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EMAILED ON March 24, 2020 BY Nick DeSantis

‘A very strange flip of luck’: A standing-desk company rides an unexpected remote-work wave

Photo credit: Ashley JP Lockwood, Deskmate

We asked readers to tell us about how their businesses are coping with the coronavirus. We’re featuring highlights of those conversations here.

For many types of companies, the coronavirus pandemic represents an existential threat. Even successful ones have pivoted to new lines of business, hoping to hang on to customers and cash flow.

The story of Deskmate, which sells portable standing desks, is practically the complete opposite.

Last month, the company was in such deep trouble that its co-founders agreed to sell if they found a buyer. A buyer did come along, but backed out, and Deskmate forged ahead.

Now, Ashley JP Lockwood, one of the co-founders, says he’s glad they stuck with it. Deskmate had trouble gaining traction organically, but sales started rising as countries hard-hit by COVID-19 embraced remote work.

The boom has created an entirely different challenge: Deskmate is burning through its stock quickly, its supply chain is straining, and limited staff and hours mean production costs are rising.

Lockwood predicts Deskmate will close 20x the sales it would have without the pandemic. “In a very strange flip of luck,” he says, “we’ve found product-market fit.”

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