End Hype with Callye Keen

Dylan Cato - Viral Products and Selling Security

March 01, 2022 Callye Keen Season 1 Episode 100
End Hype with Callye Keen
Dylan Cato - Viral Products and Selling Security
Show Notes

How do you translate attention into customers into a growing business?

Dylan Cato joins Callye Keen to talk about creating viral products, building a brand people trust and the value of selling security. Dylan is the co-founder and COO of Altor Locks, which creates the safe series locks. The world's only power tool proof locks.

Altor's early stage product, a lightweight high-security lock, hit the market and they quickly realized there was a problem in the market that all other lock manufacturers had failed to solve. As their original product was becoming popular Altor learned that thieves were using power tools to cut through locks to steal high-end bicycles. 

Cycle enthusiasts were desperate to have their problem solved. Dylan knew they had the ability to solve the problem after completing some market research.  The product concept designed was the introduction of the Safe Series Locks. The locks combine the world's best materials, technology, and innovative design to create unique products and build a brand people trust.

They took their first Safe Series lock to Bicycling magazine, where a gear editor set out to cut through it. It took him over an hour with an angle grinder, which he had to change the blade 6 times, and he had to stop to charge the grinder. For context, you can cut through an average bike lock with an angle grinder in 20 seconds.

“Do More.  Worry Less.”

[05:30]  Innovation requires risk
Anything that solves problems effectively, you have to be willing to take risks and put the product out into the market. If you want to innovate there is a certain element of risk because you are bringing something unique to the world. The product development process has to consider both risk and reward.

[10:40]  Crowdfunding campaigns versus pre-order on your website
The company was built through Kickstarter, but the launch of the trailer lock was not a good fit for a crowdfunding platform, so we did a pre-order campaign on our website. We understood the market enough to know we would get a high conversion rate through our website.

[15:05]  Building a business through collaboration and partnerships
Building relationships and collaborating in order to do more is a great business model.  Proving out your products and processes is vital for scalability. Having partnerships allows for idea generation and expands the innovation process.

[17:17]  Viral growth
Altor started the company in 2016 and didn’t become respected by the Lock Picking Lawyer until 2020. There were a lot of years and lessons learned in between there. Viral growth doesn't happen overnight.

[19:50]  Product development, innovation, and risk
I was confident in the product, but the lockpick lawyer is the best lock defeating person in the world.  Maybe he finds something we don’t know about and then we look terrible. With the high reward, there is risk.  

[24:15]  Emotionally connecting with your target market
The trailer lock is a divergence if you think of yourself as a bike lock company. If you think of yourself as an asset protection company, then the trailer lock makes sense. If you look at yourself as an assurance or safety outdoors company, then there is no difference in the strategy. 

“Imagine a bike lock on steroids. You can’t grind through it or cut through it. If I was stealing bikes I would skip any bike with an Altor Lock.”

Learn more about Altor:

Watch Bicycle Magazine try to beat the SAF lock

Watch Lock Picking Lawyer review

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