limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

MC18-B full production run #1...out for plating

Quick update! I have sold out of my pre-production lights and I just dropped the next batch at Amex Plating. Hopefully they will be done by Wednesday and I'll start shipping production lights on Monday! I learned a few things and made some minor changes on this batch.

Production lights ready for EN (Electroless Nickel) Plating!
As I've mentioned, you should expect to see changes from batch to batch as the project progresses. This might be hard to get used to, but consider this: companies tend to come out with new products every year that have different features and improvements, whether we are talking about cars or iPhones. This timeline is largely due to the scale of business. In my case, since I do everything myself, my production is intentionally small and I can make changes as fast as I can think them up. My design and engineering cycles is measured in days, not months.

A (very) short development cycle has both drawbacks and advantages. The main advantage is continuous refinement of the product and not investing significant capital (risk) on a large "production runs." The main disadvantage is that it's hard to explain to customers. I expect some people will be upset that the light they bought last month has been replaced by an updated version. In fact, I hesitate to even bring it up...but I'm committed to transparency in building this business...and right now I'm not convinced that is a good idea :)

I'm attempting to distract you with pictures...
Do you have any thoughts as a customer? as a business owner? I'd love to hear your opinions on this topic since it's one of the biggest "unknowns" in my current business model.

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