After partnering one of our clients in a new venture I had to travel to Eurobike, Friedrichshafen (Ellen typed in this name I was lost after Fried..) in Germany to launch our new product.
Purpose of my trip was to launch our new ground breaking cycling cleat, not very exciting for none cyclist but passing interest to other business people & entrepreneurs.
|Our busy stand|
So... I thought lets make some cleats that last longer, after a short period of deep thought I had it, why not make them double sided?
Now having the idea is the easiest part of inventing the difficulty comes is when you have to: design it, patent it, make prototypes, go through 100's of hours CAD time make numerous mistakes and wrong assumptions, get other people to believe in it, ignore detractors, make sure you can make it a price people will pay, plan your route to market and finally sales and marketing (which Mako are helping with). Oh! and get partner agreement on the name.
Because the original prototype looks like a ugly face in certain light I decided that's a good name UGLYFACE (still love it!) we eventually went with 2FACE (Like this too!).
This product has got this far thanks to 2 other people, mainly John O'brien from FIBRAX who instantly realised the benefit of a unique product for his company (Fibrax are a quality driven family run business with a rich 100 year history and are the only remaining British cycle parts manufacturer). Matt Skelhorne a trainee product designer from Fibrax (he's a clever little git). Other members of the Fibrax team where instrumental in progressing the project in no small part as well, Sarah, Peter & Robert. The main benefit of the cleat other than potential strong sales is that it works better than an Ad campaign. There's only so much you can say and only so much excitement you can generate in relation to cycle brake parts, which every other manufacturer or importer more or less does similar products. But a new innovative product makes media column inches and drives brand awareness.
We launched 2FACE at Eurobike end of last month and what a response we got, wholesalers where very keen to start stocking the cleat and it has justifiably revived interest in Fibrax from numerous quarters of the cycle industry.
To end I repeated in reverse my inward journey with the added discomfort of pouring rain (with no coat) and the disappointment of seeing the hourly Catamaran disappearing out of the ferry port as I disembarked the shuttle bus, aaarrrggghhhh!
|Compensation for the long journey is the little resort town |
of Lindau, beautiful.