The Polaris Slingshot turned more heads than just about anything I saw at CES 2015 in Las Vegas. Master promoter and entrepreneur Scott Jordan offered rides to people and talk about his new ride, his book and his company.
Scott Jordan is the founder and co-owner of Scottevest, a company that make clothing with tons of pockets and discreet wiring systems that allow users to run headphone and charging cables through discreet holes. The relatively simple idea has grown into a business that’s had over $50 million in sales.
Instead of waiting for journalists and conference attendees to stop by a booth, Jordan spent about $25,000 on the Slingshot and offered rides around Las Vegas. Jordan skinned the Slingshot with his new Pocket Man logo and blasted his new theme song, based on Elton John’s Rocket Man. It’s the kind of idea that wouldn’t pass muster in most companies, but the idea was so crazy it worked. Jordan and Scottevest got more attention than a lot of tech brands that spent several times more on booth space, PR firms, events and marketing materials.
Jordan is rightfully proud of the business he’s built over the past 14 years and shared some business advice for startups during the ride. Rather than taking money from venture capitalists, he and his wife started the business the “old fashioned way.” They took out a loan that was secured by their home so they could retain 100% of the company’s equity. Rather than making the company as large as possible for growth’s sake, they focused on building a profitable business. The business has been profitable since its second year, something most venture-backed companies fail to achieve.
The Slingshot got a ridiculous amount of attention, including appearances on TechCrunch, the Discovery Channel, Popular Science and many others. At nearly every stop light people asked Jordan about the Slingshot and who he was. The entrepreneur was so pleased with how much attention the Slingshot drew that he plans on holding some kind of contest for techies to outfit the vehicle with gadgets. He’s also thinking of buying several more Slingshots and hiring a street team to drive around the country to promote his brand.
Scottevest didn’t have any new products to announce at CES 2015, but the company did release a concept video of the Jacket X. The concept jacket goes far beyond Scottevest’s current products and includes features like wireless charging, an emergency beacon and biometric locks.