David Jones and Ed Basconi had worked together at an electronics production plant in Johnson City, Tenn., since the early 1980s, weathering three different owners: Texas Instruments, Siemens, and EPIC Technologies.
But with production moving to Mexico, Jones took a buyout in 2007, and Basconi is one of a handful of employees staying on until the plant closes.
In 2007 the pair began proto-typing the KitBook, a patented product to teach kids about science in a hands-on method, with gadgets such as circuits, lamps, and motors embedded in the book.
With the help of friends and family working in their assembly plant, they sold 1,000 KitBooks last year to schools, camps, and home-schoolers.
Jones and Basconi hope to expand the concept from kids' textbooks to KitBooks for hobbies, vocational, corporate, and military training. "Our ultimate long-term goal is to be the hands-on version of the Dummy books," Jones says.
Photo by Edamar, Inc..