One of the most important indicators of a company’s success is how committed the incumbent leader is.
As the Founder, Chairman and CMO of American Technologies Network (ATN) Corporation, Marc Vayn started the tech optics company in 1995 and has transformed the brand into the leading high performance digital optics company for civilians, law enforcement and military.
The company that’s driving tech and the great outdoors.
When you think of the great outdoors, technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But it’s guiding everything from the way outdoors enthusiasts communicate to how brands develop the newest must-have camping or hunting items.
Vayn’s vision for the new kind of hunter is bolstering the economy, raising conservation awareness and reframing the proverbial “hunt,” by marrying smart optics and social media.
ATN is leading this advancement by driving a new kind of outdoor enthusiast— one who records, shoots and shares—with social media.
The Journey and the challenges along the way
Marc Vayn was traveling overseas and was introduced to the business of night vision. Vayn knew there was a market for these products and there was nothing commercially available in the United States.
After a few years of importing night vision products, he quickly recognized that importing someone else’s products was not the way to go and eventually set out to manufacture his own.
“I have been working in this field now for 30 years.” Vayn said. “The hardest thing by far is consistency, dedication and motivation. The ability to stay motivated and to continue to push yourself on a daily basis is critical to long term success.”
Vayn added, “Without these qualities everything else falls apart and is irrelevant. You can be brilliant but once you burn out and are not willing to put in the time – your company falls apart unless you let someone with the right qualities to take over.”
Vayn says that you can be hardworking, but if you lose your passion, your products will grow stale and your business will be fall behind.
Like almost every successful business, ATN started from a small space the size of a garage in Silicon Valley. The early years were difficult for Vayn as the optics industry was not only a niche market, but was challenging to attract attention to night vision commercially and not only to law enforcement and the military.
ATN today is a global enterprise with offices around the world bringing the market cutting edge products for the outdoors and the shooting sports industry. ATN has been catapulted into an industry leader and innovator in the Electro-Optics space.
Lessons learned and advice for ambitious entrepreneurs
Vayn took a huge risk starting ATN Corp and it paid off tremendously as their sales and demand for their products grew, and continue to grow, rampantly.
“Get up early and take care of your health. Do the least pleasant thing on your list first. Imagine whatever you do is being viewed by your family and your employees and act accordingly,” Vayn said.
Vayn encourages other leaders to never stop being curious and stop learning. He says it’s important to ask more questions than provide advice. “If you cannot convince your staff that your decision is the correct one then it probably isn’t. And remember, admitting mistakes is not a fault, but a virtue,” Vayn said.
Marc Vayn’s advice for other entrepreneurs is dedicate yourself to a particular and preferably narrow marketplace and learn everything you can about it.
“Build or join a team of other passionate professionals in this field,” Vayn said. “Be strong, passionate and positive. If you lose that passion or desire to work then sell your shares and find something else to do.”