Belkin International: Chet Pipkin Chet Pipkin was the kind of kid who loved to take things apart and put them back together. As a young man in the early 1980s, he started hanging out in mom-and-pop computer shops, where he realized he could meet a growing need by selling the cables that connect computers to printers. That simple idea became the main ingredient in Chet's secret sauce: instead of making his own computers, he would make the accessories needed to make them work. Belkin International eventually grew into a massive manufacturer of electronic goods — last year, it sold to a subsidiary of Foxconn for more than $800 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Clay McCabe decided to rebrand his dad's zipper repair business into Zipper Rescue, a repair kit that helps people fix their broken zippers at home.
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Belkin International: Chet Pipkin

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Belkin International: Chet Pipkin

Belkin International: Chet Pipkin

Belkin International: Chet Pipkin

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Connor Heckert for NPR
Chet Pipkin is the founder of Belkin.
Connor Heckert for NPR

Chet Pipkin was the kind of kid who loved to take things apart and put them back together.

As a young man in the early 1980s, he started hanging out in mom-and-pop computer shops, where he realized he could meet a growing need by selling the cables that connect computers to printers.

That simple idea became the main ingredient in Chet's secret sauce: instead of making his own computers, he would make the accessories needed to make them work.

Belkin International eventually grew into a massive manufacturer of electronic goods — last year, it sold to a subsidiary of Foxconn for more than $800 million.

How You Built That

How Clay McCabe decided to rebrand his dad's zipper repair business into Zipper Rescue, a repair kit that helps people fix their broken zippers at home.

How You Built That: Zipper Rescue

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/722148754/722155283" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">