They say in order for a startup to be successful you need to be 10x better than the competition. And that’s true - you definitely need an amazing product that completely changes the way the world operates. However, if you don’t learn to keep a laser focus on doing ONLY what you can do best, you spread yourself too thin and are quickly dead in the water.
Deako’s clear 10x differentiator is our modular design and unique business model for new construction and renovation. That is where we are better than anyone out there … but we need strong partners to help us with the rest.
When we started Deako, we literally did everything from hardware and software design to engineering and manufacturing to sales, fulfillment, and support. It was costly and time consuming, but we had to do it. That’s how you truly understand your business and customers—by getting your hands dirty and doing it all yourself.
As sales ramped up, our facility in Seattle morphed from an airy, open space with two “play” areas (where people would literally ride bikes doing wheelies), to a cramped area not unlike an episode of Hoarders. Crates of switches, backplates, and cardboard boxes were everywhere, and we recently hired a slew of temporary workers boxing up product to keep up with demand.
There was not only the impact to our office space. One of our biggest challenges as we scale and serve our builder and electrician customers across the country is how do we get the right product in the right place at the right time. They usually need things yesterday and you aren’t allowed to hold up a $500K home sale by delaying light switch delivery. It’s es
pecially hard when you are dealing with locations like new home communities that often are not even on the map yet!
As a Seattle-based company, we are fortunate enough to be located down th
e street from one of the largest lighting suppliers in the country: Dolan NW LLC. Dolan is the parent company of brands such as Globe Lighting, Destination Lighting, Builders Lighting, and Seattle Lighting. They have been serving customers for over 100 years and are experts in lighting distribution, with over 10,000 business customers across the U.S. We met early on in our development as a company, and have been waiting for the right moment to get into a strategic partnership with them. That moment is now.
Beginning today, Destination Lighting will be carrying Deako’s entire suite of products in their online portal. The others will follow in the coming days. Dolan companies will serve as Deako’s Master Distributor nationally, and will become the primary supplier to our builder and electrical customers across the country. Deako will continue to maintain a close relationship with both our builder/electrician and end user customers, providing pre- and post-sales support directly.
We think homeowners should never have to re-wire a switch which is why our plan is to make upgrade-able lighting the new standard for all homes. Partnering with Dolan is a big step that allows us to scale and support that goal. Having gotten to know these people for a while, we couldn’t have picked a better group of folks to team up with.
Find out more about Deako's partnership with Dolan here.