New Gear Ideas???

1:39 p.m. on January 20, 2006 (EST)
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My bro and I are in the research and development stages of a small company trying to make a difference in the world of outdoor gear. my bro and i are developing products as i speak to be brought to the market. Everything from outerwear,shells and base layers, to tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags. There is much to be done while in these stages and i am looking for advice or info on anything that you the consumer would like to see any of these products that are not on the market just yet. I want those ideas that you say to yourself while laying in a sleeping bag one night on the western slope, "i wish my tent had this, or i wish my sleeping bag formed this way to my body." anything and everything is what we are looking for. being in the beginning stages as we are, your ideas could have a direct influence on tomarrow's outdoor gear market with the future of this company. if you would create anything for these types of product, let me know about it. You could be using your very ideas on a backpack a couple months from now. we look forward to hearing from you guys. you can reach me by email (use a subject like GEAR IDEA or whatever) or AOL Instant Message me. my username is sayteller. thanks. God Speed & Great Adventures, -Jay

5:47 a.m. on January 22, 2006 (EST)
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things that turned me completly off with your introduction post:

1. "we look forward to hearing from you guys."

you better change the verbage in your "shpeal" to include women. Women do backback and camp ya know. Women probably have the best ideas for improvements for outdoor gear.

2. "my username is sayteller"

Most backpackers are pretty independant, secure and realistic people.

Hardly anyone is going to give positive responses to someone who conures up mental images of a fantasy character. "Sayteller" makes me think of some troll who lives in a tree and stops people along their journey to sell them magic farting beans... some kind of hobbit thing.

3. Loose the "my bro and I".

sorry to knit pick, but I was once an advertising psychologist and little things like I just mentioned drive me nuts... and you did ask for input.

re-write and repost

1:30 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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How about No! I dont see a need to "re-write and re-post" My user name, sayteller, is simply a name, has nothing to do with any fantasy characters or anything like that. It sounds to me like you need to get past some issues. You are focusing on the wrong things here entirely! My brother and I are the ones starting this company, and for what reasons would i not let you know that. Work on your issues and if you have some input on the topics that i was first talking about, let me know otherwise shut up! I know youd like to think you are some high and mighty ultra-backpaker that knows advertsing like the back of your hand, but get real and leave the dumb-ass crap alone, and try to see what im doing here. thanks. have a great day.

2:31 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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No, sorry your wrong.... I'm not an ultra-backpacker.

Good luck with the company.

2:57 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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thanks, its doing great!

6:31 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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Ed is about as far from an "ultra" backpacker as you can get and still backpack. Hmmm, wellll, sometimes he has been known to use mechanized off-trail or over-water transportation devices to get to where he can hang his hammock. Say! I know! you could come up with something that would make it easier for Ed to hang his hammock further out of reach of the 'gators during the next hurricane.

I will have to say, I agree in large measure with Ed's comments. When I saw your first post (and reinforced by your response to Ed), I was torn between pointing out the Trailspace header which says "no commercials" (which your original post is very close to) and simply ignoring the whole thing. But maybe you could use a little help if you are ever going to get off the ground. Who knows? Maybe you could be another Dick Kelty, Yvon Chouinard, Dana Gleason, or one of the other greats in the field of outdoor gear (on second thought, naaaahhhh, not with the approach you took at the start).

One serious piece of advice I would give you is to go to the Outdoor Retailer Show and other trade shows and see what is out there on the market and what new ideas are being pushed and shown for reaction. As a "non-exhibiting manufacturer", I think you can register for free for the OR (not for next week's Winter version, since the deadline for free registration is past, but for the August Summer version). Check their website for details. I have been going to the ORShow for a few years now, and I'll tell you - there ain't much new that hasn't been floated, including lots of excellent ideas that have sunk out of sight. Mostly refinements and variations. Oh, yeah, there have been huge changes in fabrics for clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and such. And there have been many variations on the pack theme - internal, external, large and small capacity, lots of loops and straps to attach things, adjust load distributions and positions, and cinch things down, clean designs with no straps (and everything in between), lots of compartments and pockets, cut weight by eliminating compartments and pockets. Same kind of thing with tents - large, small, freestanding, pegged, ultralight, reinforced for hurricane-force winds, and on and on. Same thing with outerwear - pockets all over, no pockets, zippers with flaps, waterproof zippers, hoods sized to fit over the helmet, hoods with a tight fit for weatherproofness, pitzips and ventral zips for ventilation, very breathable fabrics (if you are thinking outerwear, you better be familiar with materials like eVent and Epic, as well as the variations on microfiber and the whole Goretex and Goretex-knockoff world). I think this next week's show has something like 2500 exhibitors, ranging from 1 and 2 person operations to the megacompanies, materials people (fabrics, fasteners, etc) and finished goods companies.

That is not to say that there is no room, but rather that trade shows like the OR are a good place to get an overview of what's already out there and to figure out where the niches are that your ideas could cover.

You really should take Ed's comment about "guys" to heart. As you would see at the trade shows, the female part of the market is huge and grossly underserved. Don't get fooled into thinking that it's just the "fashion" side of things. There are lots of "hard women" who are harder than the vast majority of "hard men". There is still room for innovation in woman-friendly pack design, sleeping bag design, boot design, climbing tool design, you name it, everything in the outdoor world.

As for Ed's comments on your username and the "bro" thing - are you going into a serious business or trying to play the "in" game (to borrow an even older "out of fashion" term)? If you are seriously trying to develop gear for the outdoor market, you need to get serious. Keep in mind the hard statistics - half of all startups die in the first year. Somewhere between 80 and 90 percent vanish within 5 years. Go to several of the major trade shows and do a lot of listening and observing. And yes, as Ed said, change your approach.

One of the other things about going to the trade shows is to find out what ideas might already be patented and trademarked. Check your ideas out against what is already there. Because, intrude or appear to intrude on an existing patent or design and a lot of big companies have lawyers who will eat you for a mid-afternoon snack.

And, yeah, Ed is right in wishing you "good luck". Far too much of it is just that, luck. Oh, and if you are alert, you will find a wealth of ideas to investigate in what I wrote here.

6:46 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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That's great Jim.

It truly is good to hear when grassroot companies make a go of it. That is the American dream.

I was hoping you weren't getting soft on me and pouting. I was just giving you nothing more than a critique. Get ready for things to get progressively tougher for you as you progress.

Then there is that darn pain in the butt stuff involving contracts, patents and royalties. I'm sure you understand that people aren't going to give up their good ideas for nothing to some guy who suddenly appears on the internet.

Since you are trying your best to solicit ideas, don't you think it might be fair to tell your future partners the name of our growing business?

Tell us your business plan and how we will benefit.

6:55 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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sorry "Jay", not Jim.

Listen to Bill. He IS the ultra-backpacker.

We love our OGBO (the gators snapping at my butt made me say that).

I'm off to go boil some filtered water.


7:04 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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Notice that Ed said "ultra-backpacker", not "ultralight backpacker". And even that is an exageration.

Actually, Ed, you are wrong. I'm not a backpacker at all. I only carry a pack to hold the climbing gear, plus a bit of food and water (can't stand that boiled and filtered stuff). My favorite climbs are the ones where the first belay anchor is the bumper of the car.

7:19 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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Damn it Bill. I'm always wrong.

Even that one time that I tought I was wrong and I turned out to right....

Hey Jay...I'm currently a senior mechanical designer in the R&D department of an international power technology company. I'd be more than willing to produce the graphics you will need when applying for patents, or 3D computer graphics and renderings of any new pieces of equipment for marketing.

Let me know if your interested and we can discuss rates (equipment bartering is always exceptable). I charge per megabyte.

People thought the Gazelle was stupid. WE can do this!

7:53 p.m. on January 23, 2006 (EST)
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Gosh, I go play in the snow for a couple hours and look what I miss...

Jay, I'd take Ed and Bill's advice to heart. Also keep in mind that a couple unprofessional posts on a message board can be enough to sink a small company. Take a lesson from the current brouhaha over CMM's Alien cams, in which a couple flippant posts from the company's owner did irreversable damage to the company's reputation, its bottom line, and possibly even doomed its existance.

Like Ed, I'd certainly be interested to learn a little more about your company.

9:59 a.m. on January 24, 2006 (EST)
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Now this is more like it! I have to start out by saying that I am sorry for my comments earlier to you Ed. I think the way i may interpreted your message set me off. I really do appreciate any and all help that you guys are giving me. To be honest and fair, this is my first ever thread on a forum. I have never beofe set foot into a forum site, so i realize im probally ruff around the edges. thanks for being patient with me. although i feel no need at this time to tell you the name of the company we are starting, but i will tell you that I am a mere 22 years old and probally think im better at this stuff than i actually am (im working on that). However, there is a passion in me that i cannot ignore. a pssion to create. i realize a company cannot survive on passion alone but i am dedicated to making this work. I need to create gear that will make people go nuts, and wish they would have thought of it. I know this , because i wish id thought of Big Agnes's Air Core pad system that slides into the bag. That was the one thing that got me going. We currently are shipping items out for prototyping that i think people will like. And in no way do i mean for this to be a commercial message, i am simply talking with other outdoorsman and women to see what they would like to see. My wife is working on a jacket and pack design to fit women better and also appeal to them in a more fashionable way while serving the particular needs of a woman when hiking or climbing. In closing, thanks to all and once again sorry for being rash. -Jay

10:29 p.m. on January 25, 2006 (EST)
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Suggest narrowing your scope if the goal is a successful startup. Dabbling in just about everything, I think, will guarantee lack of excellence in anything.

Some specifics:
I love everything about my WM sleeping bag except the velcro strips (too small) and the hood (too shapeless). Just needs a little tweaking to achieve perfection, but they haven't hit it yet.

Dehydrated food. No one has a lock on this. I like the Mountain House single serve vacuum pack idea, but portions are too small and most of the food is crap. Backpackers pantry has better food and portions (generally) but the packages are so huge one needs 2-3 bear cannisters for a week trek.

Thermals. When somebody makes a smartwool t-shirt akin to a patagonia silkweight I'm in.

Footgear. No one gets size 15 and above right, not socks, shoes, or boots. Perhaps the market is just too small.

Everything else I have is close enough. Good luck on your venture. Steve

June 23, 2018
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