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Exclusive Interview with Scott Jordan, CEO and Founder of SCOTTeVEST Inc.

May 24 2004, 8:53am EST | by , in News | Portable Devices

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Exclusive Interview with Scott Jordan, CEO and Founder of SCOTTeVEST Inc.
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Scott Jordan was like most of us. He had too many devices, gadgets, and other items he needed when on the go - but not enough pockets to store them in. Scott then took it upon himself to design a product that would not only solve his problem, but also the problem that many others have had as well. With that, SCOTTeVEST Technology Enabled Clothing was born.

I was able to spend a few minutes with Scott going over the specifics of the company, as well as his thoughts on the portable entertainment scene:

Andru Edwards: First, tell us about your company and what you do in your job.

Scott Jordan: Our company was formed in 2001 to solve a very annoying problem I was having. You see, I love gadgets, but I had no place to carry them. When I left the house, I would have to decide which gadgets I could take with me. Then the idea occurred to me: design a photographer's or fisherman's vest, but make it for anyone who carries multiple devices, and make it MUCH more stylish. As I was designing the garment, it occurred to me that in addition to numerous hidden pockets, it needed an added level of functionality to deal with the wires associated with hands free cell phones and MP3 Players, etc. Then, Personal Area Network (PAN) and Version 1.0 were born. We have lots more products now. To learn more, read Our Story. To answer what I do in my job would take days. Typically, I read and reply to about 300 e-mails a day. They involve design, partnerships, public relationship, sales, customer service, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Buy the Scottevest THREE.0 at FogDog Sports for $159.99.

Andru Edwards: What was it that made you decide to start SCOTTeVEST?

Scott Jordan: I believe this is answered above. But to be more precise the moment occurred in August of 2000. I was leaving the house trying to decide what I could carry with me on a short hike. After realizing that I didn't have room for anything other than a cell phone, I asked my wife, now President of the company, to carry some of the other necessary devices, e.g. PDA, camera. She reluctantly agreed, having been put in this position numerous times. She then suggested the idea. I was working as the General Counsel for an Internet start-up company at the time. Shortly thereafter, I quit to start this business, and haven't looked back since then.

Andru Edwards: You have a very diverse product line. Where do you find design inspiration?

Scott Jordan: The design inspirations are all borne out of my own personal need. That is one of the reasons I believe we have been so successful. I can relate to my customers' needs, since I am in the same position. Personally, I believe that most successful products start the same way.

Andru Edwards: Who is your target audience for these products?

Scott Jordan: Simple. Everyone who needs a way to carry their stuff, and not just gadgets. I think that is everyone. We have compiled a list of current customers. They all have found unique uses for a SCOTTeVEST in their respective occupations. Current customers include: motorcyclists, law enforcement professionals, college kids, medical practitioners, business travelers, lawyers, doctors, pilots, moms, dads, dog walkers, actors, concert tapers, hikers, waiters, bike messengers, athletes, recreational travelers, bikers, skiers, photographers, mothers of infants, etc. What do all of these people have in common? I'll tell you: They typically carry a cell phone, a PDA, and other stuff, and would prefer to conceal these items while being able to use them AND look good. Let's face it: belt clips suck!

Andru Edwards: Can you tell me about SCOTTeVEST's connection to the Secret Service?

Scott Jordan: This is actually quite amazing. We never actively marketed to the Secret Service or undercover law enforcement, but they discovered us. I learned through a very reliable source that President Bush saw one of his Secret Service agents wearing a SCOTTeVEST and complimented him on it. Magically, a jacket was delivered to Bush, not by me, with the Presidential seal embroidered on it. It was later reported by ZDNet. We then started getting inquiries from various departments of the newly formed Homeland Defense Department.

Andru Edwards: Having been at both CES and CTIA, I am sure you were able to walk the floor and get a look at the latest in mobile trends. What portable technologies caught your eye this year?

Scott Jordan: Great question. When I go to these shows, I feel like a kid in a candy store. There was not one single device or category that amazed me this year. It seems like the devices are finally progressing so that they appeal not just to techies like me, and presumably most of your readers, but for the general public. I believe that the advance in the cell phone platform with Microsoft's SmartPhone and PocketPC Phone Edition show the most promise, but the User Interface still requires work. I need a keyboard to type.

Andru Edwards: Where do you see the portable electronics industry going in the future, and how does that change your vision for SCOTTeVEST?

Scott Jordan: For years people have said that one day you will have one device that does everything. I completely disagree, and believe that reality is finally settling in with most people. I believe that we will continue to have multiple devices, each designed to one or two things really well. That is not to say that cell phones won't continue to do more, e.g. take pictures, etc. But in order to get the best pictures you will need a dedicated device. For these reasons, I believe that people will continue to need a way to carry their devices. I also am not a fan of Bluetooth. I have tried it and own several BlueTooth devices, but they still seem buggy. I hope that the bugs can be worked out. I believe the biggest issues in the industry involve what few people are talking about, namely power issues. As we rely on our devices for more and more things, the need to have power increasingly becomes relevant. This is especially true once you get used to always on Internet connections on cell phones with bright color screens. There are several ways to handle this problem, and we are pursuing various solutions.

Andru Edwards: Finally, items do you currently have in your SCOTTeVEST?

Scott Jordan: I typically carry the following items in my SCOTTeVEST on a daily basis:
• Treo 600
• iPod 20 Gig
• Skullcandy Headphones, which allow me to hook up both my phone and iPod with one set of wires.
• Portable keyboard for Treo for longer typing
• Olympus 4 Mega pixel Camera
• Motorola 2 way radio
• Pedometer
• Clip on altimeter, electronic barometer, Weather Forecaster, electronic compass, Digital thermometer, Time, Alarm, Chronograph
• Sunglasses
• Extra batteries
• Sync cables
• Mints
• Eye drops

Andru Edwards: Scott, I thank you for your time.

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