Opening the Book(Book) on Twelve South: between the covers of a Mac-exclusive accessory maker
The year is 2009. In history books, it'll widely be recognized as the year that most of America -- heck, the world -- would prefer to forget. Job after job was lost, bank after bank fell, and humanity as we knew it plunged into "the worst recession since the Great Depression." It's also the year that Palm attempted a comeback with webOS, and as it turns out, the year that yet another accessory company was born. While such an occurrence may be forgettable on a macro scale, economic researchers and lovers of technology alike have reason to take notice -- and, indeed, ask questions. So, that's exactly what I did.
Beyond growing a technology startup in a me-too field during the worst economy that I've personally been a part of, it's also not often that I find compelling consumer electronics companies far outside of New York City and San Francisco. Twelve South just so happens to be located in a nondescript nook in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina -- just a beautiful trip over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from historic Charleston. Three years after its founding, the company now fittingly counts a dozen employees on its roster, and despite entering a market flooded with iAccessory after iAccessory, it has somehow managed to grab its own slice of an increasingly large niche. As with all good success stories, this particular outfit has plenty of twists, turns and run-ins with Lady Luck to tell about; for those interested in seeing how the "stay small" mantra is keeping Twelve South firmly focused on the future ahead, take a peek beyond the break.