Sinasoid is probably the single largest part of my professional experience. In late 2015 I was asked by an old friend to join his startup. He knew I was interested in music, played some amount of guitar, was familiar enough with the industry, and had a startup “can-do” attitude. Paul, if you’re reading this, thanks for inviting me. Andy, thanks for taking a chance.
I was hired on to serve as the company director, as the previous director wanted to return to school and move on to other projects. I got to work immediately with streamlining the then-muddled product line and brand identity. My first step was to cull the product offering to focus on the company’s core competency of assembling premium audio cables for musicians.
The core of our product was built around the Custom Shop Cable Builder, an interactive web app that allowed musicians with particular tastes to create their dream cabling. Now more than ever, aesthetic is as important to purchasing decisions as performance for musicians, and allowing musicians to choose exactly how their cabling will look and sound seemed to strike a special place in the market. American assembly and a generous “100-Year” warranty with 24-hour customer service helped cement Sinasoid as a boutique brand.
From there, it was a matter of building for market adoption. I carefully selected other premium builders and media partners in the industry for “cross-brand” marketing by providing free product for their web content. This allowed us quickly establish powerful relationships within the industry while multiplying our meager marketing budget by piggybacking on the names of established builders. I also stretched our marketing budget by equipping major trade show booths with our equipment to introduce ourselves to the industry.
Under my leadership, Sinasoid became arguably the first company to encourage artist self-expression through audio cabling. While other brands had offered colors and options before, no other company had offered the depth and breadth of customization that we offered.
To this end, I oversaw much of purchasing through my time at the company, managing dozens of suppliers both domestic and abroad, and juggling a tight budget with hundreds of material SKUs. This also required me to completely overhaul production flow such that our output could reach triple digits daily.
Additionally, I spent a good amount of my day-to-day managing relationships with distributors, cold-calling guitar shops around the world, and fulfilling dealer orders.
I also managed and curated our artist’s roster, which involved working with artists to optimize their signal chain and come up with signature cables (such as for Dustin Kensrue of Thrice!) with full tour support. During artist stops in Seattle, I sent and oversaw tech crews to rig up or update traveling setups to make sure artists were ready to perform. Artist and brand partnerships ended up being a major driver for sales expansion.
At Sinasoid I constantly researched new products to offer. The guitar effects industry moves quickly, and new plugs and cabling are necessary to keep up with the most advanced products. I conducted product research to understand what customers needed for newer units, and sourced materials to test production and durability with our Operations director. I also conducted research for pricing strategy on new lines.
While I was at Sinasoid, I launched over 100 products, including the revolutionary Sinasoid Sliver plug and industry leading Sinasoid SLATE cable line, as well as dozens of odds and ends specific to industry leading effects units and amplifiers. I partnered with other builders to produce signature lines for new products at launch as well, which further cemented Sinasoid as a boutique brand.
Finally, while at Sinasoid, I oversaw and managed the acquisition of [CovenantCables], a longtime rival and competitor. At the time, the owner was looking to transition out of the company, and because [CC] had enjoyed dominant success in the budget cabling market, we felt that the acquisition would allow us to compete without diluting the premium Sinasoid brand.
Although the transition was messy, as all acquisitions are, I was able to coordinate the shipping of all materials across the country, oversee a complete rebuild of the [CC] website out of its otherwise unusable previous form, and successfully integrate production into Sinasoid production line without too much disturbance. Truly a humbling and deeply challenging experience!