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About Bing:

A Path Less Traveled – Bing’s Story

The path that took me to where I am today is definitely pretty circuitous, a route less traveled compared to the industry norm but in my opinion directly correlated to how I operate. Here is my best attempted at an abridged version of the tale:

I was born in Beijing, China and lived there until I was 14. In 1991, I moved to the United States and settled down in a semi-rural town 50 minutes outside of New York City.   For me, growing up in Sparta, New Jersey as perhaps the only Asian kid in town really opened my eyes to things that may have otherwise eluded me; had I lived in a more Asian-rich neighborhood. By the end of high school, my hobbies included basketball, model airplane building and skiing, as well as the more locally flavored off-roading and modding trucks.

After high school I attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Soon, three passions emerged to define my college life and continue to shape my path to this very day.

Ever since I was a little kid, I had been fascinated with history. After taking a few college level courses, I was hooked. Within a year, I switched my major from Mechanical Engineering to History and Policy and got my Bachelor Degree in 2000. It is still my ultimate goal in life to get a PhD in history, get published, and teach at a collegiate level.

The second interest that surfaced was multicultural relations. CMU was a very diverse place, packed with people from all social, racial and economic backgrounds.   How people interacted; the complex relationships that were formed; and how it directly translated into local, national and international policies became a key attraction for me. After being accepted into the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management in 1999, I began my graduate studies in the self-created discipline of Multicultural Relations Policy.

After college, this drive to promote understanding and harmony between different groups of people led me to take a position as Outreach Director at the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (PCIV). For two years, I worked to not only foster stronger bonds between different social ethnic groups in the city and outlying areas, but also to keep the international students that attend schools here in the region after graduation. In addition, I was in charge of starting a web-based resource for international students – www.globalpittsburgh.org , a site that is still running strong today .

The third and final passion was obviously mobile electronics. Ever since helping a friend install some speakers from Crutchfield in high school, I had picked up car audio as a hobby. It remained somewhat sidelined until web-based forums and resources became available in the late 1990s. From then on, I became somewhat obsessed in learning the tricks of the trade. I started going through different systems in my own cars at an alarming rate, and soon graduated to installing gear in friends’ cars.   Throughout the last year of graduate school and the two subsequent years of working at PCIV, my appetite for everything 12 volt steadily grew, eventually reaching a point to directly compete with my nine to five career.

After 9/11, I felt that the region suddenly became less receptive with the idea of international talent retention; as a result, my job became more and more frustrating. Eventually, after two years, I decided to take a leap of faith and focus my attention on car audio.

At the time, it could be said that being CMU alumni and building cars is a bit of a waste. But to me, perhaps the most important lesson that I learned in college was that if we are truly passionate about something, then we should not be scared to pursue it. The old adage of “if you love what you do, then you don’t work a day in your life” held a great deal of appeal and meaning to me.

Using the money I saved up, I opened a small shop in 2003. But barely a year and a half later, I was already frustrated and ready to give up on the whole idea. The main reason for my unhappiness was linked directly to the demographic of the region. Pittsburgh is a very blue collar town, the vast majority of clients I encountered had little desire and means available to pursue the type of projects that truly sparked my interests. After months of doing “Deck and Four” installs, the excitement was pretty much gone.

By then I had been in Pittsburgh for 10 years, which was almost twice as long as I have stayed anywhere else; a change of venue was desperately needed. So in the summer of 2005, I took a second leap of faith and moved with my wife to Northern California, albeit with zero intention of getting back into car audio.

Purely by chance, I agreed to build a system as a favor for a friend (with nothing more than a jigsaw and basic hand tools). He posted the finished work on a website, and within a week, I received over a dozen emails from people asking about working on their car. After speaking to a few of them in detail, I realized that I had finally found a place where people had the drive and the money to allow me to do the type of work I have always dreamed of doing. I stopped sending out resumes and within a few days, repurchased all the major tools and went to work.

Over the next six years, by always holding true to my core values of honesty, integrity and quality, I steadily built up a reputation, both locally and across the country. As more and more clients flowed in, the limitation of being a one man operation became very obvious. By the summer of 2012, I was running a waiting list of almost a year. While the idea of having job security in the near future is a very appealing thing to have in this day and age, I realized that the issue would only get worse over time and the current business model has pretty much plateaued.

After much soul searching and cost analysis, the inevitable truth was staring me in the face: for Simplicity In Sound to move to the next level, I have to expand to a bigger location and bring on new people. From the get go, I was determined to build the new facility with partners, rather than employees; people with a vested interest in the future of SiS and who would not leave for a different opportunity at a moment’s notice.   Luckily, the car audio gods was smiling upon me and in the winter of 2012, I was able to secure partnerships with an understanding investor and most importantly, a fantastic installer in Joey. After spending two months renovating the shop and building our fabrication room, we officially opened the shop in late March, 2013 and have been working non-stop since then. Just where will this path take us? I have no idea, but what I do know is that I truly have not WORKED a single day for the past 8 years and my sincere hope is to continue that trend for the rest of my life!

Wow, this is a lot of verbiage. Maybe not quite the abridged version I was hoping for. I have always claimed that I install car audio because I truly am passionate about it, and I hope that in reading this, you can see this statement as more than mere lip service. I truly believe that my social and educational background allows me to view the industry from a slightly different angle and build a rapport with my clients on a deeper, more personal basis.

Thank you once again for taking the time to read this.

 

About JOey:

I have been passionate about cars and car audio for before I could drive.  I have worked at a number of different jobs over the years relating to the automotive industry.  My last job before coming to Simplicity in Sound was teaching in an Elementary School Computer class.  I am happy to be at Simplicity in Sound working daily to provide the best possible audio experience for our clients.

Thank you for taking your time and reading my long bio!  :-)

 


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SimplicityInSound
879 Ames Avenue
Milpitas, CA 95035 
USA 
Phone: 408.262.6075 
Cell:    408.533.2399 
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