MAGFAST® describes Seymour Segnit as its “eclectic, experienced, passionate CEO.” In a casual conversation with Segnit, he shares with us the method to his entrepreneurial ventures and how his particular brand of “crazy” is the motor that drives the success of his business.
The Background Story on MAGFAST
Segnit and his wife Amy launched the MAGFAST Family brand and line of products in 2017 after designing and road-testing a charger that Segnit invented to rein in the mess of tangled charging cables in 2013. The original model was launched through a crowdfunding campaign and became a quick success, with the couple selling over a quarter of a million units to 69,896 backers.
While the original business failed to support its own weight due to insufficient cash flow to support its rapid growth, Segnit had caught the bug that lead to creating a brand-new business and the development of the MAGFAST Family of chargers.
Amy & Seymour personally purchased the mailing list of the failed company and polled them as to whether they should start over.
84 percent voted ‘YES’: Start Over and less than 3 months later MAGFAST was born.
Inspired by his original charger design, Segnit developed an entire family of chargers that uses magnets to link to one another, almost like a children’s magnetic building block set. The system provides efficient charging solutions that also look beautiful among any décor because there are no messy cords to deal with. When the Segnits launched their crowdfunding campaign to fund the official launching of the MAGFAST Family in 2017, they raised some $¼ million within the first 15 minutes of going live. This demonstrates the level of interest that exists in support of new, less messy charging solutions.
The MAGFAST Family includes a total of six chargers designed to accommodate every possible charging scenario. Each is designed to work great on its own, the beauty of the system is in its modular design that lets you connect multiple units together to provide easy and rapid charging without wires, including charging each other when required.
Segnit and His Approach to Success
Segnit has an iconoclastic background under his belt, having studied engineering at Oxford University, held positions at Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi, co-founded a venture-backed Silicon Valley startup, and made a minor name for himself as a radio personality at the venerable Capital FM, London’s most popular radio station. Plus he worked as a ski-guide, had mobile disco, was an agency creative director in South Africa, rasied several million in Silicon Valley for a SAS startup long before that was popular and of course he invented that other USB charger long before launching MAGFAST.
Passionate and knowledgeable about internet marketing, Segnit stresses the importance of using marketing wisely and describes the work that he’s doing at MAGFAST as “the best work of my life.” He shares how reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie changed his whole style of communication. “It’s not about being right, it’s all about creating emotional impact.” says Segnit.
Another book that he recommends highly is “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” by Carmine Gallo, which dives deep into the importance of moving consumers by means of emotional impact. Segnit admits that he used to want to prove that he was right but now concerns himself with making other people feel good.“I used to want to prove that I was right,” Segnit admits. “Now I’m more concerned about making sure that you feel good about our communication.”
Segnit insists that this concept “goes to the core of what we do, why we’re successful, [and] why we did a quarter of a million dollars in the first 15 minutes.” He talks about something he describes as “intensity of intent,” in which your sincere motivation must be to create a pleasant journey for the other person, to enhance their experience with what you’re offering them.
This, he believes, is the only real way to get through to consumers. “Feelings are more important than logic,” he points out. “In marketing, you want to make people fall in love, and then you give them some facts.” He uses Apple’s advertising of its new iPhone 11 as an example, with its use of gorgeous pictures to hook consumers emotionally, followed by a few facts that justify the desire they now feel. It’s what savvy marketers like car manufacturers have been doing for decades.
When describing his role as the driving force behind MAGFAST, he points out the advantages and disadvantages of having the whole business ride on his shoulders. “The entire balance of our success or failure depends on my brand of crazy,” he quips. He then describes how he manages work-life balance while working at home and also caring for his young daughter. “A good day involves rising early and going for a brisk 4-mile walk, so I get some amount of exercise before we start. When I do this, I’m brighter all day long. Typically, there are a series of meetings conducted with my team around the world, [in] China, Macedonia, currently Italy – although they’re normally in Serbia – and then a whole series of places across the U.S.”
While he admits that MAGFAST is on his mind during almost every waking moment and he honestly doesn’t distinguish much between “working” and “life outside of work,” Segnit admits that working from home helps him integrate his personal and professional lives. “You’ll be in a meeting with me, and my daughter Hudson will come in, and she’ll sit with us for a few minutes… and we’ll end up having more smiles and a better meeting because of it,” he explains. “We’ll see that it was worth those extra three minutes.”
What’s Next for MAGFAST?
Segnit is optimistic about the future of MAGFAST. “The truth is that the MAGFAST business model was immediately profitable from launch,” he says. “It was never about becoming profitable down the road and being at a loss for the first few years.”
Still, while MAGFAST raised a quarter of a million dollars within 15 minutes of going live and over $600,000 in the first day, Segnit admits that “that was never going to be sustainable because it was based on a launch and a list of prospects that we had purchased from the old company.” He points out that he’s constantly in search of new marketing solutions, from securing the loyalty of existing supporters to winning over new customers.
When asked what advice he would give to up-and-coming startups, Segnit unhesitatingly responds: “Marketing, marketing, marketing. It’s all about marketing. Unless people are able to see whatever it is you’ve got, it’s just a hobby… You’ve got to be advertising, promoting, all sorts of things…
Someone once said that if you’re a business owner and you’re not putting in 80 percent of your time and effort into promoting your business, you’re going to fail. I think that’s about right.”