July 22, 2011

New Jellypods website design

Posted in Design, Frequent Flyer, Fun stuff, Luggage, Marketing, Packaging, Web at 10:56 am by Kilo

As we slowly, slowly move forward with the Jellypods product, various other bits of collateral are keeping pace and one of the most critical is the Jellypods website.

We already have one website design in hand, but we have worked with some old friends to create a new look and feel – a little bit more energetic and lively, perhaps.

Here are a couple of the very rough designs, as mockups without text or final graphics:-

The idea is to highlight both the transparency and coloration of the Jellypods in the way they are presented on the website, and to highlight some nice videos of Jellypods in action. The colour of the site will change as you select a different Jellypods colour. Do you like this?

Meanwhile we move forward with new CAD of the revised zipper design – more next week…

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March 5, 2011

Jellypods: the global business in a spare bedroom

Posted in Business model, Frequent Flyer, Fun stuff, Marketing, Production, Strategy, Web at 10:34 am by Kilo

Over the past year or so we’ve been working on a wide range of things associated with Jellypods, and it is striking just how easy it has been to find suppliers and coordinate a literally global effort from a spare bedroom.

Just to give some impression of the breadth of this activity, our main location is Munich in Germany, but we have worked with companies in the USA, Argentina, India, UK, Italy, Hong Kong and mainland China to get to this stage.

All of those links and efforts have been created and coordinated across the web, using a combination of tools that simply did not exist 10 or 15 years ago.

The first of these is the web itself. Just thinking back to the mid-1990’s, the internet was a fledgling system. Broadband in those days was a 128K modem. Today there is almost nothing you cannot find on or via the web, at speeds that we take for granted; VDSL at 25mb/s allows almost anybody to connect to the world in high definition, in real time, and it is enabling what Thomas Friedman calls a flat Earth. We’ve been able to make new friends, research suppliers, find interesting stories of similar endeavours, even learn the language of silicone injection moulding all from a Mac desktop at home.

The second toolset is Elance.com. Without Elance it is fair to say we would not have found some fantastic partners, some who delivered the CAD from our original hand-drawn technical designs, which allowed us get to the stage where we could take this product to manufacturing, some who have helped us with various marketing efforts, and others who have helped with some of the design concepts.

Another great tool is Skype. With video and voice calling over Skype it has been possible to liaise with partners 9 time zones away without spending a fortune on airfares. Is it perfect? No, but it is pretty good, and we have been able to establish and maintain great relationships using this medium.

And of course modern email is the core of formal communications. Sending simple messages, instructions, huge file attachments, pictures – all of it enabled by mailboxes that are supplied as part of cheap web domain hosting packages and free of charge email clients like Thunderbird.

Finally social communications tools like this WordPress blog, bulletin boards like Flyertalk, Twitter, and Facebook, all help create a degree of connectivity and intimacy with our friends, fans and future potential customers. It is interesting to see just how much activity we see on this blog when we have done almost literally zero promotion – on some days more than 100 visitors – which is encouraging for when we do finally decide to go public in a bigger way.

All this means we have literally been able to create a small, but still global endeavour from a spare room at minimal cost. And on April 6th-7th we’ll see the fruits of all those labours live for the first time, when we visit the moulding factory and see the Jellypods coming off the machines. Stay tuned for more news soon!

April 28, 2010

First time through an Xray

Posted in 3D printing, Feedback, Fun stuff at 6:02 pm by Kilo

Last week we promised to tell you about something that happened as we traveled through Munich airport a few weeks back.

We were stopped at the airport x-ray scanner by security who saw the Jellypods 3D prototype in our hand luggage on the scanner (shown below scaled against an apple).

They pulled it out and were turning it around in a kind of wonder, and after swabbing for explosives, asked what it was.

When the Jellypods secret was revealed, a small crowd of 4-5 German security guards and x-ray staff gathered around saying “what a cool idea” “where can I buy it?” “what does it cost” “when is it coming out?” etc.

One of the new fans even gave us his email and phone number to get one when they come out and two of them have signed up for email updates at the website.

How nice is it that the airport security people think Jellypods are a good idea? And it’s interesting also that they didn’t raise any concerns about the design or validity of such an approach. To be honest, this is the reaction we get almost every time we show the Jellypods to people for the first time – let’s hope that level of enthusiasm translates into customers joining the Jellypods crowd at some point.

FOOTNOTE:

Another little story from the x-ray line this week on the way to Italy: one of our party was in the line with a football team on Monday morning, and not being a football cognoscenti, asked one of the be-suited players “Are you all in a football team?”

The player said “Yes. Bayern Munich.”

Our correspondent then asked “Are you going somewhere nice?”

The player responded “Lyon. Champions League semi-final.”

Our man apologized for not having a clue, but then remembered something and said “Some of my friends were quite upset when you guys beat Fiorentina recently.”

The player looked at our man a bit oddly, then shrugged and said “Yes. We won.”

The conversation seemed to have reached a natural end, and our man continued to check his hand luggage through the scanner.

On the other side he noticed the boarding pass of the player with whom he had been chatting – some guy called Miroslav Klose.

Yes. The very same Miroslav Klose who was accused of scoring the offside goal that put Bayern through against Fiorentina and into the Champions League finals…

Never heard of him.

April 24, 2010

Jellypods website under way

Posted in Design, Feedback, Fun stuff, Marketing, Web at 10:02 am by Kilo

Sometimes when we look at the list of things that have to get done to bring Jellypods into the world it is staggering how far we have come in such a short period.

The main reason is that we are able to rely on a bunch of great people helping us get things done, even while we sleep. A good example is the new Jellypods website, which is making excellent progress thanks to our friends at SF360 in Santa Fe, Argentina.

The http://www.jellypods.com website currently features nothing more than a simple logo and email sign-up – but it is soon to undergo a big pre-launch makeover.

The design and editorial team have been working on the first iteration of the site during March and April, and we are almost ready to take it out for a first test drive and public viewing. A sneak preview of a couple of the work-in-progress screenshots below (the arrows are feedback comments on the design roughs):-

You can hopefully see that we’re trying to make a website that allows visitors to understand Jellypods as much as possible by playing with the product a little bit in virtual Flash demos, and that also engages ongoing interest through interaction with Jellypods customers. One of those interactions is the “Loop” section, that allows Jellypods users to upload stories, photos and even their own test videos.

Test videos are an idea we will be writing more about shortly. In the meantime, it’s a sunny day and it’s the weekend!