This blog title above was the starting mindset behind Joule so I figured it’s an appropriate title for the first ever Joule blog entry. The full version is:
“There’s always a better way of doing things. A smarter way. A more beautiful way. That’s the essence of Joule.”
Kinda poetic, eh? But what does it mean, really? Is there really always a better way? If you believe as I do that all things can be elevated through thoughtful design–a product, a persons life–then yes, I think there’s always a better way.
When the idea came about for what was eventually called Joule, I had lost everything my father had left behind after his death. This wasn’t just the family businesses and a place to live, but the girlfriend and best friend since childhood as well. It was around then that I remembered another, even more resonating quote immortalized in one of my favorites flicks that always makes me want to hire a personal trainer: Fight Club
“It’s only when we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.” -Tyler Durden
And that’s where I was. Rock bottom for the first time in my life and nobody with the means or motivation to pull me up. What would Tyler Durden do? Well, I had taken acting lessons for more than three years but never auditioned for a single role. Screw it, I channeled my inner Durden and got five independent movie projects that summer, all of which made it exactly nowhere. But that didn’t matter. I had broken the spell of complacency and had gotten off my ass to actually do something instead of continuing to be one of those annoying dudes that always says, “yeah, one day…”
Thrilling and awakening as acting was, I had another side that was now starving. I was a businessperson, or at least an entrepreneur, at heart. Being around the family businesses for more than thirty years had rooted that in me. Of all the half-baked ideas I had, the idea for a sexy, cool, like-no-other power strip seemed like the most plausible. Right? Fast forward four years of my life and I should have seriously vetted the T-shirt idea as well. But you know what, it’s actually done.
Welcome to Joule, (whomever you are that’s reading this.)
What started as a design idea for shits and giggles slowly took on a life of its own. Ideas started coming out of daily frustrations with power strips around the house until one day, we had designed a better mouse trap, er, power strip.
Joule was evolving, morphing, into a statement railing against all those feelings of inadequacy and not-quite-good-enough that I was dealing with on a personal level. I needed Joule to succeed, or at least, please, get to production. Because that would mean that a person could truly make a thing better, even if it was a small thing. And that in turn would mean that if my power strip could become something more than a power strip was ever meant to be, there could be hope for me also. In the end, that thing I made better, made me better.
So as we kick off this business, I have to give thanks to so many people who pushed and pulled and kicked me in the ass to get across the finish line. But I think I must thank Joule also, and the creative force behind it, for putting me through this journey that started years ago and which eventually became something to be proud of.