Lacrosse April 2011 : Page 12
THE SCOOP LIFESTYLES Dino Zaharakis Bethlehem, Pa., youth player docks inventions like opponents D ino Zaharakis has been in business before — dyeing teammates’ lacrosse sticks for $5 a pop. Now he’s global. Challenged by his father, Steve, to find a better way to prop up an iPad than an old business card holder Steve was using, Dino designed a prototype to set into motion the dzdock One, a universal docking stand for iPads, smartphones, Kindles, eReaders and the like. It was one of “Men’s Health’s” top five stocking stuffers. Did we mention he’s 12? through the inventing process? Dino Zaharakis fueled his business bug by dyeing teammates’ sticks. Now he’s producing a universal docking stand for iPads, eReaders and smartphones. Check it out at www.dzdock.com. different sizes and angles. Even the paint affects it too. How did your experience with coloring lacrosse stick heads help with your dzdock invention? Did you ever expect this much success at such a young age? I didn’t think it’d become a business. I thought it’d be a little thing for our basement. We’ve sold over 1,000. Tell us about the dzdock. When you invent something, you go through all these tests. It takes so long. There were so many steps. How long did it take to get the One out? I kind of learned a little about pricing and how to format stuff. I had a flyer with the prices and the styles for the sticks. I came up with the web design. I drew it down on paper. Are you still dyeing lacrosse sticks? What did you learn from going Finally finding the perfect design. We went through five or six. All were based around the same things, 12 LACROSSE MAGAZINE >> April 2011 A Publication of US Lacrosse ©ZAHARAKIS We were using business card stands to hold iPhones. My dad got some aluminum, and I started bending that to make stands. He said if I helped him design a product, helped him with marketing and a website, I’d get a phone. We started in the summer. It took four months to get a prototype. Then we found a manufacturer. What were the hardest parts in developing a new product? I’ll do it again. I did it towards the end of the lacrosse season after I came up with the idea, but I didn’t do that much then. I’ll do it more this year. How long have you been playing lacrosse? I started playing two years ago. I was 9 or 10.