If you have ever created or used a network device, it is quite likely that a Belkin product has figured into the configuration at some step along the way. This is because it is one of the leading firms offering "connectivity" devices, and it puts an emphasis on consumer rather than business customers. In fact, the company's founder even says, "If you own a personal computer, there's an 80 to 90 percent chance you've got a Belkin product," (Kuznia, 2011).
Started in 1983 by Chet Pipkin, Belkin grew rapidly and now has a major stake in global business with offices in the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and Hong Kong, as well as a base in the U.S. It has been recognized as one of the fastest growing firms in the world, but remains a privately held company to this date.
It would be interesting if someone took the time to draft a list of "garage success stories" because so many of today's biggest business and entertainment success stories seem to begin in a garage or other humble space. Belkin is yet another in the long line of "it all started in a garage" tales, and yet it stands apart because of the incredible size of its success.
It was in the late 1970s that the company founder began what would eventually become Belkin. Chet Pipkin recognized that computers were the next big thing and started looking for any sort of niche or weakness in the computer marketplace. After literally walking door to door at some of the very first computer shops, he found that cables were a huge problem, and so he began to craft them on his own and sell them to some of the first computer stores in his area.
Starting first at his parents' kitchen table and then being kicked out into the garage, he was able to put together universal cables that allowed connectivity in a way that was unprecedented at the time. He then returned to the door to door route and offered his creations for sale. They were a hit.
After that, things just exploded. Within a year's time he was earning six figures, and he had to establish Belkin as a formal company almost straight away. From that point onward it has been one of the top connectivity companies of the world. Today, it is Belkin International and it is viewed as a computer essential.
Connectivity has changed in its meaning over the past decade, and today Belkin has also addressed this shift by expanding its product range. It has gone far beyond high quality cables and is a leader in networking connectivity. The current lineup of trusted Belkin products includes:
* USB hubs for easy connectivity of peripherals
* Smartphone and tablet accessories
* Screen protection
* Home energy management devices and systems
* Notebook accessories meant to cool, cushion, and manage power
* Accessories for Apple products
* Surge protectors
* Fiber optic cables
* Data center accessories
Belkin itself describes the products as "high-quality security, infrastructure, energy and server-room solutions...[our] commitment to innovation, research and design has inspired over 2,000 products and 200 patented designs." (Belkin.com, 2014)
Each of its product categories has received, at one time or another, industry awards or recognition. The firm has received design awards, business awards, and even been voted as one of the fastest or top companies many times over.
Perhaps one area in which the Belkin company keeps a radically low profile is in the many good works it does. The company did not even relocate from its original offices for many years, and today Pipkin's desire to empower the community's youth can still be seen in many of the corporate initiatives undertaken by Belkin International.
* 1% of every purchase going towards charitable works
* 960+ hours of community service by employees
* 2k plus devices donated each year
* Partnerships with CFY-LA, Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Heal the Bay, KIPP LA, Da Vinci Schools, The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Children's Hospital LA, and the YMCA of Metro Los Angeles
Whether as a force of good or as a source for total connectivity, Belkin has been an innovator since the beginning. It remains a major force in the computer and digital world and keeps providing products that are useful and necessary for modern life.
Belkin.com. About Belkin. Belkin.com. 2014. http://www.belkin.com/us/aboutUs/
Kuznia, Rob. South Bay's Chet Pipkin may be the most famous tech mogul to come from Hawthorne. DailyBreeze.com. 2011. http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20110808/south-bays-chet-pipkin-may-be-the-most-famous-tech-mogul-to-come-from-hawthorne