posts on Head-fi. But you haven’t heard the full story of Schiit…why we started the company, how we’ve grown from June 2010 to today, the good stuff…and the bad stuff.
So, in a burst of insanity, I thought, “Why not turn this into a book?”
Why? Well, in addition to Schiit, I’ve written plenty of stuff, including about 30 published stories and 3 books. Jude and the team at Head-fi were kind enough to provide this space for me to serialize this story. The plan is to post a chapter a week until it’s done, which should take us through the summer.
Now, you may be wondering, “Why the heck should I read some crazy book about Schiit?” Well, there’s nobody forcing you to. But if you’re interested in the inner workings of a true by-the-bootstraps startup (did you know we started in a garage, with no external investment?) or if you’ve been thinking about starting your own business (beyond the usual platitudes of “hey, you should incorporate, and there’s this stuff called ‘cash flow’ and stuff), or if you’re just curious about how a modern audio company works (from who’s actually engineering the gear, to how it gets made, to the ups and downs of the day to day working of the company), you may enjoy it, or find it helpful and informative if you want to start a company yourself. I have no illusions that this will be the next business best-seller—if it ever makes it into print—but I’m having fun writing it, and I’m hoping you’ll like reading it.
Disclaimer: there’ll be plenty of technical stuff in here, because, after all, I am an engineer. You won’t have to understand it all, but you may be more entertained if you have a techy side. Later on, there’ll be some early photos from Schiit, as well as a video or two, that have never been seen before.
For ease of reference, I’m putting the outline here. The chapters will be linked as they are added.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it!
All the best,
The Story of the World’s
Most Improbable Start-Up
By Jason Stoddard
Co-Founder, Schiit Audio
To Mike, for going along with this crazy idea.
To Rina, for support, naming the company, and tolerating the whole mess.
To Eddie, for helping us really get started when we needed it most.
To Tony, for testing dang near everything we’ve made.
To Alex, for taking over, making things right, and running the show.
To Dave, for doing the hardest stuff.
Chapter 14: DAC in a Toilet Paper Roll
Chapter 15: Technical Help Via Time Warner, and The World’s Most Irritating Failure Mode
Chapter 16: Growth, Garage Style
Chapter 17: Resurrecting the Circlotron and Other Mid-Centuryisms
Chapter 18: The Pinch-Off Problem
Chapter 19: Every Road is a Dead End: Early Adventures with Magni
Chapter 20: You Catch a Cold, We Die: Bigger Products, Bigger Problems
Chapter 21: The HOA Problem
Chapter 22: Introducing the Schiithole
Chapter 23: “I Didn’t Know People In the Private Sector Were As Lazy and Incompetent As the People In Schools”
Chapter 24: Dead Media Ain’t Dead: NYT Strikes
Chapter 25: Finally, the $99 Solution
Chapter 26: “You’ll Never Do Any Upgrades Anyway.”
Chapter 27: The Song of Ten-Thumbs
Chapter 28: Twilight of the Gods—Ragnarok from 2009 Until Today
Chapter 29: Worst. Customer. Ever.
Chapter 30: R&D Sometimes Means, “Try It, See if it Works”
Chapter 31: No Sample Left Unchanged: Digital Today
Chapter 32: Name Me One Non-Standard Format That’s Succeeded, Ever, Or, A Trickster Cometh
Chapter 33: Black Friday, and How One Company Out-Did Us
Chapter 34: You Want to Pay How Much? Or, How We Moved Again
Chapter 35: A Real Company?
Coda: What We Learned, and Where We're Going
Edited by Jason Stoddard - Today at 7:21 am