How you do anything is how you do everything. Multi-award winning performance and protective gear company POC builds its legacy on ensuring its products keep users as safe as possible while giving them the freedom to perform at their best.
Words NICK RICE Photography ANTON RENBORG
This is part one of three in a brand study of POC. This part touches upon the products behind the brand.
”No! Don’t go with the start-up for God’s sake!” This was the advice given to the 26-year-old Oscar Huss by career coaches back in the early days of POC. Huss, now Chief Product Officer at the company, says:
— Everyone said ‘no don’t do it, it’s only one in a hundred that becomes something and this entrepreneur just has a plan,’ and essentially just a small table in a small room outside of Stockholm.
The entrepreneurs with a plan were POC’s co-founders Stefan Ytterborn, and Jan Woxing, who invited Huss to embark on their journey. Huss had a background in ski racing and a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a focus on product design… and a big decision to make.
What tipped the balance for Huss was the fundamental motivation at the core of the launch product and every other product since – safety and saving lives. — If the brand would have been about selling more helmets with cool graphics, I wouldn’t have signed up for it. But to really go to the core and foundation of how helmets and protection works, really to save lives, that’s a mission that I felt was worth investing in – that was the powerful combination,” he explains.
Considering the evolution over the last 17 years, it is clearly the integrity of the products that is at the centre of the POC’s success. Despite being a small company at the beginning, there were no compromises and POC undertook a vast amount of research to understand the science of the helmet, to build an edge.
Recalling the growth from those early days Huss says:
—That was an interesting period because we had to pack boxes and do other things to keep the company running. Then the next day you were sitting with the best brain surgeons talking about really high-level things, about every nanosecond of an impact and what goes on in the brain… and then going off to the factory to talk to the toolmakers, so it was really hands-on.
Witnessing the enthusiasm and dedication Huss exudes when talking about POC and the expertise inherent in the ever-expanding range of POC products, it’s abundantly clear that he made the right decision. The urge to develop the best possible products for safety and saving lives back then, is still undimmed today. Reflecting on this Huss says, “We are a huge company now but we keep that entrepreneurship and we keep exploring, which is key for us.”