But does working with your twin create friction, especially when you have such different mindsets? “We had quite a lot of friction at the start,” admitted Joe. During the early days, they were “grinding” obsessively in the office seven days a week – “grinding” is a gamer term for repeating less glamorous tasks to “level up” your character – and constantly working or planning their next steps. They did not always agree on what those steps should be. However, both agree that going at each other really did help to improve things.
“As long as you’re fighting over something logical,” Marcus says. “It’s always good to express your opinions. If you always [agree], it’s not a good thing.” Joe adds: “Eventually, we decided to play to our strengths. Now, we are each in charge of different things, and we each give inputs, but leave the final decision to the [brother] in charge of the issue.” As Aftershock grows, a key challenge to managing this growth is keeping their original vision in mind. From just gaming laptops, they now build high performance PCs for people from all walks of life, ranging from videographers and photographers who need the high resolution rendering power, to scientists and corporate customers who run complex simulations all day.
For the curious tech geeks, these latter machines are decked out with dual Zeon CPUs, four graphics cards, 128GB of RAM, 20TB of SSD storage, and special cooling solutions so that they can run non-stop. They’re upping customisation options with rare components and custom casings, as well as their signature custom paint jobs using automotive paints. They are also venturing into new products like monitors (under their Prism+ label) and other computer accessories.
But Aftershock made its name with customer service, and Marcus and Joe are adamant that this is an area that cannot be neglected with its rapid growth and higher turnarounds. To cope with the increased volume, they needed to grow the company with like- inded people who are equally passionate about the product and the gaming culture. “As our company grew, we hired some of our customers!” said Marcus. “We hired passionate customers who understood us. When customers buy a $2,000 to $3,000 product, it means they believe in the product.”
To ensure Aftershock’s continued success, the brothers intend to do what they’ve always been doing: be immersed in their business, and work hard all the time. “Hard work is our secret recipe,” said Marcus. “In gamer terms, be a grinder.”