Back in 2010, three people got together to make a product. They didn’t know at first what the product would be, but they knew they wanted to make something awesome and take it to market. This is their story.
Mike has worked on other people’s products for a long long time. He wanted to make his own products. He’s had lots of ideas — and had developed enough experience to take something to market, but what to make?
One evening, Mike, Kathy and Angela were sitting around the campfire discussing a product he was working on. Most of the customers, and the whole development team were men. Kathy said “When are you going to make something for the women?”
Well, Mike and the Doc have been together for a few years, he and knew better than to presume what a woman might like. The conversation went something like “OK, I give up, what could *I* make for women?” Kathy said “well, everyone I know hates their vibrator”.
Hasn’t everything been done in this field? People have been patenting vibrators for over 100 years. Mike is a geek. He knows stuff like that. What could a guy possibly make *for women* that was better than anything out there? Well, a guy all by himself couldn’t, but this was a challenge that Mike could not pass up.
Mike contacted people in the industry to try and figure out how one might make such a device. Carol at Good Vibrations basically said “why the hell not?”. The owner at Vibratex told Mike that its a rough-tough business with lawyers, money and people trying to rip you off. Mike works in electronics — that’s nothing new. Mike made some simple prototypes, talked to industrial designers, and read up on the field. For a long time, Mike and Angela kicked ideas around at the office. Now you have to understand– they are introverted and basically pretty shy. The “conversations” were something like “what if we did….no wait, I can’t say that, let me email it to you”. Over the course of a year, they “invented” everything that had already been done.
Then one day….
Angela showed up at work with some seashells. Mike and Angela played with the shells, drew pictures, and Mike had the idea of making a device with features of a seashell, but using touch sensing (like your SmartPhone) instead of buttons or knobs. Using low-cost, high-performance chips we could make the device very smart to remember what the users liked. Using cutting edge batteries & charging technology, we could make a device would be “ready when you are”. There were a lot of possibilities. That same day, Kathy came home from the bookstore with a book of symbols and their meanings. and we wound up looking at this picture — Boticelli’s Birth of Venus.
The painting is full of symbolism, but when we saw Venus on the shell — well — it was like the universe was telling us something.
I would tell you how the story ends, but it hasn’t ended yet. That was just the beginning.
We’re not making a seashell shaped vibrator — but it did give us the idea for the shape. Its completely unique. The motor arrangement is completely unique. The way of controlling the device — our patent-pending “Intuitive Touch Technology” — is a completely new way to interact with handheld devices.