One of the most overlooked aspects of a classroom is its acoustics. Students often suffer as the teacher isn’t audible to them. If a student has a query, they need to be seated where they can be visible or audible to share their query.
While huge microphones can effectively resolve the problem, the equipment is humungous and heavy. Apart from that, passing a microphone around the entire class can be a tedious task. The process will also waste time, hindering actual learning.
Seeing all these issues, Shane Cox decided to do something about them. That’s when he came up with the idea of integrating a portable mic into a throwable object. And that’s how he designed the first ever throwable mic called qball.
Qball is a portable and throwable mic that can be perfectly used in a classroom setting to make discussions fun and communication effective. A small microphone is integrated into a soft foam ball designed to protect the mic from potential damage and to ensure one can throw the product around. The setup is completed by an integrated speaker that can be used as the audio output.
Shane had made $177K in sales when he started his business. His customer base at the time consisted of teachers, but it was slowly expanding as the school authorities were also taking notice of qball’s effectiveness. Gradually, school principals began contacting Shane for bulk orders, increasing sales.
Shane appeared on Shark Tank seeking an investment of $200K in exchange for a 15% stake in his company. He needed the investment to streamline the process of inventory production and management. He was stuck in a vicious cycle of using the money generated from his sales in the next production cycle.
Shane opened the pitch walking with the qball at his side, making it seem like an ordinary ball. Then he introduced the qball and spoke into it to show how the ball can double as a microphone. He also explained the concept of cognitive auditory processing, a process of making sense of a statement only by hearing a few words. The process only developed after a kid was a teen, and that’s where auditory issues resulted in communication gaps for younger students.
Shane shared the numbers and the profit margin on each unit. He also gave the samples to the panel so the sharks could assess the product’s quality. The sharks also asked about the setup, and Shane assured me that the qball could also be attached to aux cables.
Robert didn’t find the market or Shane’s vision with the brand too appealing and announced that he was out. However, Lori saw the qball as having more potential in the corporate sector than in education. She wanted to pair up with another shark, but Rohan and Mark both jumped, and Shane ended up having a combined offer from three sharks.
Lori offered $300K for 30% as all three sharks had experience marketing products to the corporate sector. Barbara also wanted to make an offer, but Shane wasn’t interested. Shane countered Lori’s offer with 25%, but Mark refused to budge.
Shane accepted the combined offer of the three sharks, and the four sealed the deal with hugs and promises of a successful future of qball.
Our Review of Qball
Qball has turned out to be a profitable business, building its customer base in a short period. The throwable mic has changed the class environment and transformed the effectiveness of business conferences. Qball has proven its potential as it reaches $4 million in sales.
Due to a wide range of settings that could use some help from a qball in communication effectively, the product has seen an upward trajectory in demand. Just by word of mouth, qball has managed to attract numerous customers. The fun way of conducting classrooms has made the business successful.
Pros of Qball
Qball has found returning customers in a short time as the product has been effective and beneficial for the educational and corporate sectors. Here are some things customers love about the business:
- Qball is a great way to engage the class and turn boring sessions into fun experiences for students and teachers.
- Students who struggle to speak up can effectively communicate with their teachers.
- Qball works incredibly well for large classrooms as the class acoustics aren’t always designed appropriately for the teacher or the student to be audible enough.
- Qball has worked well for video meetings and conferences when ideas need to be shared by various individuals, but only a few can practically access the mic.
- Qball comes with an integrated loudspeaker that has incredible sound quality.
- Qballs are affordable compared to the entire mic system that one may otherwise buy.
- Qball is space and time effective as the ball doesn’t take up much room and can be thrown instead of passing it.
- The foam ball protects the mic brilliantly so that the mic won’t be affected even if the ball is dropped.
Cons of Qball
Despite having incredible revenue, some things haven’t worked in favor of Qball:
- Customers have had a hard time following the instructions for the qball setup enclosed in the package.
- Qball adapts better to certain computers and connecting systems.
- Some customers have had technical issues or have received defective pieces.
- Several customers find the ball itself to be quite slippery.
- The mic quality is average.
Who Is Qball For?
Qball is perfect for any conference, whether held in a workplace or educational environment. The qball is also perfect for video conferences because one can easily pass on the portable and throwable ball mic. The incredible sound quality helps teachers and students communicate effectively in a larger group setting and makes the class more fun.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Qball is a unique product in the market with not many competitors. However, another company with incredible tech gear in the market is Poly. The company manufactures versatile video conferencing gears for individuals to effectively carry on their remote meetings.
Poly’s wide range of products, from speakerphones to headsets, ensures that your video meetings have the best audio and video input.
Our Final Thoughts
Qball has made its mark in the tech industry through its uniquely and ergonomically designed throwable mic. The business has done well as the product has benefited the educational and corporate sectors in effective conferencing and meetings. There are some technical aspects that the company can improve on, but the overall product works well.
Qball will likely see an upward trajectory owing to the great idea behind the functional design needed in every classroom and office space.