Getting Immediate Feedback from Customers
Bicycle event expos are exciting. Enthusiastic cyclists are always a joy. Potential clients are able to try these mirrors and decide whether or not to purchase one. I enjoy conversing and marketing directly to people.
I receive feedback in the form of immediate commentary or emails. Many cyclists are satisfied with the present product and regard it as their best cycling mirror. Potential clients were concerned that the size of the reflective area was too small. ‘It needs to be a little bit bigger,’ some would say.
Bigger? Why not?
The challenge is to source small, clear glass. What I found were 3/4″ (19mm) and 1/2″ (13mm) circles mainly used for hobby applications. Although not perfect, they were good enough for this experiment.
Note: I DO QA every mirror that I sell, and some units are not, in my opinion, ‘sellable.’ Distorted glass, loose joints, distorted plastic, etcetera may doom some units from operating properly. I used some of these mirror assemblies to prototype the larger mirror.
Prototyping a New Design based on Customer Feedback
Building the structure to accommodate the new glass was relatively simple using a 3D modelling program and a 3D printer.
Using some epoxy and some matching paint…viola!
These prototypes were unveiled at the Hotter N’ Hell 100 of 2018, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. The question was: do I order 3000 units of the 13mm or 20mm mirrors? As luck would have it, the vote was 50/50.
Stateside Manufacturing vs. Offshore Manufacturing
Here’s an idea: have the mirrors manufactured stateside using cnc technology.
This allows for smaller production runs of various-sized mirrors, modulation/customization, and color choices.
So, stay tuned for the upcoming designs and let me know here which size you would be interested in using for yourself. Let us know if you want to be kept updated on the progress.