I'm a new father who used his two-month paternity leave to design a product, start a company, form a team and create a launch plan (while helping out around the house). AMA!
This past November when we welcomed our second son into the world I was lucky enough to receive 2 months of paid paternity leave. Besides being thrilled to spend time with my wife and children, I also knew it would probably be the only time I'd ever get paid to take a 2-month break from work. So... I used the time to create a company, design and manufacture a product, form a team, and plan a launch.
I want to use this AMA to explain how modern-day tools make it possible to do this kind of thing so quickly, and hopefully inspire others who have their own dreams but could use more info on how to make it work while maintaining balance in their lives.
In the interest of being straight up, yes, I do have a product, but I would honestly be thrilled if I got to talk more about the process. In the interest of focusing on the stuff I want to talk about, I'll post the IndieGoGo link after the AMA is over, but you can check out our website at www.prydwenvest.com. Also, I have an amazing network of friends and family who may be asking questions. Some of them are actually over the age 50 and didn't have reddit accounts before this IamA... so no, that's not a sock puppet, it's my mom. ;)
Here are some of the details:
The company is a personal protection company. Until November I knew next to nothing about ballistic protection, but my background is in trade & product compliance (I'm an attorney) so I was confident I could ask the right questions of potential manufacturers.
Our first product is an outdoor bleacher-style chair that converts quickly into a bulletproof vest. Original idea was for a bulletproof blanket, which was a no-go for multiple reasons, but the convertible chair / vest came together quickly and seemed like the right balance between functionality and usefulness.
My launch team includes myself, an engineer / cross-border logistics expert, a product strategy guy, a videographer, a social media manager, and an actress/sales executive. I knew everyone going in except for the london-based videographer, who is now a friend and equity holder, and the social media manager, an amazing Nigeria-based
princess with a giant fortunecollaborator who manages our SM presence. (Only kidding, Anny!)
We launched the product Monday on Kickstarter, but it was taken down within six hours. That same morning we moved the entire thing over to IndieGoGo. I don't want to dwell on this here, but you can read more about it in this thread. https://tinyurl.com/eatmekickstarter
The things I want to share are, in no particular order: my experience starting a company and developing a new product in less than two months, the state of bulletproof technology and the implications for society, the power of multifunctional design, digital-age marketing strategy, and how to utilize your social network to build a project team.
Proof: https://truepic.com/n5r3mx7l (apologies for the blur... five-month-olds are wiggly)
I will be answering questions today from 12:00 - 4:30 pm, Eastern Time. Will try to follow up later this evening if there's enough interest. (Updated time to add a few more minutes before I have to get into work)
TLDR : During my paternity leave I and my launch team designed, patented, tested and manufactured a stadium-style chair that converts into a bulletproof vest. I'd love to answer your questions about how modern tools & technology allowed us to do in just a few months all the things that used to take much, much longer.
EDIT - So I'm signing off. I'd love to stay, especially as good questions are still rolling in. I will log in when I get a chance later on, but won't be answering in real time. Thank you everyone for taking the time to read through my rather lengthy responses, and for giving this AMA the benefit of the doubt. It's been a pleasure. Here's the link to the IGG campaign: https://tinyurl.com/prydwenvest