Interview with Arnon Rosan creator of EverBlock™ a Life-Sized Modular Building Block That Allows You To Build Nearly Anything
Our wish has been answered, life size modular building blocks that allow to build anything from man cave furniture, room divers and even entire man caves. This begs to question, why hasn’t anybody done this before? We sat down with Arnon Rosan creator of EverBlocks to see what inspired him to start his business and how things have fared since launch early this year.
Arnon Rosan, CEO of Everblock Systems
Arnon Rosan is an imaginative businessman who has founded many companies. He co-established LocalMaven.com in 2013, served as the CEO for Portafloor, Signature Systems Group, and Highland Products group. His work in those businesses was received well and used by many customers, including the 1996 Olympic games.
Arnon has always been greatly fascinated by the versatility of Legos as a child. He imagined the possibilities that could be opened if there were a giant version of these popular building blocks. Because of these dreams, Arnon Rosan has finally achieved them by making what is called the Everblock.
The Everblock is essentially a giant Lego brick that measures 12″ in length, 6″ in heigth, and 6″ in width. A half brick was also created that only measures 6″ in length. As Arnon Rosan puts it, he says that the greatness of Everblocks is that “…all types of modular objects, from simple to complex, can be built using only a few different modules.” He hopes to embrace the simplicity of his product to make them usable by engineers, architects, and designers alike.
Arnon’s goal is that the Everblock will be used by many businesses and event companies to fashion incredible furniture, decorations, walls, and even entire rooms with ease. On top of this, he also wishes that his blocks will be used for disaster relief, providing homes for those who were affected by tragedy.
Everblocks are able to be purchased in twelve different colors, three different sizes, and can be modified with all kinds of LEDs, hooks, and much more. They are available on the Everblock website, and are shipped from their warehouse in New York.
Interview with Arnon Rosan, Creator of Everblock | DudeLiving Exclusive
As digital nomads we have tried and failed at so many websites before we created dudeliving.com but it’s that journey that teaches us to fail fast and fail forward. Tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey that eventually created Ever Block Systems.
I always thought I was going to go into investment banking. I went to college and business school thinking that was what I should do, but the reality is that I like physical products and I would have been miserable in that role.
I love to tinker with thing and design things and right out of business school I played around with a plastic product for skiing called Ski Valet. I had to figure out how to make it, sell it, and deal with everything from shipping issues to credit. This really started me on my path of working with products made of plastic. While I wouldn’t call that product a raging success it did teach me a lot of what I still rely on today.
I’ve been accused of being a “pretendgineer” and I think that is probably true. I typically design my own products and then rely on the experts to put the finishing touches on them. EverBlock Systems is really the latest progression of my love of building things and my desire to create a modular system that could be the basis for building all types of other things.
While EverBlock gets going, I am wrapping up my involvement in an Internet start-up that didn’t work out as I had planned or hoped. I think that’s a pretty common story, but it’s a real bummer and incredibly disappointing.
With the start-up culture today, people seem to look at failure as a badge of honor, but I don’t think it is. It really sucks, big time.
Sure, you learn from the good and the bad and ironically there is a lot I learned there that I am now applying to EverBlock, but there’s no glory in it. Thankfully I’ve had a good track record and if there is one thing I know as an entrepreneur, you need to get right back out there and start something new.
What goes on behind the scenes, how big is your team and what is the company culture like?
Our team is very small right now. It’s just two of us. I like to think that part of the vision with EverBlock was to create a business that was both successful in selling the products it makes, but is also fun, lighthearted, and is providing something people get inspired by. That doesn’t mean you don’t work hard every day to make things work. Our culture is work hard but don’t take yourself too seriously.
This is my seventh start up, so this time around I wanted to make sure I was doing something I really enjoyed. And what’s more fun than playing with blocks all day?
What we love about Ever Blocks is that the bricks themselves are not very heavy, which makes for a great family project where the kids can be involved. What are some other practical ways you have seen people utilize ever blocks?
Yes – EverBlock is definitely a lot of fun for kids and my own kids (3 boys 5, 10, and 10) spend more time playing with their blocks than nearly anything else other than their IPads. But really, the idea behind EverBlock was to allow designers of all types to easily build life-sized objects.
From furniture to room dividers and from theater props to decor, there are just so many things that can be built with EverBlocks.
A lot of our initial success has come out of the special events business, where rental companies and brands have built everything from bars, to outdoor event furniture and from tent dividers to interesting décor. We even helped someone build an oversized statue that looks a lot like an Oscar for a party. What you build with the blocks is limited only by one’s imagination.
Where I personally would love to see blocks getting used is for disaster relief and temporary housing. It’s an area where we can do some real good and having had experience in this space in one of my prior businesses, it’s an area that could use a lot of change in how things are done. Imagine transporting a pallet of blocks to a remote area instead of an entire portable office trailer. How much easier and more efficient would that be?
We can definitely see a great application of these around the office, our own team has grown a bit, and having a modular way to arrange and rearrange the working desks is a great feature. We saw that you offer rental services, tell us how that works?
We are starting slowly on the rental front. Typically we hold a couple thousand blocks to rent for weekend type events versus longer term rentals. Recently, we did a room divider for a conference in New York City and a backwall for a large tent at Lyndhurst Castle on the Hudson River for a fundraiser. Right now we carry only White blocks but hopefully in the future we will add some colors.
I envision rentals really being a local business, with existing rental companies offering blocks for rent nationally (and internationally) from their local stock of blocks.
Where have you see a higher demand for ever blocks, commercial or private?
I would say we receive a ton of inquiries and sales from private customers but the volume comes from commercial customers. We did some work recently with a rental company for the PGA tour at the Zurich Classic and the Byron Nelson Classic and have a project coming up in late June for the US Women’s Open with another rental company.
The commercial accounts can buy thousands of blocks so its really an area of focus for us. That said, we love every type of customer and just want to see our blocks getting out there.
One only has to look at your “about us” page. Serial entrepreneur, angel investor, Co-Founded LocalMaven.com, Founder and CEO of Signature Systems Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of modular plastic flooring, Co-Founded and served as Chairman of Highland Products Group, an on-line e-commerce and print catalog supplier specializing in park and recreation equipment and site furnishings for public facilities such as municipal parks, it goes on and on.
Tell us a bit about how you sustain such a drive as an entrepreneur, what really motivates you deep down.
I love to build things, whether it’s with physical products or its building actual businesses, I think it’s that love of seeing something being created from scratch that I am motivated by most. I stop getting excited when it seems that a business I am involved with is starting to become corporate or less innovative. This is a natural progression in business and part of the goal, but that’s when I know its time for me to exit at the front door and let a professional manager step in. It’s for this reason that have sold most of my prior businesses and moved on. When the challenge is gone its difficult to stay driven and excited.
Are you married to your business? How is life outside of work or does that distinction even exists?
I would say that in the past I have been married to my business, but now I have a wife and 3 kids and that is really what’s most important now. That’s not to say that I don’t work hard and think about business nearly all the time, I do, but I try to take a step back more often than I used to and to remember what’s really important.
Lately, I have been trying to get my kids involved as a fun learning experience and they are a great source of inspiration and ideas for EverBlock.
In fact, the name EverBlock was something one of my boys came up with and the hanging clip system is something one of my other boys invented.
For fun, I am an avid surfer and if I am not at work, you’ll probably find me trying to catch a wave. I’m still working on the catching-the-wave part but there’s nothing that clears the mind and gives you time to think like surfing does. I also love to ski and travel and anytime the family can get away and travel somewhere, we try to do so.
What is next for Arnon? What goals do you have what we can expect in the coming years?
Well, its pretty early in the development of EverBlock and I think there are so many paths this business can take. I envision adding different parts and accessories, such as shelves, desktops, and display panels to the line and to come up with products to expand the number of ways the blocks can be used.
We also are likely going to spend more time on the concept of EverBlock as a building system and my long-term goal is to make EverBlock a true alternative to modular offices and temporary housing.
Beyond that, who knows? I try not to look out past a couple of years, since you can never predict where you will end up, but I do know that whatever I do it will involve some type of physical product.
Take a look at What Arnon is up to over at EverBlcok Systems and follow them onInstagram: @everblockfacebook: /everblocksystemsTwitter: @everblock