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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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Temporarily Discontinuing the Blue-Label Program

I'm introducing a customizable version of the Ready-Made in 2015, called simply the "Alpha Custom." It will have the exact same components & options as a Blue-Label, but built into a Ready-Made shell. These will be sold in "runs" just like the Blue-Label lights have been. If you want to get on the wait list please sign up here. This list is NOT the same as the general mailing list. I also haven't had time to change the verbiage on the signup page to reflect the discontinuation of the Blue-Label don't let that confuse you :) 

I'd like to spend more time pushing the envelope and less time doing the same thing over and over. I hope temporarily suspending the Blue Label program will give me more time to work on some special edition lights. I've had a carbon fiber light on deck for about 1.5 years but I've never had time to finalize the design and machining. It's almost here and 30 pcs will be available in early 2015. See, it's working already :)    

Right now there are a LOT people on the BL wait-list, and this is one of the main reasons I'm switching over to the Alpha Custom. My hope is that I'll be able to deliver these on a more consistent basis since I don't have to do the machining or spend the (countless) tedious hours on fancy finishes. I know this is going to make some people upset and others really happy, but this is what we've got to work with :) I'm very aware that some of the appeal with Blue-Label lights is the 100% hands on approach and the fancy finishes, but my current workload just doesn't permit me to make those and get anything else done. My humble apologies to everyone who has been waiting a long time to get their hands on a Blue Label. There is only one of me and I'm doing the best that I can. 

Quality-wise, the Ready Made bodies are every bit as good as the Blue Label. In fact, they might be better. They are machined by a guy who has been making chips longer than I've been alive. As a testament to his skill and talent, the Ready-Made shells are plated exactly in the condition they come off the machine. If I put fancy finishes on top of his perfect machining, it would be tantamount to disrespect.

The only real difference between the Blue Label and Alpha Custom (besides appearance) is the thread fit. I make the Blue Label threads to the tightest tolerance in the industry, which is more about showing off than performance. My personal light (that I carry everyday) is a Ready Made "because it's everything you need and nothing you don't." I stole that line from Nissan. I firmly believe that the Alpha Custom will fully represent my intention to build the best flashlights on earth. These will be serialized as Blue-Label lights, come with an individual report card, and be eligible for the "lifetime upgrade program" where you can upgrade your light to the most current version (if possible) for a reduced cost. 

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