Earl Hagman, founder of Ergotronix, is the classic entrepreneur who experienced a problem, devised a solution and brought it to market.
“I am a tall, slender guy and like many of us, I have tendency to use my back as leverage when I lift objects,” Hagman said. “Early in life, I hurt back and as a result, I now have to be careful how I use my body if I want to be functional later in life. Because of that issue, I came up with a device in my garage for my own use that allowed me to work with heavy things without putting my back at risk. I took it to a trade show and it ended up on the front page of the trade show magazine as the most innovative product of show. I ended up patenting it not long afterwards.”
Now, Ergotronix is a multi-million dollar firm serving many Fortune 500 clients. In fact, the company is looking to hire 30 more employees in the near future. The company designs and manufactures ergonomic positioning devices used in manufacturing facilities to allow objects to be positioned and moved without putting employees health at risk. “We focus entirely on the factory setting and focus entirely on positioning,” Hagman said. “We can handle objects that weigh ounces all the way up to 13,000 pounds and move them in three dimensions. Not only can we do both large and small loads, but also we can manipulate them in different ways. There’s no one else who has this breadth of products.”
Hagman’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is about self-confidence. “You have to believe in yourself and your idea because you are going to be challenged millions of times in your endeavor,” he said. “You really have to believe in what you’re doing because otherwise you’re not going to be able to sustain your success.”