Meet Michael Markesbery – Co-Founder of OROS
Michael is the co-founder of OROS, a Cincinnati-based apparel company that uses solarcore insulation technology to successfully make outerwear thinner, warmer and more flexible. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Miami University.
Is this your first venture?
How many times did you fail before finding success with your company?
We fail everyday. The path to success is littered with failed attempts. At OROS, we believe to grow – both as as a company and personally – you must step out of your area of familiarity and take a risk. True risks place you in unfamiliar territory, where you’re bound to encounter hiccups and bumps in the road. You’re going to encounter unexpected problems and you’re going to make mistakes. At the end of the journey, once you’ve reached your goal, you’re going to look back and realize all you’ve learned from your mistakes. Being stuck in an environment where failure and mistakes are frowned upon has detrimental effects on creativity and, ultimately, growth.
What is the most important lesson you learned from failure? From success?
For our first season of jackets, we went through 14 prototypes before we got it right. We launched the jackets and found that the Velcro would tear up the inside of lining. That’s a big failure. We lost some potential revenue with this problem. For next season, we put more quality control aspects in place: we hired a very experienced product developer, strengthened the quality of the inner lining and reduced the efficacy of the Velcro. Embrace failure – whenever you take a true risk, you’re in unexplored territory. Chances are, you’re going to fail. You’re going to encounter a hiccup. And when you do, your question should be, “What did I learn today?” Embrace failure as part of the experience.
When it comes to success, stay humble. Don’t get wrapped up in the hype. Remember and reward all the people who helped you reach success. Prepare to go back to the grindstone. There’s an even bigger mountain in front of you.
Why did you chose to scale your business in Ohio?
A dollar stretches a lot further in Ohio compared to some of the other places we would have considered setting up shop. It’s also where my co-founder Rithvik and I are proud to call home.
What is one thing that someone reading this blog could do to help your company?
Buy some gear and let us know what you think.