Words to live by in any industry, these are the underpinnings of David Dietz’ business, Cyber Acoustics LLC, which designs, produces and markets speakers, headsets, headphones and microphones, as well as covers for small-form factor devices such as tablets and Kindles. Co-owner and president, Dietz founded his business in 1996 here in Vancouver.
“It was a typical startup, working out of the house,” recalled Dietz.
Since that first year, Cyber Acoustics has experienced tremendous growth. They’ve moved seven times, and Dietz now employs 20 people in Vancouver, recently adding a social media director and a marketing manager. Another 16 employees work for the firm in Asia.
For the last six years, the firm has occupied a 60,000 square-foot facility in Vancouver that houses their design team, sales and marketing staff and day-to-day operations. An office in Hong Kong serves as their product development, production and worldwide distribution center.
For Cyber Acoustics, said Dietz, “speakers are our bread and butter,” followed by headsets and microphones. Customers segments include gaming, home and office, and education and government. For example, the company recently bid on an equipment contract for the IRS, and as technology in the classroom increases in importance, so does the need for products such as those sold by Cyber Acoustics.
The Vancouver-based company sells its products directly to customers through their website, as well as through “big box” stores, including CDW, Amazon.com, Fred Meyer, Walmart, and Staples.
Dietz attributes his firm’s continued success to three strengths: First, he said, it is important to offer a low-priced product with great features and performance. Second, he said, customer service – including telling the truth even if you make a mistake – is paramount. And finally, he added, maintaining a sense of creativity helps keep the company fresh.
“Tell me what I don’t know, so I can make us better,” he stated.
This sense of creativity led the company to launch a new brand, Maroo, two years ago. Maroo, according to Dietz, “is a fashion play for the iPad,” selling iPad covers that have bumpers on the corners that protect the tablet if it’s dropped.
To demonstrate the effectivenessof the bumpers, said Dietz, he throws his iPad 10 to 30 feet several times a week. The chassis disperses the energy, and the iPad remains unharmed.
The Maroo brand offers several fashion-oriented designs. Last year, the company commissioned local clothing designer, Seth Aaron, to create a special line of iPad covers. Dietz said Aaron, a previous winner of the design competition television show “Project Runway,” is “as good as you can get in fashion design, and he’s right here in Vancouver!”
According to Dietz, the Maroo brand has been widely accepted in Europe and Asia – so much so that he hopes to open a distribution center in Europe within the next two years.
“It’s done extremely well,” he said, “far beyond our expectations.”
Dietz, who refers to his company as a “working man’s company,” said he prefers to keep a low profile, and was a little uncomfortable touting his firm’s success.
“We have great customers,” said Dietz. “They’re our most valuable asset. We’ve been blessed every step of the way.”