Dealerscope 40 Under 40 Profiles: Kaplan, Kelley, Kissinger, Knock, Krissman, Lau, Longreen, Lucash
Caro Krissman, 37, CEO of Outdoor Tech, Los Angeles, Calif.
Background: Grew up and lives in Los Angeles
Higher education: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. B.A. in International Relations and Business
Career: Four years in the industry. As CEO with a fast growth action lifestyle hardware brand, Krissman has had his hands in a whole lot of things. In addition to directing spoof videos and enforcing his company’s strict dress code, he leads all product development, manages logistics and purchasing programs, and works directly with the branding team to ensure the company message is loud and clear. He travels 100 days a year to meet with retailers, attend trade shows, visit suppliers and chase Anthony Bourdain’s footsteps.
Industry accomplishments: “Breaking out of the CE mold. Outdoor Tech isn’t a CE company, we are an action lifestyle brand that plays in the CE world; it’s what makes us so appealing to the CE channel. We roll into CES with our Airstream trailer and a product that doesn’t conform. I am most proud of putting together a team that has been able to innovate with me, make products that are different, brand them in unconventional ways, and the sense of camaraderie you feel when everyone shares in each major milestone success and from time to time set-back.”
Awards: “A company I founded won a number of awards including being #178 on the Inc. 500 fastest growth companies in America in 2008. Outdoor Tech is expecting to make that list for 2013.”
What you like best about your job: “The creativity. Getting to develop products is a lot of fun; seeing ideas and concepts come to market and be received well is the coolest thing ever. Then the creativity involved in marketing it so people know it exists is equally as exciting.”
What you like least: The travel is starting to get overwhelming now that I have a baby; it makes being away from home a little tougher.
Favorite pastime: Skiing
Last book read: “The Tipping Point”
Favorite movie: “A Clockwork Orange”
Best concert: A Tribe Called Quest at House of Blues in Los Angeles.
Favorite CE Product of the Year: The Chips, our new universal wireless helmet audio product. It’s a clever, game-changing product for the action sports industry; it’s totally unique and can be adopted for dozens of other cool use cases. I also really like the new Nest.
If you could be anyplace else right now, it would be: Chile, skiing in the summer (our summer) and drinking good wine (not at the same time).