People often ask, “How did Overkill Computers start?” I’ll do my best to recount the events that got us here. For this to be real, I must dig into not just the wins in life, but the losses and downfalls too. If any entrepreneurial journey starts with greatness and ends with greatness, there’s a high probability the journey isn’t being told truthfully. And the truth of the matter is: A LOT more is learned from failure than from success.
This business isn’t all about ME, the owner; it’s about the amazing REAL PEOPLE who work every day to make Overkill Computers what it is. It’s easy to look at a PC company as a “for-profit,” cold organization that only cares about the bottom line. On the contrary, small companies like ours are created by real people whose lifelong dream and destiny is to create both top of the line gaming PCs, as well as EPIC viral marketing projects. We love and appreciate each other.
As a team, the sum of Overkill's parts are greater than a page-long post about our company’s history, and including each individual’s path would take an entire book to write. It’s hard to get to know someone on viral short form content alone. To get to know ALL of us, watch our YouTube Vlogs. Do some digging. When you explore who we are, you’ll most likely find you have similarities to the people on our team.
I was always a technology fanatic. At a young age, I was interested in computer design. At around 10 years old my first computer was a hand-me-down from a friend of the family, an old 5 1/4 inch floppy disk computer that was only good for word processing. I decided since it wasn’t capable of anything exciting, I would take it apart and lay out all the components on my bed.
With all the parts scattered, my mother walked in the room and looked infuriated that I had ruined the computer! After she left, I started putting the computer back together, just as it was fully assembled my mom came back in with my father to see what I had done.
Gazing at the computer in amazement, she exclaimed, “Did you put that together? Does it work?” I crossed my fingers and replied, “Of course, it does!” I plugged in and powered up the computer. Ever since that moment, I pushed myself to learn everything I could about computers and electronic devices, learning to solder, modify parts, and over the years, I have built many custom computers.
After I graduated from high school, I started hanging with the wrong people. Many would say I turned into the wrong people. I spent a year or two spinning out of control to the point of praying to God to change my life, to help me get out of the messes I had created for myself. I needed to get away from home. It felt like a dream, but months later, I joined the United States Marine Corps. I truly believe that this was God's way of instilling change in me.
Through challenges and pain, many of the undisciplined qualities I possessed were eliminated, and some not-so-good qualities, like pride, crept in. Most importantly, my experience in the Corps was the way that God showed me how to navigate the world with complete trust that He’d have my back. I was a mess when I joined, but at the time, I thought that serving my country was at least honorable, and most likely the first “good thing” I had done.
I learned a lot in the Corps. You’re always told “never raise your hand and volunteer for things". Despite popular opinion, I always volunteered for everything. I served in several job billets. While deployed overseas, I was a machine gunner on the turret of a Humvee. I quickly realized that I should also apply my electronics knowledge to better serve the Marines around me. The threat in Iraq at the time was Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). I learned as much as I could about the way the IEDs were being built and the countermeasure systems that protected us.
I ended up working alongside EOD and became a certified subject matter expert in electronic countermeasures, teaching the Marines how the devices were being built, how to find them, as well as testing and fixing the electronic countermeasure systems that were built into the military vehicles. I did over 50 Combat missions doing route sweeps looking for IEDs, and we found many.
At the end of my deployment, I was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for my service. After returning home from that deployment, it was around the time the first iPhone came out. I was among the first to jump on the iPhone bandwagon, and it wasn’t even two weeks before military training caused me to crush my screen while it was in my pocket. Naturally, I decided to order the part and fix it myself.
I saw an opportunity. From that point on I developed a passion for portable devices, learning and reverse engineering every cell phone and tablet that I could get my hands on. A couple years and my last duty station later, I had the vision of an online-based repair company called iRepairFast, a way to fix broken devices all around the world. I used the last couple of years while serving in the Military to create and refine this new business.
I created the website and ran the business out of the garage and back workshop at my house. So many things are learned from running an online business, particularly having to look bigger than your britches. Without having a brick-and-mortar store, looking legit was a challenge. Building a strong presence took two years of working for the Marines and many long nights fixing devices in my workshop.
Thanks to learning how to create instructional videos on YouTube, we blew up online. Once my contract ended, I was blessed to have the ability to get out of the Marine Corps making a great living with our online based repair business, and opened three iRepairFast local brick and mortar stores around my hometown. We built up an amazing clientele and we were rated number one repair company in all of North Florida.
I launched a couple different businesses while running iRepairFast: an aerial videography business, an automotive company called iDriveFast, and Overkill Computers. We were building insane custom gaming PCs out of the back of the iRepairFast location. And it was going really well. We were making cinematic style PC Build videos and were getting millions of views.
Sooner or later I decided that the iRepairFast brand was just not sexy enough for the Gaming PCs that we were building. So I took the PC Building operation out of iRepairFast and founded Overkill Computers. With iRepairFast my plan was to build up the store to a certain point and turn it into a franchise.
This is where your “Plan” doesn’t work out that way and you realize that you aren’t necessarily in control like you thought you were. It was also where God reminded me he possesses the plan for my life. The repair Industry had changed, insurance companies had taken a big bite out of the repair industry, right to repair with Apple products was hurting us, and the third location was too new. It had not built up a local clientele yet and it was hemorrhaging money. I was spending hundreds of thousands keeping people employed at the store. It was eating into most of the profits of the other two stores, and I had to make some tough decisions.
So I walked away from the third location and brought that team back to the second location where we were building PC’s. As we were JUST getting situated, recouping some costs, Covid happened. I kept pushing full speed with Overkill, it was a hard time, and I knew that I wanted to get Overkill to a different location. A warehouse where we could be creative and grow. I knew my lease was coming up on my other locations.
And I had a decision to make, keep iRepairFast open and put time, effort and money into turning the stores back during covid? A time where walk-in customers were decreasing at a rapid rate? Where cities were forcing people to shut down stores? Or would I use this adversity as strength, and focus on pushing Overkill Computers to the warehouse? So I did it, I shut down the repair company that got me out of the Marines, I moved Overkill into a warehouse. But the adversity didn't stop there.
Covid had pushed the supply chain for computer hardware to a drought. It was hard to get the parts we needed for PC’s. We were getting lots of orders, but we could not fulfill them. We called every customer and asked that they stick with us through it, and all but a couple did. We pushed hard to get computer parts and reinforce relationships with hardware manufacturers to get stock.
We were buying from suppliers when we could, and then in small quantities directly from some of the big names. But it was slow and arduous. I could not pull profits for employees and overhead until I knew that we could actually build the PC. I was essentially holding onto millions of dollars I could not touch.
As covid got even worse and supply chains deteriorated further I knew I had to dial down and bring a new flow of revenue into the business. We had some success with building PC’s as marketing deals and then giving away the PC’s to people. So we doubled down on this through Covid, now over the last two years we’ve given away almost 30 Gaming PC’s. We’ve also made some huge strategic brand deals. Now that we are finally coming out of the other side of covid I sit back in amazement at how seemingly painful things can be turned into positive things.
If you trust God, and take every chance to turn adversity into a learning opportunity, you can walk away from hardships victorious. My best friend Thomas has a saying he hijacked from Eric Hoffer. “In times of change the learners inherit the earth”. This has never been more true for businesses and people during these economic times. What is the future of Overkill Computers? I don't know. What I do know is that YOU have a part in what happens next, whether you’re someone who follows, likes, or shares our videos.
As covid got even worse and supply chains deteriorated further I knew I had to dial down and bring a new flow of revenue into the business. We had some success with building PC’s as marketing deals and then giving away the PC’s to people. So we doubled down on this through Covid, now over the last two years we’ve given away almost 30 Gaming PC’s. We’ve also made some huge strategic brand deals. Now that we are finally coming out of the other side of covid I sit back in amazement at how seemingly painful things can be turned into positive things If you trust God, and take every chance to turn adversity into a learning opportunity you can walk away from hardships victorious. My best friend Thomas has a saying he hijacked from Eric Hoffer. “In times of change the learners inherit the earth”. This has never been more true for businesses and people during these economic times. What’s the future of Overkill Computers? I don't know. But what I do know is that YOU have a part in what happens next. Whether you’re someone who follows, likes, and shares our videos.
If you're planning on buying a Gaming PC from our store, or if you're company reading this who wants to do strategic marketing with us. WHOEVER is reading this, YOU are a part of the future of Overkill Computers.
What I’ve learned, to trust in Jesus Christ through adversity, try to be humble, and never stop pushing.