Henry Ford used to say, "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black."
Buying computer these days is an eerily similar situation with a vast majority of computers coming in either black, grey or silver. Dearborn-based Laptop Design USA is working to change that by offering artistically unique customizations for your desktop or laptop computer. Think of it as the paint job part of Pimp My Ride, only for computers.
"Anybody can paint parts," says Peder Blohm, founder and CEO of Laptop Design USA. "We give people an opportunity to express themselves. We basically put anything they want on a computer."
The idea came to Blohm four years ago while watching a cable news network and seeing an ugly sticker for the station on one of the laptops. He thought there must be some better way to get that message across, so he started researching the idea. Laptop Design USA was born six months later.
The company is taking off. It grew 400 percent in each of its first two years and Blohm is hoping for another 250 percent growth this year. So far 17 people work for the company, but he expects that number to triple within a year.
"We're sitting on a bomb," Blohm says. "It has taken two-and-a-half years for the fuse to burn down but it's blowing up."
And spreading like wild fire. Blohm expects to start marketing them in Saudi Arabia late this summer and even start setting up franchises across the U.S. He isn't sure that is the way he'll take the business because he is the first one doing this.
"It's like walking into a black room." Blohm says. "We were the first. No one else was doing it. We had no reference point. We just started in my basement."
At this rate it looks like Laptop Design USA could be in the penthouse soon.
Source: Peder Blohm, founder and president of Laptop Design USA
Writer: Jon Zemke