tabwood is an eco-friendly stand for your devices.

tabwood is a blend of Modern Technology and Old World Craftsmanshipthat uses natural materials as oppose to energy intensive non-renewable products that are currently used to support Tablet Computers, eReaders andSmart Phones. You have a beautifully design digital device so why wrap it up in an ugly plastic case. Let tabwood put it on display!

tabwood is one of the featured exhibitors at the DaVinci Inventor Showcase, which takes place on Oct 13, 2012 at the Denver Merchandise Mart. If you want to see one of these in person, this is your chance!

Recently, inventor Lou Hayes took a moment answer some questions about  creating 3D models in AutoCAD, his Kickstarter project and producing something that solves a problem and resonates with people…

What was the defining moment that led you to create this product? What problem does it solve?

Most things I design are in response to personal need fulfillment. When I bought my first Kindle eReader I almost immediately wanted some way to prop it up and not have to pay 40 or 50 dollars for a cover/stand such that are available for iPads. There really isn’t much of anything available for smaller eReaders and small tablet computers such as Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 or Samsung products and what everyone expects to be the new iPad Mini 7”-8” tablet computer. This product solves that problem.

After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?

Well that is pretty easy, anyone who owns a tablet computer or smart phone, which of course are in the many of millions.

How did you go about naming your product?

I always knew that it needed to be a natural product that would be Eco-freindly, therefore strong lightweight bamboo and aircraft quality birch plywood was just the ticket, so tabwood (tablet-wood) was a natural choice.

How long did it take you to create you initial prototype, and what problems did you run into along the way?

I always start with creating 3D models in AutoCAD. I have been using 3D CAD for over 30 years and can very quickly model an idea to look at it in the computer. Of course there were many different iterations of the idea that I looked at before it was created in real life. I also have access to a laser cutter, which can produce prototypes very quickly.

Funding a new idea is always tricky. How did you go about lining up the money you needed?

Well I’m currently running a Kickstarter project to try and get some crowd-funding, but the product is such that I can start small and grow with the product. There isn’t a lot of up-front cost other than the wood material and a laser cutter, which granted the laser cutter is a very expensive piece of hardware but luckily I already had access to one.

Is this a product you’d like to produce and sell yourself, or are you wanting to license it to someone else? And if so, who?

Right now I will be producing it myself and for the foreseeable future. The product is blend of technology and a bit of art, which requires a level craftsmanship that may be hard to duplicate with a typical mass production process.

What all channels are you using to market your product?

It is still very early in the game, but I have several retail outlets that have just signed up to sell the product. Of course there will soon be an online store as well.
The goal is to be in several stores in the Pacific Northwest, for this Christmas season and then grow beyond that as time progresses.

How many people do you currently have involved in your business?

We are very small, just 3.

How do you define success? What would hitting a “home run” look like in your mind?

For me success is producing something that solves a problem and resonates with people such that they see the value in it and want it. Now does this mean that I want to sell millions, not necessarily, I want to keep a high quality product that is environmentally thoughtful and can be produced in the United States. A home run for me is just for most people to appreciate the design and see it as quality product.

Where do people go to find out more about your product?

There are a few places online: