I have written many, many times about products that came from an idea generated on a fishing boat. They always have the same tagline, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, here we go again.
I was astonished by the product the first time I saw it. Simple, inexpensive and it solved one hell of a problem. I was telling people about it before I actually saw the real thing. Everyone had the same response. It went something like, “I have to have one.” I am talking about products that plug into the navigation socket on any boat, charges your cell phone and provides continuous power to action cameras.
A couple of weeks later, I was walking the isles at ICAST 2015, and there it was. I stopped and overheard the show pitch from Tyler Mahonney. “We power adventures for people that love the outdoors by providing innovated products from USB boat chargers, to power GoPro sticks for boats, to saltwater camera mounts. We help make and capture once in a lifetime memories.”
Hearing that spiel gave me a notion of the philosophy behind the company and the name YOLOtek. You Only Live Once. I wondered out loud where the name came from. As it turned out the name was developed with the help of a young family member.
Christian Corley, YOLOtek CEO, had worked with two different advertising agencies in search of a company name. Both efforts fell short. A week later Corley was travelling with his eight-year-old son, Dakota, when a child’s simple question led to a name for the new company.
It was as if Dakota sensed a problem, when he asked his dad, “Is everything OK?”
“We’re not doing very well,” responded Corley. “I’m trying to come up with a new company name without success. What do you think we should call it?”
With little hesitations Dakota responded, “YOLO.”
“I wasn’t sure if he even knew what it meant,” said Corley. “I asked him what made him come up with YOLO? He said Damon on Shark Tank always says you only live once. I said wow that’s really cool because our customers are always saying, ‘you only live once.’”
Expecting YOLO.com to be taken, Corley added the tek. “Maybe we could get YOLOtek.com,” suggested Corley.
“Sounds good,” replied Dakota. A new company name was born. Of course all this came after the initial product had been developed.
The original product, PowerStick, was also a family development. It was only about a year ago when Corley’s father, Roger Corley, was on the water and his cell phone was dying. Christian Corley’s brother, Bryan, had accompanied Roger on the fishing trip. “It is too bad that someone cannot take the nav light power that is on every boat out there and turn it into USB power,” queried Roger.
At this point Roger Corley says, “I know just the guy for that. That guy was a parts developer in Kansas City named Christian Corley. “Within 24 hours we had the first prototype of PowerStick,” explained Corley. “It is a product that plugs right into the navigation light port and delivers USB power to your cell phone.”
The PowerStick was in the books, but Corley’s work was not over. When the phone charging stick was shown to pro angler Casey Scanlon he said, “This if great, but I need a way to charge my action cameras.” With a positive attitude and a can-do approach the folks at YOLOtek said, “Casey we can hook you up.”
Following a little research and development AquaStick (unpowered) and the AquaStick Pro (Powered) were born.
Scanlon is an Elite Series Pro on the Bassmasters Circuit. “The YOLOtek products are really awesome camera mounts that are going to get you angles that you don’t get with other mounts,” explained Scanlon. “The AquaStick Pro is easy to use and it also keeps your batteries charged. It allows you to get more of those shots that you’re not going to get when you have a dead battery.”
Scanlon claims to be a non-techy guy. “I am always behind the eight ball on the whole action camera deal,” says Scanlon. “With YOLOtek it is easy. I turn the camera on and plug it into my navigation plug on the back of the boat. You don’t really have to worry about not getting the shot. You can put that thing in the back or front of your boat, angle it towards your position, and you are going to capture the whole fight of the fish. You will capture facial expressions, you will see the fish jump, and you will see the surrounding area that you are fishing. It is an amazing camera view and it has helped me capture a lot of moments that I would not have captured without it.”
Epilogue: AquaStickPRO was voted one of the top new products at the recent Bassmaster Classic and PowerStick was the winner of Best in Show in its category at ICAST 2015 New Product Showcase. YOLOtek continues to develop a line of products that are aimed at powering outdoor adventures.
For more information on these innovated products visit the YOLOtek website at http://yolotek.com.