“I think they make robot clothes or something…”
Um … huh?
Well, to be truthful, it wasn’t the only description. Mark was a second generation entrepreneur. His father had started the business while Mark was working at a local marketing firm. Mark’s father wanted him to come work at TDIC, but Mark said no and basically thought his father was nuts.
But he left it with a caveat. ”If you ever make $XX (a certain amount of money) I will quit my job and join you.”
Mark never thought his father would make that amount and he never thought he’d leave his job. But one day Mark’s father called him over, opened the accounting books and pointed to the bottom line. He’d made Mark’s goal. True to his word, Mark quit his job, and joined his father.
Mark was extremely nice during our first meeting. He listened to my idea, confirmed they had the machines to make a prototype and we talked about next steps.
“So…I hear you make robot clothes?” Mark smiled. I could tell I didn’t have the story quite right.
It turns out there are robots on the automotive lines that paint cars. If the robots are naked, besides being quite embarrassing for the robots, paint drips off the metal arm leaving excess paint drops on brand new cars. When they are wearing clothes – more commonly refered to as covers – the cover can soak up the extra paint leaving the car with a perfect finish.
After a tour of the plant, we left with the agreement that I would come back in a few weeks with a design idea for my bag. Perfect!
Wait…did I mention I’m not a designer? Or even an artist? I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain myself, but at least I had a few weeks to figure it out.