Last week I reported on my hands-on experience with Antlion's ModMic 4.0, a microphone that can be easily attached to any pair of over-the-ear headphones to convert them into a gaming or communication headset. Before trying out the ModMic, I also had the opportunity to speak with the founder and his business partner about the company, how it began, and what to expect next from Antlion Audio.
Antlion Audio is based out of Portland, Oregon and was founded by Jimmy Console in 2011. The ModMic came to be when Jimmy wanted to use a better set of headphones, that didn't already have a microphone included, during some multiplayer gaming with friends. I was told that he has always been a tinkerer, and so he decided to make his own microphone to use for this purpose. The first prototype ModMic was created in 2009, and it took nearly two years before it was on the market.
In the early days of the company, Antlion was a one-man show, and the ModMic was available only through Amazon. Within the first year, he brought on Eli Wisneivitz as his Vice President, and between the two of them, they shared the work to get the company to where it is today.
Jimmy is the CEO of the company, but he primarily handles product development. Eli is the company VP, and unofficial COO. He handles customer service and manages much of the sales contracts, as well as marketing for the company. For most of the first three years of its existence, Antlion Audio was operated entirely by the two partners. Only in the last nine months has the company started hiring other employees. Throughout 2015, Antlion has hired four more staff to help with the day to day work, as Eli and Jimmy focus more on what's next for the company.
Before joining Antlion Audio, Eli Wisneivitz became a Portland Master Recycler, and he takes pride in bringing a waste-conserving attitude and focus when considering packaging options for Antlion products. The company has always tried to limit waste in its packaging. For the ModMic 4.0, the company opted to use the carrying case as the majority of the shipping packaging, rather than make a whole box for the product.
Beyond keeping the waste materials to a minimum, Eli has been working to ensure that Antlion Audio does its part as a good corporate citizen. Now that the company has been established and is making money, Eli and Jimmy are looking at ways the company can give back to the community. Antlion has not yet sponsored any charities, but I was told that the company is looking into organizations to contribute to. Eli did say that an upcoming event, "Rise Up Gaming Run," will be the first charitable event to which Antlion Audio will contribute.
When I asked what was next for the company, the partners were reluctant to say what was coming, but they did confirm that Antlion will be working with some partners that will offer bundles with ModMics and high-grade headphones together. They weren't willing to speak on the record about any new products coming from Antlion, but they mentioned that Antlion will be on site at Twitch Con 2015 on September 25 and 26, where the company will be demoing a new product for the first time.