A Trip to a Mexican Restaurant Was the Inspiration for This Genius Invention

This Is Ground solves your cord tangling with a taco and some ingenuity

There are giants dominating our business landscape. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are revolutionary, sure, but all across the country, there are small business entrepreneurs leaping toward their dream. Here is one founder's story.

Born out of a mundane trip to a local Mexican restaurant, entrepreneur Mike Macadaan officially found a cure for Tangled Wire Syndrome, putting a stop to moments wasted trying to unravel headphones without creating a bulbous cord knot. Headquartered in Los Angeles, Macadaan is so familiar with the setbacks of Silicon Valley workers that his leather products ingeniously solve every start-up kid's tech accessory woes. This Is Ground launched with a Cord Taco—a taco-inspired cord organizer that buttons around your headphones and iPhone accessories—in December of 2012 and has expanded his company's offerings to include the smartest backpacks you’ve ever seen, laptop cases that just make sense and organizers in rich leather that will simplify your life.

As for the name, Macadaan says that he “landed on This is Ground for a few reasons. One of my first jobs was with the ground crew of a blimp and I had to communicate with the pilots over a VHF radio by saying, ‘560 alpha-bravo, this is ground…’” And of course, David Bowie’s lyrics, “ground control to Major Tom…”

cord taco this is ground
Mike Macadaan's Cord Taco / This Is Ground

From a simple idea to an official Apple accessory, Macadaan has created a business worth celebrating. Take heed from his entrepreneurial advice.

Describe the “Aha!” moment when you first knew you needed to launch this business.

Mike Macadaan: I made this thing I called the Cord Taco and people were loving it on social media. I decided to apply the same thinking to other products to see if it was a formula that I could repeat and sell. The follow-up product was called the Cordito, and it did great. Both products were for sale at Apple within the first year of the business.

What was your research process like?

Macadaan: I was working in an incubator that was filled with smart entrepreneurs. Our studio was the perfect environment to bring ideas to life, so I was spoiled.

What do you love most about your job? What is the biggest struggle?

Macadaan: The product design process is very satisfying. My biggest struggle is that I like working with small teams—usually the same people over and over. This ultimately pushes everyone to their limits fairly quickly. The struggle is that when those small teams are maxed, your ability to work on several projects at once becomes very difficult.

If you could go back and teach yourself one thing before launch, what would it be?

Macadaan: To speak Italian—since Italy is where most of our products are made.

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