In Jason Olson's previous job, when calls became more frequent for a service his company didn't provide, he, like many entrepreneurs, saw an opportunity and grabbed it. Customers were looking for a source that could duplicate a tape to DVD or compact disc.
"We got calls daily, but we weren't going to buy the equipment for DVD duplication," he said.
So Olson, 35, bought his own equipment and four months ago opened Duplication Media in Urbandale. His service includes dopying of video and audio formats to another format and making multiple copies of CDs, DVDs, and videotpaes.
"Copying video to DVD is my most common order so far," he said. "Many people have me copy video to DVD and then make multiple copies of the DVD."
Another commonly requested service is converting audiocassettees to CDs.
"People are given old audiocassettes of family conversations, such as an interview with Grandma, and they want them converted into CDs," Olson said.
He can also convert time-lapse surveillance tapes - which must be viewed on a time-lapse VCR - to DVD, CD, or VHS.
One of the first things Olson did when opening his shop was to set up a web site. Iowa customers have found him there but he's also picked up several orders from out of state, such as the one from a North Carolina jewelry chain.
"They said my prices were lower and the job would be done quicker than the local company could do it," Olson said.
The University of North Carolina also told Olson it would be more cost effective to have him, rather than a local company, make a DVD of each of 84 tapes of Russian broadcasts for educational purposes, even though it meant sending him their deck player for the Russian format tapes.
Duplication Media can alo work with formats from other countries. "I got an order from New York from soneone who had a DVD of family videos that they wanted transferred to a PAL format for family members in Australia," he said.
Olson sees a possibility for increased business as companies eliminate paper and move toward electronic conveyance of information. On a recent day, Jim Nicholson of Farmers Mututal Hail Insurance of Iowa in Des Moines picked up 400 CDs to be shipped to company agents in 15 states.
"We're putting our reference manuals and general information on CDs," Nicholson said. "We're trying to cut down on sending papers to agents."
The order was the first that Farmers Mutual had done out of house, Nicholson said. Companies usually prefer the higher quality of a CD or DVD over videotape for marketing purposes, Olson said.
"A DVD can hold more information than a CD can," Olson said.
His equipment allows hime to duplicate 10 two-hour DVDs every 2 1/2 hours.
Olson, an Iowa native, has a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and film from Central Missouri State University. His plan was to go into TV sportscasting after college, but after a brief stint in on-air radio, he found hs way into a job with on-location video production, editing, and duplication in Kansas City. When his wife was pregnant with their first child - they now have two - the couple decided to return to Iowa.
Olson took a job in Des Moines with another media duplication company - the one that didn't want to purchase the DVD duplication equipment.
Olson set up his business in a strip mall, west of Hy-Vee Food Store on 86th Street and Douglas Avenue in Urbandale. With 900 square feet of space, he has plenty of elbow room.
Owning a business has always been Olson's dream.
"My parents owned a construction company since the early '70s, and I knew I wanted to be a business owner someday," he said.
He has so far met or exceeded his projected revenue goals for each month he's been in business.
"I attribute that to my quick turn-around, low prices, and keeping customers happy," he said. "They keep coming back, and that's the big thing."
For more information, contact:
Jason Olson - owner
8659 Douglas Avenue
Urbandale, Iowa 50322
(515) 334-DUPS 
FAX (515) 727-4904
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**Prices are subject to change without prior notice**
*Duplication Media will not duplicate any copyrighted material without PRIOR WRITTEN authorization from the copyright holder*