Gino Tsai, Jd Corp.
When Gino Tsai added a sleek aluminum frame and neon-colored wheels to a 70-year-old toy, he inadvertently created the must-have product of the year: the Razor Scooter. But all the 44-year-old president of JD Corp. wanted was a quick way to negotiate his sprawling bicycle factory floor in Chang Hua, Taiwan. "My legs are too short, and my walking speed always seems too slow," he says. Tsai, a mechanical engineer, was quick to see the potential. In the summer of 1998, he took the scooter to a convention in Chicago. Sharper Image Corp. ordered 4,000 of them. By August, 1999, JD could not keep up with demand. Tsai boosted output to 1 million in November, 2000. Last year, the company more than doubled its 1999 revenue of $40 million. Tsai has designed a battery-operated scooter; a longer, more stable version; and a shorter one for daredevils. But Tsai won't sell them until after the holidays--when he figures the fad might start to fade.
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