PopSockets was founded in 2010 by David Barnett - a philosophy major at Emory and a physics major at University of Colorado Boulder who received his PhD in philosophy from NYU. His research specialized in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind, before he reached enlightenment, stopped doing philosophy and became an entrepreneur.
David was looking for a way to prevent his earbud cord from getting tangled, and he glued two buttons to the back of his phone and wrapped them around the buttons.
He developed about 60 different prototypes, making the buttons expand and collapse. After many attempts, he developed and refined an accordion mechanism so the buttons could function as both a stand and a grip.
In 2012 David launched a KickStarter campaign for an iPhone case that would have two PopSockets grips integrated into the case. In addition to getting successfully funded, the KickStarter campaign enabled Barnett to show the world his dancing prowess which was part of the Kickstarter pitch. David officially launched the business in 2014 out of his garage in Boulder, Colorado.
PopSockets has subsequently sold over 160 million PopSockets grips around the world with offices in Boulder, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Helsinki.
In 2018, PopSockets was voted one of the Best Companies to Work for in Colorado, and took the #2 spot on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 5000 Fastest Growing Companies, and David Barnett was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.