It is said that, ’challenges are what make life interesting’ and taking on the development of the expedition box and starting a small business definitely have made life interesting.
Our journey along this path has been lengthy, starting near on two years ago. There has been lots of backwards and forwards with design, prototyping and 3D printing to prove or disprove functions on the Expedition134 box. Needless to say, we look forward to the challenges of the next phase of our project.
Currently the exciting part is the tooling component (think of a massive block of steel, precision routed to take the shape of various parts of the product). It is nearing completion and we hope to have the first ‘off tool’ samples to test before the end of February. We can’t wait to get our hands on these to test functionality in design and make any necessary adjustments to the tool to change the look or finish or improve general functionality.
This will also be our first opportunity to really test the water and dust proof seal and the Gore Industries pressure equalisation valve to ensure their integrity and ability to meet the high standards we demand.
As I type, we are finalising a list of testing methods for these initial key areas and whilst this will not be the final tests, especially with regard to material selection, this is the most important phase for the product and the tool to ensure the overall integrity and usability. Are we nervous about this? Absolutely! All the ‘what if’ questions are bouncing around our brains at the moment. It’s a challenge that’s for sure but a challenge we were both prepared for and have enjoyed, to get this far.
While the product’s development has continued, and we have taken it from an idea formed while sitting around Ben’s broken down truck in the middle of the Simpson Desert (sharing this part of the story never gets old), we have been learning all the other aspects of what developing a new product to take to the market requires.
Right now, we are working all those the behind the scenes small business requirements, from accounting, to marketing, websites, branding, having meetings with industry experts and mentors, and continually seeking market feedback. Most importantly we are slowly bringing all the bits and pieces together we need to launch this product to market in early 2018. It’s been one great big learning curve entering this world of small business, that’s for sure.
Essentially, we are now very close to the production of a 100% Australian Made and Owned product which is designed for our harsh Australian outback and marine environments and incorporates the following features:
While they say ‘challenges make life interesting’ they also say ‘overcoming them makes it meaningful’. We look forward to progressing the first Expedition134 product to market in 2018.