A curiously successful business

John Seaber, EE’09, started his business, JDS Labs Inc., as a part-time venture. Two years ago he quit his day job to give his full-time attention to the business and hire a few employees. Since then, he says revenues have grown at more than 300 percent each year and the company has been profitable every quarter. “We’re doing very well,” he says.

The company, located in Glen Carbon, Ill., makes customized, high-performance headphone amplifiers and digital-to-analog converters (DACs). One of its products, the cMoyBB V2.03, is cased inside a new Altoids tin, which protects the circuit board from some forms of electromagnetic or radio frequency interference.

JDS Labs used to outsource its custom aluminum end plates, but now owns a milling machine. “We had absolutely no machining experience, but this was the best way for us to improve our designs and control production,” says Seaber. “Our cases are of noticeably higher quality than those machined by outside shops.” Check out the company at jdslabs.com.

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