Week 3 & 4: banking on the product

This is my 3rd business and an essential part of having a business is actually getting it a bank account. Banks suck for small businesses as they take a lot and frankly don’t give a lot back but when you get your funding, allocate equity, pay VAT, employees, well you need a bank account. So I went to HSBC who “hosts” the Designswarm Industries account. Their integration with my favorite accounting software Xero is fairly straightforward which is one of the reasons I pick them over other banks. Anyway, when you’ve got a history with the bank as a customer it helps, but I still had to book a meeting with the business manager and bring my one pager for GNL, cash flow predictions over the first 3 years and a deck printed out. She looked at all this and put it in a file, filled in some boxes and submitted it to the banking gods who accepted the request for opening an account. That was nice.

I also experimented with an Arduino-based approach for the lamps, something that might make a future DIY kit. The laser-cut mount board didn’t work out, so I’m turning to paper instead.

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for GNL for the InnoTEch Summit competition. We actually made it to the second round but didn’t get picked up after. They didn’t give any feedback sadly but looking at the final projects selected, we were perhaps not in the right vertical for the panel.

I had lunch with Michael Margolis who on top of being at Sony when the Walkman was being launched has worked in technology for 30 odd years and we had some good conversations about retail price and the implications for the product design. I feel like a next generation prototype is a month away, something that doesn’t rely on wifi but perhaps just a local cheap radio network. It would help illustrate the idea better than a wired prototype which we have now.

Next week we’ve got a super exciting one day workshop with some really clever people I’ve known for some time and who have experience shipping products out in the real world for large companies. I’m hoping we’ll tease out the product development strategy for the next year. Exciting times.