Episode 569

We’ve heard that sitting at work all day is linked to a whole host of negative consequences for our bodies. But can we help it? JP Lockwood and his business partner, Arthur Maisonnier, seem to think so.

JP, met Arthur at a conference in London called Escape the City in the Fall of 2016. They bonded over their shared love of tea and side hustling as they continued to work on their individual projects. JP was consulting with a financial technology company, while Arthur was in the private equity field.

They knew they wanted to create a product together, they just didn’t know what it would be. By January 2017, they both moved to working out of London’s Google Campus, a free co-working space that anyone to use. They were both working on their respective projects but would get together to brainstorm ideas over coffee, lunch, or any free time they had.

 Inspiration struck when they got tired of sitting at their desks, but had nowhere else to work. Between hours sitting down together, and even more hours trying to find a high enough table that would be a comfortable workspace to stand at, their side hustle idea was just waiting to unfold.

According to the National Health Service, an accumulative 31 million days of work were lost in 2013 through back, neck, and muscle problems. Poor posture and working conditions are the second highest reason for sickness at work, and it costs the UK economy £14bn a year. At the same time, standing desks are pricey and can run you anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple thousand, and most models out there aren’t portable enough to take with you to a co-working station. There simply wasn’t a portable and cost-effective solution on the market.

 Enter the Deskmate, a foldable platform that turns any table into a standing desk. After three days of coffee-filled brainstorming, the duo realized that a solution to this problem could be easily realized if they could just design something that was light enough for a daily commute, but sturdy enough to hold a desktop. Arthur’s background in engineering helped them create a blueprint for an easy, foldable platform.

The best part was since the material to make their desks was just an incredibly sturdy cardboard, they could price their product at 1/10th of the cheapest standing desks available on the market: £29.00 ($37.63 USD).

Within their first year, they sold 1,000 Deskmates, but a shift in their marketing strategy has been yielding some high returns. Just a couple of weeks ago, they had a marketing firm in Barcelona request an order for 2000 units—essentially, twice the number of Deskmates that JP and Arthur sold for the entirety of 2017!

While they’re not exactly sure what the future holds for them, JP and Arthur know that it probably doesn’t involve a lot of sitting around… they’ll be too busy coming up with their next product or working at their day job! They deserve a standing desk ovation.



    • Deskmate: What are you standing around for? Grab yourself a portable Deskmate over on JP and Arthur's website!
    • Shopify: JP and Arthur used Shopify to set up their site for Deskmate, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
    • Escape the City: The global community that JP and Arthur met at back in 2016

 Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

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