THE STORY

By age 14, Pierre-Emmanuel Calmel had already created, or invented—as clever kids say—his first audio amplifier. As he grew up, he decided to follow his dream and become an engineer. His dream came true in his early 20’s after he graduated and secured a job at a leading telecoms company. Great! Celebration time? Not exactly.

Ten years later, the entire division at which Calmel worked slowed down (i.e., boring days on the job). Anyone in a similar situation naturally chooses between looking for another job, and… well, that’s about it. Instead, Calmel saw a unique opportunity to revisit his childhood passion and create a mini, low energy audio amplifier with high sound accuracy. To top it off, Calmel quit his job in 2004 and filed his first patent. A great start, but things didn’t go as planned (have they ever?). It took Calmel 3 years of ups and downs to come up with a mere prototype.

In 2007, Calmel co-founded Devialet in Paris with three other associates. Today, Devialet has over 300 employees, owns over 88 patents, and has raised over €140M. The company sells mind-blowing speakers that have won over 60 awards worldwide. How do award-winning, mind-blowing Devialet speakers sound? Here’s a demo! Just kidding. Calmel once played a jazz CD at home with one of the company’s early speakers. Cool—so what? Well, his then 5-year-old son came to him and said, “Dad, who’s playing the piano at home?”. BOOM.

THE BOTTOM LINE

When an opportunity to change your life and do what you love comes up, it does not announce itself as such. It takes focus to see it and courage to seize it.

 

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Sources:
– Interview from Libération, November 2, 2014.
– Various information from the Devialet website.

© Story by Tarek Issa.

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