Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Cloud USB - Democratic Design by Proxy!

When not online tooling around, I'm a product designer in my spare time... So it hit me like lightning! Since we usually make the products first and get opinions too late to change anything, why not ask the opinions first, then make something that we ALL will like!

Working in the room at The Whitcomb Hotel in San Francisco
Democratically design and manufacture a USB drive that takes all our opinions in a blender to arrive at what WE, the people want! A USB Shake! (so to speak... a USB shake would taste horrible...)

So, here are the basic components of a USB... 
1. It has a brain/guts that does most of the work...
2, There is an outer body that protects the guts - This is where you all can help!

Please see image below for a typical USB... 

At this point, I would love to receive opinions and suggestions on what a USB should be...

-Waterproof!?! We all spill beer, I mean water on our computers/phones etc, so why not make it waterproof?

-Ruggedized?!? How many of us drop things? Multiple times in a day? 

-Metal!?! Do we need it to be metal, like toy cars used to be?

- Smells?!? Should we impregnate the plastic with fragrance like some of the scratch and sniff stickers/objects we all grew up with...? 

Ok, so now that I've made a few suggestions myself, tell me what you think!

-First of all, we get comments, suggestions, and opinions piled together.
-Second, I will create sketches from these ideas and post them online to be commented and voted on.
-Thirdly, I will revise and we shall vote again on the final designs!
-Fourth-most, I will CAD this up and finalize any details, products official name, etc...
-Fifth of all, I will make a prototype, and throw this up on Kickstarter.com for liberty and justice for all!

*For those that aren't familiar with Kickstarter.com, it is a funding platform for projects that allows projects to get KICKstarted! www.kickstarter.com

At this juncture, manufacturing is next... With the funds from the Kickstarter campaign, I can tool up and begin producing these USBs up so they can ship out in time for Thanksgiving or the the Holidays! Tooling generally costs anywhere from 5-10K plus inventory, so it will take a bit of hustling the kickstarter here... My wish is that we get them into every stocking, laptop bag, cornucopia, or keychain, knowing full well that we all had a part in its success!

This could be the product coming down the green assembly line!
Why not? I make things EVERYDAY, and not everything that gets designed makes it to the stores. It is sad to see so many good ideas end up on the cutting room floor because bean counters kill projects before you guys can see them. So, I want to give you all a chance to participate; see what it is that I do, and be able to say, 'Not only did I help to bring this USB to market, but I helped make that product BETTER!'

I dub this term 'Democratic Design' TM!
So, let's get our ideas flowing and fingers typing... I look forward to working with you all!!! 
Besides, how many times have we all said, 'I could have done that better...'
Well, here's your chance!

Now! Because we all have fun things to do instead of chores. Tell me what you think, brainstorm a bit, and let's get this thing MADE! If you set a tray of cookies in the oven, email, facebook, or instagram me info, your cookies will be done baking and ready to eat... You'll feel as right as rain! 

The beauty of the internet is that ALL can participate from right where you are ruminating! Just type in some idears, and better yet, post a sketch or scribble! Instagram it! Just get it to me, and let me know... I'm all ears! 

Before I send you guys on your way to think about what you want in a USB, I want to thank you in advance for reading and participating.

Please, feel free to SHARE with your friends and have them send me info too! This project is for EVERYONE!

All the best, looking forward to what we create!

Ben LaBelle
email- ben@freshtoe.com
Facebook - freshtoe
instagram - #freshtoe

I.D.E.A. = Inventor-Designer-Engineer-Artist

I want to re-iterate for those that missed the AMAZING new platform...

*For those that aren't familiar with Kickstarter.com, its a funding platform for projects.
We all contribute to the end goal, so we can produce this product.

p.s. If for some reason, you all choose something horrible, I'm over it and will do what I want! jk! Have fun and give me some REAL input! We are all important, special, and deserve a voice! VOTE!

p.p.s. I apologize to my 7th grade English Teacher, Mrs. McCrae for my spelling, grammar, diction, and syntax... cuz I know better! ;)

DISCLAIMER: anyone that feels like copying my idea, email me first. It's a good idea, but I thought of it first. Be polite and let's chat... THANKS! Happy in business = everyone gets what they want and deserve! ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012. 


  1. More ideas anyone? What could we do better?

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