Joe here, your favorite audio marketing guy turned blog author. I figured given how spectacular 2020 was, it deserved something of a play-by-play of what went on.
Part 1: 2020, nothing could possibly go wrong.
The year started almost like any other, CES was a whirlwind of 8k technology, drones, and thoughts of a bright future. Hah!
In Feb, I headed out to PAX East. It would be our company's last trip of the year despite having 5 or 6 more planned. The show was excellent though, I met with a lot of old and new friends, and had a great time going out with our buddies at Schiit Audio. Big shout out for them hooking me up with a Hel unit for "testing purposes, I assure you." Btw, the ModMic Uni works great on it!
In March we brought on a new customer service team member, Allie, and we can describe her in one word: Enthusiastic! She's thrown herself into learning anything and everything about ModMics, audio, and our systems here. Given the insanity of this year and literally being hired right at the start of a pandemic, she's held up marvelously and you can find her on our Discord @AntlionAllie. Be sure to say hello the next time you see her!
Allie in March, before she realized she'd be spending the entire year in this room.
Part 2: Oh #$*%!
Like many companies, the quarantine impacted how we had to operate. The upside is there was huge demand for microphones as many people shifted to working and schooling from home. April, May, and June were absolute chaos here, the perfect storm of rapidly increasing demand with decreasing supply due to factories being closed. We weathered it well though, with only brief product outages through the most tumultuous period.
We started to feel we had a handle on things in June and realized that our normal volunteer work would not be possible during the pandemic, so we enlisted the Givz platform as a way to give back money to charities in lieu of our time. Between the pandemic and street protests there were a lot of causes to support, so we opted to let our users decide where their money should go. To date we've raised over $2,300 spread across 74 different charities chosen by our customers; from serious topics like social justice to the Orphan Kitten Club and everything in between. Our Givz program is still ongoing and will continue throughout the pandemic and hopefully longer, so be sure to select a charity at checkout!
By the end of July we thought we'd made it past the chaos... and then it started to rain ash. Wildfires ripped through our home state of Oregon, forcing a completely different kind of quarantine. Now it wasn't just unsafe to be in a public space, it was unsafe to be outside at all! The Air Quality Index (AQI) reached over 500 in some regions of Oregon. To put that in perspective the AQI scale STOPS at 500. In short, it was so bad the AQI doesn't even have a measurement for it. In total over 1 million acres of land burned in Oregon alone, destroying 4,000 homes: Including my in-laws' house. Happily, they made it out safely, even though the house burned to the foundation taking the second car and garage with it.
My in-law's "house" as seen from the garage... I think.
Part 3: Back in the Saddle
By the end of September the fires were dying down, we had gotten into the rhythm of life in quarantine and things was starting to feel pretty normal! In October we did a minor website update to create our new Bundle Deals page, which coincided with a deal with German headphone manufacturer Ultrasone. With their help we created what is literally the best ModMic bundle deal ever, up to $80 off the street price! In November we added expanded these offers with the legendary Beyerdynamic DT 770 and 990. In the next weeks we'll likely add the m50x to the offering as well!
We capped our year off with creating a special deal for teachers and educators after several of them reached out with stories of trying to do hybrid teaching and how important the ModMic was for their success. Given my mother was a teacher I know first hand how strapped they are for resources, so I pushed to quickly create a way for educators to get a special deal for the ModMic Wireless for this use. I honestly believe it is going to help the teachers and their students and it is the lowest price we've ever offered for this product. Likely the lowest we ever WILL offer for it. See our post about how the Teacher Program works or check out our store page for teachers. We'll keep this program active for as long as it makes sense and is needed.
And that brings us to December, today. I think we can now look around and be positive. This year shows that we can be resilient, that we can face issues, that we can literally watch the world burn around us, and then pick ourselves up and take the first steps forward. The sky didn't fall, the world hasn't ended. I hope that we learn from 2020 and work together to bring about a better year, decade, and millennium. There will be other setbacks along the way as individuals, as businesses, or simply as humans, but we can draw strength from this year and say, "Remember when..."
So, from everyone here at Antlion Audio, we wish you a new year that will be so good it will make up for any of the problems 2020 has presented. So break out the champagne, the chocolates, or whatever your personal poison is and celebrate. You made it, we made it, and we'll see you next year!