Author: Marc Hogan
Marc was once bet £1 that he couldn’t become a stand up comic in less than 12 months and perform a one man comedy show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival for 21 nights. He won the bet!
Inspiration can strike us anywhere, even when we are standing in a queue.
Recently I met a former IT consultant called Alistair Callender. Like many of us Alistair travels abroad frequently and like many of us he’s had to endure the hell that is business travel.
You know the type of thing, you print your boarding pass because apparently that’s easier, you check your luggage in online again because apparently that’s easier too. You buy the tiniest tube of toothpaste in the world which for some reason cost more than the normal sized version (or you don’t bother bringing any because the moment you get through security you’ve got two hours to buy 3 litres of the stuff).
You leave your house at three AM to catch a six AM flight because it’s really important that you spend at least two hours shopping at an airport for no good reason at all, and then you park your car at the handy car park three miles from the terminal.
You then proceed to remove your shoes, belt, bra, etc at security and once through the x-ray you walk another 3 miles from the terminal to the gate.
At the gate someone usually wearing a tabard – who really tried to become a traffic warden and failed – scrutinises your hand luggage to make sure that it’s not 1 cm bigger nor 1 ounce more than it should be and then finally allows you to sit on a plane in the tiniest seat possible where just in case you weren’t sick and tired of shopping they decide to sell you more stuff which for some reason is even more expensive than the most expensive shop in England (by the way that’s not Harrods, that’s the Oxford service station on the M4).
Well Alistair (remember him) at least has made my business travel a little more pleasant and more importantly I no longer have to put stuff in the hold or feel the dreaded gnaw of panic when just before you board the plane that SS security guard makes you try and fit your carry on into that ‘your bag must fit into this’ metal frame thingy or they will charge you £50 to put it in the hold, even though it would’ve been cheaper to buy a second seat on the plane and put your hand luggage on it!
Instead of getting frustrated by airline travel, Alistair came up with a solution and designed the ingenious Gate8 Tri-fold Garment MATE Carry on Travel bag that is completely compliant with all carry on regulations for all airlines and carries my suit, shirts, Laptop, iPad, chargers, adaptors for the chargers, underwear and as many of those tiny toothpastes as I like!
Most of us when we have an idea we might think “oh that’s a good business idea” but then never do anything about it because of daily distractions, lack of belief, aversion to risk, or just being too afraid to seek out the right people who could help. Just think, many brilliant ideas don’t become reality…
Well, not Alistair. After one too many frustrating business trips Alistair took the plunge and after several trips to Hong Kong and China he managed to turn what originally was a very crude product design (back of a post-it note drawing) into a working prototype clever piece of carry-on business luggage, and then finally into a premium product.
It took over 2 years of hard work and determination (whilst also working a full-time job), coupled with investment of personal finances to get the product design, supply chain and branding to a standard that attracted retail interest and ultimately convincing the one business mentor that he had “stalked” for over 2 years to finally invest and help accelerate business growth.
His GATE8 Bag is brilliant. I use it all the time. I can’t recommend you more strongly to go and check it out.
And next time you think of a brilliant idea, before you dismiss it, think of Alistair…