It was between panels at SXSWi last year, and Chris Carfi and I were drinking free beers in the garden of the beer tent… I was showing off my new engagement ring that featured a working compass and Chris said, "Man, it'd be even cooler if it had a working GPS." Which somehow gave me the idea of a ring that could display your current mood as emoticons.
When I got home, I kept thinking about the idea and decided I wanted to make this happen. I called Chris and asked him if he wanted to partner on it, since the idea had come out of mutual brainstorming. "Sure," he said, "Yeah! Let's do it."
Then we both got really busy, as usual, and the idea kind of got shelved. Until we both read Tim Ferris' book, The 4-Hour Workweek and got really jazzed about the idea of creating an automated business model from nothing more than an idea and a global labor market. It's an experiment… and really, it's been so much fun and so educational that just launching it is it's own reward. Yeah, I'd like to get rich and win design awards, but we've been having so much fun with this that it almost doesn't matter if it flies.
Chris' Virtual Assistant, Girish, found us some factories and got us some price quotes based on a simple description of the ring. Then I did a rough concept sketch of the ring in Photoshop and sent it off to the factory with dimensions. They sent back a CAD/CAM rendering that showed where the dimensions were a bit off. So we revised and signed off on a prototype. When the prototype arrived it was just beautiful! I couldn't believe it. It was like the Star Trek replicator… I send off a crappy .jpg and get back a well made finished product.
From there, we found an animator in Toronto, a graphics guy in Sweden, a printer in California and so on. People in five different countries have been working on this project… all to make an idle idea discussed over beers into a really cool new product.
I dig this digital world. I'm loving the ability to get more done, faster, while providing work all over the place and making dreams come true. It's a good thing.