Nikki's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Code Trip

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    New York, NY

NIKKI KAUFMAN

Founder / CEO
Normal

“If you can put your head on your pillow every night knowing that you did the best that you could for that day—even things didn’t go the way you wanted them to—you’re in the right place.”

INTERESTS:

Entrepreneurship Sports

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Perseverance Pressure Confidence Hard Work Passion Desire Fulfillment Failure Fear Doubt Family Hobbies & Pastimes Struggle Values Conflict

FOUNDATION:

Building Things

TAGS:

athlete, best you can be, building things, challenging yourself, confidence, different direction, drive, gratitude, helping people, impact, learning, learning experiences, perspective, positive, positivity, pressure, problem solver, problem solving, teamwork, technology

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Was a swimmer for her whole life; swam at Princeton University, where she studied public policy.
  • While training and running, she constantly faced the problem of having earphones that didn’t quite fit right.
  • After college, she was a founding member at Quirky, which was an invention platform; that role familiarized her with 3D printing and manufacturing.
  • The ill-fitting earphone problem continued to plague her; she spent her workdays at Quirky, learning the best way to develop a product, then she’d go home and prototype new earphones.
  • After a while, she knew that she had the know-how and experience to actualize her vision, so she wound down her role at Quirky and assembled a new team.
  • Founded Normal, which makes and sells 3D-printed, custom-fitting earphones.
  • As an entrepreneur, she acknowledges that sometimes she has long days and stressful hours that make it hard to balance her home life and work life.
  • But, on the flip-side of that perspective, she loves the autonomy of owning her own business and doing exactly what she loves and wants to do everyday.

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