Up & coming: Lights, camera, action! Daniel Jaenicke, founder JooVuu X

Daniel Jaenicke started his JooVuu X journey in May 2013 and since then, with heapfuls of persistence,

Dan has developed an excellent HD car and action camera in the JooVuu X. He expects his business to reach the heights in the next few years.

JooVuu XWhat exactly is your business and how does it help people?

JooVuu X is a car and action camera. The JooVuu X was designed as a car camera but its features such as high frames per second and micro design means it can be used as an action camera as well. People who use it as a car camera can record their journeys in high quality 2.5k resolution or 1080P 60fps resolution meaning they can capture every detail from registration plates to road signs. The JooVuu X is a very discreet camera – it’s small and light – so you can forget about it until you need it. Its small size means it won’t attract thieves, either. Having a JooVuu X in your car means you do not have to worry about false insurance claims and schemes such as ‘crash for cash’ because everything is recorded and securely stored.

What was your inspiration and motivation to get started in business?

I have always loved photography, and I started my business – JooVuu – just as action cameras and car cameras were taking off. The more I researched and bought cameras to sell, I saw a real gap in the market for high quality reliable cameras that people could use in their car or take up a mountain/skiing/surfing to get incredible footage, but it would be small and light enough for them to forget about.

I love participating in adventure sports and I saw that I could combine the similar features of car cameras and action cameras (high video speeds, wide angle vision etc into a single car and action camera. I designed a camera that could be used in both markets and made sure the hardware was good enough for the car camera market as well as the action camera market such as including 2.5k resolution and features such as timed mode which changes the settings at the time you specify to record in the optimal settings. Thinking about the needs of both markets has made the camera really unique, and a best-seller!

How did your friends and family react to you starting a business?

I originally started the business because I didn’t want to go into a 9-5 job straight out of university – I knew that I wanted to do something where I could really prove myself. My parents have been really supportive and convinced me to keep going with the business after the first few months and encouraged me to invest the time it needed to really get going. They’re just glad I’m earning money! My friends were quite surprised as I had never run a business before and my degree was in politics. But I have always been quite entrepreneurial – I was the Club Captain of the University of Birmingham Basketball Club and grew it from about 20 members up to 60+ members, and brought in about £2,000 for the club. I sponsor them now!

How have you managed a work/life balance?

I still fail at this horrendously, but I am getting better. I try to work 7:30am-6pm but usually it ends up being closer to 7:30am to 6pm then from 9pm to 11pm. Now I have my own camera and brand it’s getting a bit easier as it’s just one product. My dream is to get it down to 8am-4pm but I don’t think I’ll ever reach that. I’d really like to spend more time out photographing and exploring but with my current work/life balance I just can’t. But it isn’t all slog – I also get to test my cameras, and some of the trade shows are in exciting places – I’m going to Hong Kong’s Global Sources Electronics Fair this year in April and also having a stand at the IFA Berlin Consumer Electronics Fair in September which should be a fantastic opportunity to hopefully take my business to the next level and allow me to get a bit more of a work/life balance going.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

Developing a camera has a multitude of tests, problems, and mountains to climb, but each day you can see a 1% step of progress. However, there is no such pressure as supply chain pressure, as all your hard work and time can be for nothing if you do not get the supply chain right.

The supply chain and assembly are the big challenges. As we are a very small company we only get so much time on the assembly line, as other customers who are placing orders for literally a hundred thousand cameras get more priority. This means that we have to have every single piece of hardware we need ready to go when it’s our time. That includes everything from the screws that keep the case together to the high specification sensor to the custom molded lens base to help prevent the lens moving or breaking in the event of a crash. If we don’t it causes chaos. We start the process of getting everything ready about two months before we need to go to the assembly line as this gives us enough wiggle room. However, without a doubt there will be a problem on the day of assembly something will go missing, or we’ll be missing a fitting – however, we have contingencies in place for a lot of problems which allows us to keep moving forward regardless of what is throw our way.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

Whatever you do at first will be brilliantly right and terribly wrong. After the first month or two (maybe longer) you’ll realise how many mistakes you have made, but it doesn’t matter, that’s part of launching a business. The best thing to do is learn and get on with it. A lot of people say launching a business comes down to tenacity and quick thinking, which really do help, but I think startup businesses come down to perseverance. If you give up after a few setbacks you clearly are not cut out for the business world, as we can experience setbacks both big and small every day. The key is to sort it out and move forward.

How do you expect your business to develop in the future?

I have plans to make numerous products related to the JooVuu X. However, money constrains me. I have started work on another camera related product and one non-camera related product. I don’t want to flood the brand with loads of products, it’s not what I’m about. Everything needs to be tested, verified, tested again, checked, rechecked and then gone over again. Whilst product development may take a little longer, we know we’ll continue producing high quality products that won’t break as soon as you use them.