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Inspiring Conversations with Barry Carson of MojoDesk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Barry Carson.

Hi Barry, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started the business with my father in 1991, two weeks after I got out of college. The goal was to make a sit-to-stand desk. At that time, sit-to-stand desks did not yet exist, only seated adjustable or standing adjustable desks. There were none that could do both. It took a couple of years of product development in the basement, and we came up with a mechanism that allowed us the height range to sit and stand as well as be stable at heights. We ended up getting a patent on that mechanism. At that time, no one had heard of standing at work, so it was very challenging to sell because we had to do so much education on the benefits of standing while working.

We had a lucky break with Hewlett Packard in Fort Collins. Hewlett Packard had an onsite ergonomist who had the final say on furniture selections, and he understood the benefits of standing at work. Shortly after, they brought on a new CEO who decided to split Hewlett Packard into HP and Agilent. We were told they were going to redo all of the furniture on three campuses, but we were no longer going to be involved. We were obviously mortified about losing our biggest customer. We knew what was currently available in the market, so we asked Hewlett Packard to have the newly selected vendor bring their adjustable desk representative in to confirm the specifications that the ergonomist demanded – the same ones we lived up to. When the representative came in, and the ergonomist told him his requirements, the representative told him that doesn’t exist. The ergonomist promptly led him to the back and showed him a couple hundred of our desks that did reach that height range to allow sitting and standing. After some negotiations, we ended up providing the corner sit-to-stand desk in every single cubicle, a total of 3,500 workstations. Luckily, the project was done one floor at a time, so we were able to build, produce and deliver the product at a pace that worked for Hewlett Packard. My brother, dad, myself and our employees worked 12 to 16 hour days for nine months, six days a week, to complete the job. It launched our ability to buy high-resolution machinery and improve our processes, allowing us to spend more money developing our next generation product.

At the same time, we bumped into a project that was for Flight for Life Denver at St. Anthony’s Hospital. When we visited, we saw that our furniture and its heavy-duty design was perfect for that environment. As we learned more about dispatch centers, we attended our first trade show in Albuquerque, New Mexico and ever since, that has become one of our primary markets. We have furnished over 9,000 dispatch centers across North America. As this was all happening, the general public started to become aware of the benefits of moving from sitting to standing, and that’s when we formed our brand, MojoDesk, to address the more commercial and home user markets with a direct ecommerce model. We’ve been developing products to improve the work experience, more than just sit-to-stand, but also acoustics, lighting and distractions to try to make the individual work environment as productive as possible. MojoDome was a vision of how to make the open office productive again for people tightly packed in the office.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a reasonably smooth road?
In small businesses, it’s never easy. It’s always challenging. You’re either struggling to find work or struggling to build the work. It takes years to smooth out that flow where you’ve got the team that is developing the sales pipeline and creating a production capacity to match.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about MojoDesk?
MojoDesk creates ergonomic solutions to increase wellness and productivity. Our line of sit-to-stand desks are made in Colorado at our Denver headquarters, factory and showroom. MojoDesk’s flagship products include Mojo Gamer Pro, our gaming desk bundle, and Mojo Solo Cube, our top reviewed and affordable electric standing desk. MojoDesk is the eCommerce division of Xybix, an industry-leading manufacturer of adjustable-height workstations and consoles for 24/7, mission-critical operations. For over 30 years, Xybix has designed and installed sit-to-stand furniture for NASA, the FBI, hospitals and thousands of 911 call centers.

We recently introduced MojoDome, an electric sit-to-stand desk bundled with an adjustable privacy dome. MojoDome was originally designed to eliminate echo and decrease background noise so employees could have professional-sounding video and phone calls while also offering privacy and avoiding distractions. It now has the additional benefit of providing a physical barrier and social distancing between co-workers. Instead of employers spending an arm and a leg on office renovations, MojoDome maximizes square footage while providing peace of mind to employees re-entering the open workplace.

I’m most proud of our ten patents for different ergonomic inventions. That’s a lot for a company our size. It shows our dedication to the user experience at work and how it can be improved for productivity.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was a professional motocross racer and downhill ski racer. I’m still on the Winter Park Ski Patrol to this day. I was a kid that loved computers and technology. I often got in trouble for taking things apart and not being able to put them back together. My current Director of Engineering went to kindergarten with me, and we’ve been building things together with our entire lives. One time, we built a rope tow ski lift out of bicycle rims, an old motor, hard work and a cable donated to form a local elevator repairman.

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