People often say how lucky I am to get to do what I love for a living. My pat answer is "Yeah, but it ruined it for me as a hobby." One thing I enjoy doing in my down time, especially since I live a half-mile from the beach, is riding my bike. Another is making something out of nothing in the garage. I usually call it "making sawdust," but likely as not it'll involve hammering, soldering, glueing, wrenching, sewing, swearing, you name it. I ain't picky.
So one day, instead of sticking my lunch, water, laptop, reading matter, towel, sunscreen, frisbee, binocs, etc. in a backpack, I threw an old canvas bag I had over the top horizontal tube of my bike, and jury-rigged a way to hold it on there. It worked great! No more sweaty back, and once I got to the beach I could just as easily detach the bag and carry it down to the water by its shoulder strap.
On my ride home, I thought of a few improvements I could make. Back home I made a few sketches, and showed it to my longtime client and friend, Ron Jones, a manufacturer of golf equipment (CEO of Byron Jones Inc.) for whom I've been designing packaging and whatnot for years. I asked him if he thought my little bike bag idea had any commercial potential.
"Tom," he replied, "get that thing patented and I'll guarantee you manufacturing and worldwide distribution."
Three years, one patent and one trademark later, PCYCH™ (as in CYCLE with a PC) Mid-Frame Bike Bags is on the shelves. So, I can now add an industrial designer and entrepreneur to my resume. Of course, I had to do a ton of graphic design in support of our little endeavor as well. What follows is but a smattering…