On July 11th, 2010, Tom Gerhardt and I had an idea for an iPhone accessory: a tripod mount that doubled as a stand. Five months later, customers began to receive our product, the Glif, in the mail. This turnaround, from idea to market in five months by two guys with no retail or manufacturing experience, signifies a shift in the way products are made and sold — a shift only made possible in the last couple years.
The best compliment anyone could give us about the Glif project is that it inspired them to take their creative idea to fruition. The purpose of this piece is two-fold: to give an inside look at our creative process, and to offer guidance and inspiration for those who have their own ideas they’d like to see brought to reality.
Although neither Tom nor I have a background in industrial design, our education in design and the iterative design process served us sufficiently throughout the project. Like all projects, it began with the kernel of an idea, and our excitement for the idea led us to begin sketching immediately.
From the beginning, it was clear that simplicity was going to be a key tenet of our design. Not just for philosophical reasons, but to keep the design focused, and quite frankly, achievable. We knew that any complication to the manufacturing (moving parts, assembly, etc.) would make the project less likely to succeed.