Taking a Quantum Leap to Success
Quantum Networks blends youth, drive in ideal growth recipe
Quantum Networks LLC is a family of companies that sells niche tech-centric products, such as network devices and surveillance equipment, online.
Founded in 2008, the small but tenacious groupis operated by Ari Zoldan, Eytan Wiener and Jonathan Goldman, as chief executive officer, chief operations officer andpresident, respectively. Quantum’s dramatic growth and level of success have caused it to become a recent fixture on lists of the country’s fastest-growing companies.
Inc. magazine listed Quantum at No. 56 and 124, respectively, on its 2012 and 2013 compilations of the 500 fastest-growing businesses who, in its words, “make other companies better and make the economy work.”As evidence, it cited prodigious upticks in Quantum’s revenue from just shy of $365,000 at its first birthday in 2009 to $11.5 million by the time it turned four in 2012.
Sales reached $23 million in 2013, and,according to Bita Goldman, the company’s general counsel and vice president of operations, revenues are expected to increase to $35 million in 2014.
The heady climb placed its growth second among U.S. telecommunications companies on Inc.’s 2013 growth list, eighth among businesses based in New York City and No. 9 when factoring in the city’s vast metropolitan area in its entirety.
And according to Goldman – who joined Zoldan as a 15-year-old intern on the way to reaching the executive level by the time he was 20– it’s all the product of a corporate culture that feeds off the energy, creativity and willingness to sacrifice that’s toted in daily by a similarly youthful staff.
“When you’re in your 40s and have children, family and a mortgage, you can’t really risk your credit or not make a salary for a few years,” he said. “We were lucky. We all started out at times in our lives where we were able to take the risk. We decided then that we would invest everything – money, time and effort – and that we would work 12 hours a day.
“The timing was great and the personality combination is one where it’s not a will to win, but a will to achieve no matter what. If you have to sleep in the office, you do it, because you know the opportunities going forward. Once you see what you’re capable of doing, you would be foolish not to do it.”
And if you’re going to sacrifice, it doesn’t hurt to have a cool space to do it in.
In 2013, the company moved from a typical midtown Manhattan corporate space on 43rd Street to an entire floor on 39th Street where the layout is heavy on camaraderie-boosting open space, light on collaboration-squashing offices and doors and festooned throughout with high-end art pieces thanks to a partnership with a nearby art gallery.
Between 15 and 20 people work out of the midtown locale – in addition to five at a warehouse in Hackensack, N.J. and a few others remotely – and it’s a unique environment that Goldman said caters perfectly to what’s being accomplished.
“Our open loft space is really cool, techie and edgy,” he said. “Everyone sits together in a bullpen and collaborates constantly back and forth. It’s as if you’re at the stock exchange. There’s constant chatter about buying this, selling that and where things are being shipped to.
“The culture encourages us to have fun, but when it comes down to it, each and every employee really eats, breathes and lives the business and the products.
It’s a constant buy-and-sell situation. Our staff really knows and understands our productsbeyond a job; they are very energetic and passionate about what they do.”
Quantum is billed as a niche online retailer, but its recipe for separation from the competitive masses involves a fundamental commitment to service both before and after the sale of products.
Another Quantum-run site, fanatech.com, which is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2014, isa new platform which focuses on providing an advanced virtual experience that engages each customerwith a clearer look at each product. This transparency between staff and toward customers and products sets the company apart from others.
A full-time technical team adheres to a mandatory one-ring policy when answering incoming phone calls, and the company is able to charge a premium for its products by promoting its commitment to help users work out the kinks with products that are often quite complex.
Quantum-wireless.com features products ranging from a BearExtender WiFi booster ($44.97) to Grain Audio walnut wood wireless speaker systems ($249) for design-minded audiophiles.Meanwhile, each site includes blogs, breaking news and other press releases and event calendars related to their specific topics.
“A big differentiator is the phone number on the website. We welcome potential customers to call and ask questions before purchasing an item,” Goldman said. “Other sites block their phone numbers or don’t have a technical support team that genuinely understands each product. All our support personnel is trained, and we have a very, very simplified presentation of the products. People get it, and if they don’t get it, they’re encouraged to call us to chat until they know what they are buying and they feel comfortable with their choice.
“We speak English and we are excited about our products. Plain and simple. No fancy terms for tech products that we know won’t mean anything to the customer. We’re here for the customer and we’ll be here when they are ready to geek out even more.”
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Quantum Networks
WHAT: Provider of tech products, services and information
WHERE: New York, N.Y.