#WhatDrivesYou: Richard Waters, Founder, Phantom Glass
August 21, 2014
FAULHABER sat down with PHANTOM GLASS Founder Richard Waters to discuss what inspires him, how he handles success at such a young age and his advice for other young entrepreneurs with big ideas! Richard's company PHANTOM GLASS produces an innovative product that will be the last screen protector your phone or tablet will ever need.
1. What was the inspiration behind Phantom Glass?
I grew tired of the annoying film screen protectors, and figured that there had to be a better way. Why not develop something that’ll protect your screen, and keep it looking super clean and clear, as if nothing is on it at all.
2. Favourite vacation location (...if you ever have time)?
My favorite place to visit is probably Manhattan. It’s a great place! Arizona comes a close second, though! It’s always nice to relax in a city where you can still remain connected to reality, and these days, “relax” is a relative term…
3. Favourite spot to unwind in Toronto?
When I’m not busy at the office, I’ll unwind at Lee Lounge on King. A definite all-time favorite for me.
4. At 20, your early success at such a young age is well documented. Do you feel your age is an advantage or disadvantage?
My age has been both an advantage and a disadvantage for me throughout this journey. It’s great to see the reaction on peoples’ faces when you tell them you’re only 20… It’s not so great to see their reaction at the rental-car company when you tell them you’re 20… Or go to any bar south of the border with clients!
5. What's your Next Big Thing?
We’re working on a really innovative and unique iteration of our product! Stay tuned, as it’ll be out in a few months. We’re definitely going to have a huge impact in the tech/fashion world with this one.
6. What has been your career highlight so far?
My career highlight is being able to interact with customers that purchase Phantom Glass. We sell thousands of units each week, and it’s great to really connect with the people who love it. I included my personal email address in the literature that comes with each Phantom Glass package, and some people do actually take the time to send out an email and say “Hey! I love it!” That is super cool.
7. Finish this sentence: I can't start my day without…
Emails… I get an average of 30 of them between midnight and 5 AM when I then start to deal with them. It’s a great way to start your day though! It helps me outline what I have to deal with and really “sets the tone” for the day.
8. What advice would you have for any young entrepreneurs reading this?
My advice is simple: work hard. People get caught up in the wrong things when starting a business. It’s not about the fancy office, the employee perks, or the pool table in the break room. It’s about sitting down, and focusing on the task at hand. Execution is everything. The break room and the exposed brick walls in the office will come later, but not without some good ol’ fashioned hard work.
Phantom Glass will soon be available for laptops and cameras. Follow Phantom Glass on Twitter here.