LifeProof CEO On Air Tight iPhone & iPad Business Model

LifeProof Founder & CEO Gary Rayner and the new Nüüd iPad case

One of the best aspects of mobile technology is the ability to hold chairlift and surf session business meetings, while still staying connected to the office. The one down side? Your phone isn’t a big fan of the elements we like to play in. Enter LifeProof, a company that makes svelte waterproof cases and accessories for phones, and now iPads.

Founded by Gary Rayner, Lifeproof was conceptualized after a day at the beach spawned the thought, “"What if I could take my mobile device anywhere I want to go without concern?” Rayner spent the next two years and $2 million of his own money designing a waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, snowproof, yet slim profile iPhone case that can go anywhere.

Take a look at LifeProof’s products and applications here:

A highly successful serial entrepreneur and designer for more than 17 years, Rayner has started and grown four different US-based high-tech ventures with products that have grossed more than $150 million in revenues. His successful ventures include DriveCam, Inc., which was recently ranked #30 'Top Ranked Venture Backed Company' by the Wall Street Journal.

Rayner introduced LifeProof at the LAUNCH conference in February 2011 by dropping it, dousing it in ketchup, mustard and dirt, than dunking it in a fish tank. Through it all, the iPhone functioned perfectly. Since then, LifeProof has used PR and social media, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, to engage customers in the conversation and encourage them to comment, post videos, and connect with each other. Due to the overwhelming response from the marketplace, LifeProof is now the number one selling protective iPhone case at all Best Buy stores.

“LifeProof has pioneered an entirely new industry segment in device cases: environmentally-protective cases that are designed for use everyday, everywhere, and for everything,” says Rayner.  The first product shipped in mid-2011 and its new Nüüd iPad case launched this week.  LifeProof has also been seeing expansive growth in action sports retailers.

60 Second Sell: CEO Gary Rayner on LifeProof Nüüd iPad

“We want LifeProof to be available in sports specialty shops around the world and to spread the LifeProof message of ‘Freedom’ -- freedom to be connected everywhere and experience amazing opportunities with mobile devices — wherever they are,” says LifeProof Director of Business Development Chris Parnell. “LifeProof is now in 1500 independent action sports retailers throughout the US and growing. Retailers include local shops like Surf Ride in San Diego and HI Tech Surf Sports in Maui, regional shops like Ron Jon Surf Shops on the East Coast and Scheels in the Midwest, and national retailers like REI, BassPro, Sportsman's Warehouse and Cabelas.  LifeProof is continuing to expand rapidly in independent, regional and national action and outdoor retailers.”

LifeProof has actively been working to sponsor events in the action sports space including the Volcom Fiji Pro and Summer X Games. “We had the fortunate opportunity to be sponsor for Volcom Fiji Pro,” says Parnell. “The bigger impact was sending product down there where pros, photographers and big wave surfers had the freedom to use their iPhones on a small island in the South Pacific and share their experiences and connect with fans and friends from around the world right from the waves. We also received an incredible response from athletes at XGames Summer and will continue to be part of those events.”

John John Florence's underwater perspective from the Volcom Fiji Pro...shot with a LifeProof iPhone case.

“LifeProof recognizes that mobile devices have become so much of everyday life - especially in the action sports world,” explains Parnell. “We also understand that action sports are very individualized, but at the same time are very social. Mobile devices offer ways to connect with friends through social media, texting, calls and more, but also provides a direct way to communicate for bragging rights. LifeProof is bridging that gap between action sports and social media by bringing new capabilities, freedom and protection to iPhone or iPad users to use anywhere and in any environment - whether it's in the surf, the track, skate park, slopes or in everyday life.”