FrozenCPU Interview - Mark
Person Interviewed: Mark
Company Position: Owner
Today Koihoshi had a chance to sit down with FrozenCPU.com and ask them a couple questions about what has made them so successful. FrozenCPU is an online case modification store with the largest selection around. Check out what they had to say!
PLEASE NOTE: We do not chop or edit interview answers - vulgar language was NOT removed from this interview and was all posted by FrozenCPU. TwistedMods did NOT add or remove information.
So first off, tell us a bit about yourself. Name, location, occupation and such.
My name is Mark Friga Jr. and I?m the owner/president of FrozenCPU.com, Inc. running out of Fairport, a suburb of Rochester, NY.
What exactly is FrozenCPU all about and what got it started?
FrozenCPU was just a little side thing back in ?99 out of my apartment, you know, just to make some extra money and since then, I?ve created a monster! :P
Computer companies that sell this broad of a selection of products for computer modding is very rare. You see everything on your site from fan covers, to fans, drives, mouse pads, and even your own gear. What brought you to the decision of selling such a broad selection of products?
Can you honestly give me a good reason from a business and marketing standpoint to not carry a broad selection of products?! Especially when you are in such a nitch market as modding and cooling? We have the resources to carry such a selection and we will and so far, I think we?re doing a pretty good job. And another thing, we listen to our customers. If someone wants a product that we don?t have on our site, we can special order it, custom make it or whatever so we can make a customer happy. I mean, half of the inventory on the website is simply the result of both our staff and customers requesting products and having weird-ass ideas. Little did anyone know, some of those crazy ideas came out to some kick ass products. We then came to the simple conclusion, why not carry it for everyone else?!
What about the website? Very organized and user friendly, it seems that your menus, design, and the other components of your website were very well thought out, looking good and easy to navigate at the same time. What gave you the idea for the design?
Honestly, my staff and I are also heavy online shoppers. We sat down for hours just trying to figure out what we love about all the online retailers we?ve ever used and came up with our current design. Right now, we?re working on adding a search feature, wish lists, all the works for you guys!!
From being in this kind of business and hobby what kind of things do you see that spark your interest or make you want to get involved as far as technology goes? Is there anything in specific that you can describe?
Everyone has their opinion about specific products, and everyone has a favorite product they prefer usually. Is there a favorite product you sell or product that you sell that seems really unique that you would recommend to others?
Water cooling is becoming a VERY popular trend amongst customers online and locally
What about upcoming products on the market? What kind of things do you think we'll see coming from other companies? Is there anything we can expect from FrozenCPU in the future? Can you give us any ideas of what to expect from your company?"
We are going to still continue to churn out Modified Cases as we started back in 99. It seems that most companies want to sell Cases these days - I think we are just going to continue refining and also REDEFINING PC MODIFICATION (for example Sleeving wires in cases, Sleeving PSU's wiring and fans). As we become innovative and bring products to the market place, it?s inevitable that other companies will mimic what we do?
What kind of things got you into computer modding, or was there something else that got you interested in this business?
I just wanted to make my computer freakin? quiet but still stay cool. I started checkin? out all the mod sites from back then and I thought, dude, I can do this and I can do it better. So here I am!!
Do you have a mod of your own? If you do could you tell us a bit about it?
Nah, I?m plain and simple. I?m just a prick about keeping my system quiet so I got a ton of Panaflo fans and noise dampening material all over this bitch. :P
I read on your website that your warehouse is over 9000 sq ft. Most computer components and accessories don't take up that much room. Why such a huge amount of area for the business?
Dude, we get a lot of business and if we want to keep that business, we need a LOT of inventory. You can?t just run out of a garage or basement anymore and expect to make any money or compete in this market.
FrozenCPU was started in 1999 in a garage. It goes to show that something small can grow to something huge and successful. What kind of changes did you put up with while this was all happening? What kind of experience was it?
The first major change was when I had to make FrozenCPU.com official and start hiring help. I mean, it really freaked me out because here I am working a full time IT position and I?m about to start my own business. You know, one of those young guys starting up an internet store. Like the entrepreneurs you always hear about on 20/20 and stuff. I kinda also realized that stocking inventory in my own freakin? bedroom was getting a bit out of hand so I also had to move into an actual office park and quit my day job. Wasn?t easy and it was cutting it close for a while but since then, we?ve done nothing but get bigger and bigger. Can?t complain!!
How large has the staff of your company grown since your business was started and what kind of jobs does a company like this need to be fully functional?
Right now, we have three staff members (Me, John and Stan) for our front offices, three for our warehouse (Eric, Brian, Ryland) and three guys (JC, Ron and Wayne) for our website. About half of the staff is part time and it all works out great. What makes our staff so great is the fact that every one of us at our combined warehouse/office location is easily interchangeable. Everyone here can do just about everyone else?s job in an emergency or when things get busy.
What kind of future do you see for FrozenCPU in the next year or possibly even 5 years?
We?re always looking at new locations that would better help the business. You know, like Newton Square, PA, maybe Woodinville, WA, or somewhere nearby Valdosta, GA. Always a possibility? LOL!!
What would you recommend to anyone interested in this line of work or who would be interested in computer modding as a hobby?
The only thing I can really say is to experiment!! Also, read the forums and read articles. Forums are where everything modding happens and where people can share what they learn and do. That?s where it all began.
Is there anything you would like to tell the readers about Frozen CPU, modding, or in general?
What makes modding so CRAZY is that there are people out there always breaking the barrier and making something new and original that no one else has. That?s the only thing that will keep this trend going is originality. KEEP IT UP!!
Thank you for your time and good luck with Frozen CPU!
"I think that you should have asked what ever happened to the Slogan contest that they had a few months ago. They offered 200$ worth of stuff to the person that submits the best line for their site. No one knows if anyone one, but the slogan got changed a few times. Thanks" -Andrew