The Sky is the Limit With OWC®
The sky is truly the limit with Other World Computing, Inc. Learn more about this market leader and their vision. Hear from OWC‘s Founder & CEO, Lawrence O’Connor.
YBLTV: What does OWC do? How did the company start?
OWC: We design, engineer, manufacture upgrades and enhancement solutions that enable far greater capability and longevity from an existing Mac computer - whether brand new or years or even decades old, we have the solutions to maximize a computer and even make it better than what would cost far more in a new computer. We further design, engineer, manufacture stylish, professional grade storage solutions that meet the needs of consumers and all the way up to data center. We build solutions that last with an attention to the details that put all of our products a notch above the rest. As a general goal, we seek to have a positive impact on e-waste by helping eliminate early and unnecessary retirement of perfectly good hardware + provide solutions at all levels that have the longevity to go the distance and also offer a truly lower cost of ownership over the solutions lifetime.
This whole thing got started when memory prices were a bit out of control and the hassle of having to use a service center to get, what I would find was a very simple process, memory installed. Began not just offering the right memory solutions at less than 1/3rd what the market had stayed up at (prices went up due to a shortage and then ‘everyone’ just stayed up) - but also providing free instructions and support to educate customers on how they can install these kinds of upgrades themselves. There was a better way, a better solution, and pulling the curtain back and showing the world what they can do themselves (and what should be done by a pro as well) has been a huge piece of what we are for over 29 years.
At the end of the day we are very customer focused and aware - both in terms of making sure the support is there for all that we offer and also being highly aware of the customer feedback and ensuring we continue to provide solutions aligned to the needs of our customer.
YBLTV: What are some of the key pieces of hardware or software any content creator needs in order to create compelling content for the web? What products do you sell that help those professionals working in the creative industries?
OWC: A properly equipped system with plenty of memory is a big start and that GPU option in the system is key. Once you have the right system, it’s having the right storage both to enable the kind of lag free editing which is most efficient, the fastest renders so you’re not waiting, and proper storage sets so that your data is safe - all key. Each moment you capture, create is unique and will never be exactly replicated - don’t skimp on having the right external drives to entrust that unique creative to.
YBLTV: Was there any amount of difficulty in developing the current relationship with Apple? How do you engage with them?
OWC: Some days I don’t think we give enough credit to the engineering, development teams at Apple. We are very fortunate to have had long standing relationships with key individuals and our goals are truly mutual. We all want the best customer experience and solutions that meet those needs. Depending on the situation it’s a ticket to their system, an email to a specific team member, or even a phone call and/or lunch.
YBLTV: Are there any special demands that are required to meet Apple certification than there would be with another major product developer?
OWC: Today, this mainly applies to Thunderbolt solutions as well as Apple software development. It’s knowing the system and following the rules first and foremost. Apple has the most ironclad OS with respect to malware and it’s our job to do our part with respect to keeping it that way. You just don’t throw stuff together and put it out there - certifications are earned and software in particular is subject to significant scrutiny in order to have a valid security signature. Honestly, it’s really about being disciplined and going about things the way every developer should. We build for Apple first and these products also end up being top of class for PC as well - Apple’s standards and the expectations of Apple customers tend to be higher and meeting those is a benefit to all customers of our solutions.
YBLTV: What, if any, have been your company’s biggest challenges so far and how have they been addressed?
OWC: We have grown substantially over the past 3 decades and within the last 5 years opened four new major locations to support the future. Communication between distant locations and culture are things that are easily taken for granted. Maintaining the balance of repeatable process and visionary / entrepreneurial execution is also an interesting aspect and also cultural challenge. We’re always evolving and we can always be better.
YBLTV: What advice would you offer to women thinking or actively starting their own business?
OWC: I give the same advice to anyone - man or woman. Have a vision, have passion for your vision, be prepared to put every spare moment you have into making the world buy into it and of course, be sure that whatever your business is to entail that it offers something that people need and that you’re delivering it in a way or place that is better than anything else available.
YBLTV: OWC is committed to thinking green. What trends in sustainability are you looking forward to seeing at the upcoming 2018 CES Show in Las Vegas, NV?
OWC: It is exciting to see the improving power efficiency and reduced cooling requirements on processors in general. Getting more done with the same amount of power + reducing the heat output and increasing ambient temperature specs which reduce air conditioning/cooling requirements really go a long way. The reality is that the processor and especially GPU demands continue to increase and of greater benefit is a general trend towards power sources themselves that are non-polluting and non-impacting or minimally impacting to the environment.
YBLTV: How do you see your industry landscape evolving in 2018 and beyond?
OWC: Certainly going to see a large shift to the cloud and to more mobile devices / tablets replacing laptops for a lot of the basic things people still use full on computers for today. In the gamer/audio-music production/video creative spaces - long time cores for us - we’re going to simply see more and more demand for the goods that step up performance. The demands going from 2K-Hd to 4K to 6K to 8K video are giant leaps, not doublings, that continue to amp up the demand both for storage space and performance of that storage. In terms of the computers themselves- see more and more going modular as interfaces like Thunderbolt 3 provide the means to add on what you need, even GPU capabilities, when you need it. If done right - the lifespan of a computer should remain and even extend as the technologies to plug in what you need, when you need continue to enable.
YBLTV: OWC has won numerous awards over the years. Is there one that stands out more than others that you are especially proud of?
OWC: Everything we do to create a better experience for our customer is a win for us. It’s fantastic to have the solution recognitions and in truth, these are common sense products tuned to what our customers want and the awards in recognition really only confirm we’re doing what any team like our’s should be doing. We embrace technology to maximize resource uses in technology and also in our own operation. Achieving LEED Platinum Certification for our Woodstock Headquarters - recognition of extreme energy efficiency and healthy design is probably of the greatest significance. Less than 300 new buildings in the world have received this status and I know we’re doing good by tomorrow with a facility that has near zero waste and generates more power than it consumes with onsite wind and solar.
YBLTV: You’ve recently been named to the 36th annual Inc. 5000 list of “Fastest-Growing Privately Owned Companies in America.” Where next? Where do you see the company in 5 years time?
OWC: The sky is the limit - the biggest piece is continuing to bring up the best men and women within and outside our operation - aligned with the vision and culture of who we are - so we can help make a difference for far more folks. Today, our truly greatest challenge is reaching those customers that can benefit the most from us - but still don’t know of us. The sky truly is the limit.
Connect with Other World Computing
Business Name: Other World Computing
Owner Name: Lawrence O’Connor