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…


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!

January 15, 2011

The market for Jellypods

Posted in Airlines, Blue Ocean, Branding, Business model, Design, Funding, Investors, Luggage, Marketing, Materials, Web at 11:28 am by Kilo

We started the Jellypods journey from a personal need, but we’re continuing it beyond the “half-hour serious” phase because to the potential of the original idea.

The original Jellypods design, for frequent flyers, is addressing a large market;  according to IATA, the International Air Transport Association, more than 2,750,000,000 passengers – equivalent to 40% of the entire population of the planet Earth – are going to get on an airplane in 2011. Now not all of those are unique travellers – many are the same person taking multiple trips, frequent flyers.

But just one airline loyalty programme, Lufthansa’s Miles and More, has 15,000,000 registered frequent travellers, and about 350,000 of those are elite travellers, Senators or Hons. Multiply those kinds of figures by the number of major airlines on the planet (about 100 of the 300 or so out there), and that’s a big market that can be addressed relatively readily.

Then when we started to look beyond the core market of the initial design, and look at other uses for nicely designed, waterproof, quirky bags made of hygienic, stretchy, safe, washable, heat/sun/rain/sea/tea/cold resistant bags we found literally dozens of markets out there and started naming various new Jellypods designs after them. We also saw that the basic design could be extended and evolved in new ways to create ideas like Jellyshells (more about this later this year), opening up even more new markets.

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!

April 11, 2010

Welcome to Jellypods

Posted in Web at 8:25 pm by Kilo

Hello there, and welcome to the story of how we invented, designed, produced and marketed a new set of products called Jellypods.

Initially Jellypods are designed to be the ultimate in soft, tough, stretchy, hygienic, transparent carrying cases for liquids and gels in airline hand luggage. Ultimately they will extend into many other areas.

We’re going to show you what we did, why we did it, how we did it, who helped us and when. We’re going to give as much behind-the-scenes detail as possible – details about starting up, product design, marketing, sales and production.

Some posts will be historical, but most will be almost real-time – much of the work will happen close to publication, as we launch Jellypods into the world.

And now, on with the show….

April 10, 2010

How the name happened

Posted in Marketing, Trademarks, Web at 9:17 am by Kilo

Once we had made some decisions on the type of material to be used in the Jellypods, we tried to find a name that fit the way they would appear or feel.

We played around with all kinds of words over a couple of days – pod, pack, case, bag, podule, gel, pax – and had a couple of nice words like Gelpod, Gelpack running around our heads. Then just as we were about to settle for less, our little daughter held up a yellow jellyfish bath toy and beamed at us.

If there is such a thing as a eureka moment, that was one of them – ka-pow! A jellypod! Jellypods! What a great fit – it tells you exactly what it is and by the way sounds pretty nice tripping off the tongue.

A quick Google told us the domain name was free and that the category was pretty much unknown on the internet – something like 2,000 hits and nothing coherent. Bingo. The www.jellypods.com web address was registered soon thereafter, and email addresses were up and running not long after that.

The link to jellyfish was also instrumental in several other signature design feature – more on those in another entry.