Kristen Uroda for NPR
In the 1980s and 90s, Curt Richardson started making simple plastic boxes in his garage in Fort Collins, Colorado.
They were originally designed to keep small items dry while you’re fishing or skiing, and Curt and his wife Nancy called them “Otter Boxes.”
But after the launch of the Blackberry and the iPod, Curt started tailoring the boxes to fit and protect the breakable devices – and OtterBox evolved from an outdoor goods supplier into a company tightly adhered to the tech industry.
With the rise of smartphones, Otter Products grew by more than 1000% in just five years.
Today, it controls a massive share of the phone case market and sells more than $1 billion in cases each year.
This interview was recorded live at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado.