Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Huy Nguyen week 11

This week I started to edit the Kraken promotional video that will debut during our final presentation. I've also been outlining the final research paper based on our research and the feedback that Matt provided. We also made our first sale this week. My friend Connor is going on a skate road trip and needed a backpack and I provided him one. He was very happy with the purchase but vocalized to me that he wish he had two straps. If this project last after the semester and goes somewhere maybe the next incarnation of the Kraken Bag will have two straps.
I also started a facebook page for kraken.


This was a great way to network and market globally. Within 24 hours of being on facebook some skate shop from Thailand found out about us by word of mouth. They contacted us asking about our price. We are currently in conversation with them about sales.
If this deal goes down, Kraken Bag Co. New York will be global.

Week 11 - Yu-Yi Chen

This week,
Because the upcoming week is our final,
I refreshed what we’ve done on branding.

Here is the outline of our process.
1. Basic on our main idea, a waterproof and high-capacity bag.
Each of us has drawn some sketches of bag design,
and they became the initial design of our bag.

2. Each of us came up with a couple of ideas about the name of our bag
and then made the final decision together.

3. We made some mood boards to inspire us to create our brand image,
including logo, colors, and design.

4. We made a prototype of our bag.
In order to enhance our design,
we met Gene, who is an expert of making bags.
We got a lot of great and practical suggestions from him,
so we figured out what can really be done and what cannot.

5. For next few weeks,
we kept making different attempts to enhance our design based on customer's opinions
such as adding a pocket, , adding reflective material, keeping our design simple, and establishing brand identity.

6. We shot some pictures for selling purpose.
These pictures were used in public,
so we tried to well show people the specialty of our bag.

7. In order to make people feel the spirit of our bag,
we started to shoot a promotional film.
We were trying to deliver stronger passion through the film.

An important thing I’ve learnt from this process is that design basically depends on the demand of market.
We can’t really make things that we want to make,
but we have to hear customers’ voice and adjust our design.
Then, customers might buy our product. 


Anthony Driscoll Week 11

Huy delivered some exciting news yesterday.   A shop in Thailand has approached us via Facebook and is interested in carrying our bags in their stores.  We have yet to have a formal discussion with them regarding pricing and quantity they want to carry.  They are a smaller skate shop so i'm not sure what kind of quantity they will be looking to carry.  If it is around twenty bags, we can have them made here locally, but the price may be too high for them and might not leave very much meat on the bone for us. If we can get some more eastern exposure and interest then it would be very smart for us to have them made in China and avoid importation taxes to the U.S. all together.

In preparation for talking with the shop I have been preparing numbers for both possible situations.  I have been talking to a few manufacturers trying to work out some logistical approach.

It's pretty awesome we are getting national recognition.  Maybe things will start to snowball here in the next couple months.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Jackie week 11

This week included research and talking to people.  I tracked down some skateboarders in Union Square and reached out to some other people who are skateboarders as well.  These are their stories: 

Interview with skaters in Union Square group of 3 guys:

I approached a group of 3 guys sitting on the steps of union sq with their skateboards.  
The beginning of the conversation had started a little strange but they had invited me to sit with them on the steps of union square.  One of the guys had gotten up and skated away a little.  He came back every now and again to rejoin the conversation.   

All three said with much enthusiasm that they value the condition of the board at 10.  In the past one of the guys has wrapped his board in plastic bags when it rains to protect it... His friends thought that was a good idea to protect a board.  I told him that was kind of funny because the idea had been born form that originally when Huy had wrapped his board in plastic one rainy night leaving school.  They thought it was a good idea. 

The conversation we had covered several topics.  I asked them about their bag preferences and we talked about some other skateboard bags and skateboard caring solutions that were out there.  No one was in the market to buy a bag and talking about rain on a beautiful sunny day probably didn't help my argument much.  I was also able to show them a picture of the bag we have.  They really like the ability of the roll top to use the bag separate from a skateboard.  They admitted having brand loyalty but didn't name any specific names.  

As we were talking i got to know the guys a little as well.  Two of them were photographers.  They did art and fashion photography.  Having previous experience with back and white analog photography I was able to ask them about the work they did.  One of them showed me this beautiful retro camera he was using to take pictures.  And I told them about how kraken has an Instagram account.  We also talked about the JR art work that is currently going on in Times Square because one of the guys was thinking to start a portrait project with random people in the city.  Turns out that we follow some of the same people on Instagram.  

I had explained that this was part of a project when I had initially asked the guys for permission to ask them some questions.  They asked me if we were given money from the school to execute the project, that too is a little funny because people keep asking me that when I interview them.  I also explained to them that I was not a skateboarder but I was working with one to bring his vision to reality, they were really nice and accepting about that fact.  I wowed them a little when I asked about the “pop” of their boards.  The guy who had been skating and joining in every now and again was all like “you got it!” I let him know that little by little I was learning the ling.  Another one of the guys who had been sitting on his board, stood up and smacked it on the ground to show me the “pop” it had.  I think that they found it a fun question to be asked.  

My interview with other skateboarders went well but  were a little more straight froward and less tangental. 

Skateboarder 1:
I value the condition at 6
I have done nothing to protect my board but ride carefully 
Brand loyalty 0
no bags
This latest board hasn't needed parts 8 months old
I'd spend 100-300 on a board because my 250lbs needs it
I skate with a backpack 
I also have a longboard with no kick on the nose or tail, its just for going for cruises on nice days and getting from Columbus circle to work quickly.

Skateboarder 2:
I'll say I give it an 8. -> good grip tape and ply condition can determine the pop, the bearings tell you how much energy you (don't have to) waste when using it.

I don't know what a bag is.. haha 

I typically spend 50 or less on a complete skateboard and it works.
No brand loyalty as long as I can see it in person.

I don't replace the parts. I've broken 1 skateboard because I meant to intentionally 
Usually they get fucked up by things other than me and that determines when I need a new skateboard.

I don't skate with a backpack, but I'd attribute that to the age group - under the age of 16 and no driver's license, and keeping shit like a towel, a first aid kit, water, snacks, probably drugs. Who knows. The skate companies would market backpacks that looked cool so that definitely helps.

Mine still has pop, yeah, depending on # of tricks a person tries to do per-day, or if they like to do tail or nose-slides I guess, would wear down the nose or tail and eventually reduce their length. If someone likes to skate on flat ground and do tricks constantly, their board will shrink but that's still fun - just gives kind of a getting-used-to period when buying new boards.

Also - what about shoes eh?

Skateboarder 3:
The bearings are important other things are expendable.  Long boards are more expensive.  He has painted the board and put grip tape on it for protection and rubber risers to protect the board where the wheal parts sit.  Typically he spends $30-150 on boards.  And he has brand loyalty.  He replaces his deck between three and five months.  He also skates with backpacks and currently has a new board with pop but the old board does not have much pop left.  He like the idea of having a bag for his long board because his regular skateboard is kind of a beat up board.    

The idea of creating custom bags to accommodate different sized boards such as long boards has come up a few times.  I we would need to determine if this is an avenue we would like to explore in the future and if so why.  

Aside form all the enthusiastic people and no sales we did get some good news that could lead to some sales!  The exciting news is that a friends friend saw the Facebook page and has a skate shop that they would be interested in selling the bag.  the skate shop is located in Thailand.  It is also currently rainy season in Thailand so this bag would be a welcomed item on the market for skateboard enthusiast.  The questions we need to figure out now is how would this be possible... Manufacturing, import export cost and taxes, etc...  I plan to reach out to some people I know who import and export international and see what I can find out to how this could be done.  Next week may also include more interviews but I plan to be working on writing a final paper about this project, research, and creating a revenue model.  

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A. Driscoll week 10

This week I talked to the owner of Classic Skate shop, he thought the bag was cool and a good idea but  I didn't get the notion he was ready to put them on the shelves.  I talked to him about consignment and he would be all for it but would want more than one to display.  I explained to him that the bag was the last prototype and the next version will have a zippered pocket and removable shoulder strap.  Long story short he wants to see our absolute final product.  So we may have his shop on board once we run the Kickstarter.

A couple kids that were in the shop really like the toned down branding and the overall look of the bag, but no one offered to buy it.

I don't think we'll be making the $1500 by the end of May but I do think we can set our selves up to make a real business out of this by the end of May.  I'm definitely feeling that our Kickstarter will be successful.

Our meeting on Monday went well,Yu-Yi and Huy's video footage and photos are looking awesome!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Huy Nguyen week 10

This week we felt the need to take time and focus on our group goals for the remainder of the semester. Our main points of focus for our meeting were; The final presentation, final paper, continuing validation, and starting our kick starter campaign. Sadly the only time we could all meet outside of class was for an hour on Friday afternoon. Despite an undesirable time to meet, the meeting was very constructive and useful for getting us all on the same page. We made a rough outline of the expectations behind our research paper and final presentation.

 Over the weekend I met a few skateboarders at Brower Skatepark in Crown Heights, Brooklyn that were intrigued by The Kraken Bag. Duncan, an avid skateboarder and Mathematics major at Long Island University was particularly excited about the bag, he really liked how a board could slip inside and be protected, as well as the fact that the bag could be rolled down into a more reasonable sized backpack for daily use. I offered to sell him a bag, but he respectfully declined because he couldn't currently spare the expenses. Nonetheless we exchanged contact information and I told him I would e-mail him in the future about purchasing a Kraken Bag. Though I did not make a sell right here, he helped me validate our assumptions that skateboarders will find value and utility in our product.
Monday brought the first rain that we have seen in a couple weeks. It really wasn't even that much rain, merely sprinkles. Yu-Yi and I have been patiently waiting for a wet day to film The Kraken Bag in the rain for our promotional video. The bulk of the video is filmed, we just need to film a few extra scenes for continuity issues. The promotional video will most likely be debuted during the final presentation. Next week we must continue working on validating our assumptions and trying to make that first sell.

Week 10 - Yu-Yi Chen

This week,
Huy and I are still working on our promotional film shooting,
and we’ve shot some scenes on the streets, in a skate park, on a ferry, and in the rain.
We will keep working on it.
In past few weeks, the weather was so nice, but we need a scene in the rain.
Finally, we got a chance to shoot in the rain this week.
Our bag is a waterproof bag,
and I think that’s also the prime value of the bag
because it’s really hard to see a waterproof skatebag.

I’m trying to let more people know about our bag through Facebook.
I think information transmits very fast on social network,
so I chose Facebook, which I also use very often.
When I chatted with my friends,
I would tell them the information of our bag.
From my point of view,
if more people know about our bag,
we can get more opportunities to sell our bag.
When people need a waterproof bag with a big capacity like ours
they might think of getting one from us.
Because they’ve already had information of our bag in their mind,
when they need it, our bag would arise in their minds naturally.
The key words would be waterproof and big capacity.