By Alberto Mares
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
John Kallestad’s company, DayClocks®, Inc., sells clocks like these that tell the day of the week. Details: 1-866-329-2562
It was in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada that John P. Kallestad and Mark Pierce said they came up with an idea that would revolutionize the way people see time. The pair was dirt-sailing and in the midst of their enjoyment, the minutes turned into hours, then days.
“One day would roll into the other,” Kallestad said. And it was vital for the retired businessmen to know the day of the week. Their wives were joining them on Friday. The two had packed wristwatches, but they only told the time.
“We didn’t care for what time it was, but we needed a device that told us what day it was,” Kallestad said. “So later that day, we sat around the campfire and brainstormed.”
The idea for the DayClock was born, Kallestad said. He and Pierce went on to devise a 9-1/2-inch clock that indicated the days of the week.
DayClocks®, Inc. Incline Village owns the design patent on the clock and has been selling the product for little more than a year. Kallestad is president of the company, while Pierce is a creative consultant.
The octagon-shape DayClock resembles any ordinary wall clock, but it’s the clock’s face that will have people looking twice, Kallestad said. The clock is divided into seven equal pie-shaped sections, with each section labeled with a day of the week. Thin, black lines dividing the days indicate midnight and arrows above each day indicate noon. Halfway between the arrows and each line indicate 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Once a week or every 168 hours, the clock’s hand makes a full revolution.
“They did a double-take when they first saw the clock,” Kallestad said about the first time he introduced the clock to customers. “They tried to figure out how the clock works and then they asked themselves ‘Why would anyone want a clock like that?’ And in that instant, they immediately knew someone they could give this kind of clock to.”
The DayClock, which sells for $44.95 and comes in Oak or Mahogany, makes an ideal gift for retirees, he said. “There is a whole segment of the population who have gone through a lifestyle change,” Kallestad said. “They’re financially secure. They don’t have to work everyday but go to church every Sunday or play golf with their buddies on Wednesday. This clock reflects this lifestyle change. It’s for people whose lives aren’t controlled by the hours of the day.”
The clock can act as a reminder for those who have weekly activities, like golf days, camping trips and potluck dinners. It’s also useful for those who travel to remote locations where there is no daily access to newspapers or television, Kallestad said.
John also said he found a potential clientele in an older generation. “I always encounter elderly groups who are asking what day it was, but never cared about the time,” he said. “I thought the clock would sell great with them.”
Marketing to those who are age 50 and up is a good business venture, said Bill Daniels, a marketing and sales consultant for retired.com, a Web site that caters to retirees.
“The 50, 60 and 65 age groups will be a wealthy demographic for the next 25 years,” Daniels said. “They spend more money on their pets, they travel more, their stays at resorts are longer and they own about 1/5 of all real estate out there. And about every 8 seconds someone in the country is turning 50. Any type of marketing should be directed toward this group.”
After three years of business planning and testing prototypes, Kallestad said the product finally debuted into the market. But it wasn’t easy. At first, he tried licensing the clock to several manufacturers, but they took no interest in the product. So he decided to develop the product himself.
“The clock industry is pretty set in their ways,” Kallestad said. “They have a hard time accepting a new concept of looking at time, where the day is more important than the hour.”
But the general consumer might also resist purchasing a clock that doesn’t tell time, said Brian Bullard, owner of Timeless Enterprises, Inc. in Reno. He said the clock will compete with atomic watches that tell the exact second, electronic day planners, which note the time, day and date and novelty clocks that sing or chirp at the top of the hour.
“With all the technology out there, it’s hard to revert people into thinking about time in a sun-dial type of way,” Bullard said. “People buy clocks and watches for certain reasons. They want to know the exact minute. They want a clock that wakes them up. Or they buy a clock for its novelty. They want a clock with a bass that sings every hour.”
But Incline Village resident Bert Smith said he has found several uses for the DayClock he bought many years ago. “It’s a novelty item,” Smith said. “It’s a conversation piece. It can be amusing at times and somewhat useful. When you get to be over 70, sometimes you forget what day it is.”
The company has sold about 100 clocks and a wristwatch version of the clock is in the works, Kallestad said. Kallestad is working to get the clock sold at several gift shops in Northern Nevada and Southern California.
Kallestad, who came out of retirement to run his business, said he’s not looking to become a millionaire with the product. But some people think he will.
“Every time someone sees the clock, they tell me I’m going to sell a million of them,” Kallestad said.
– By Alberto Mares
8/12/2003 09:15 pm
Copyright © 2002 The Reno Gazette-Journal