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    This is TMAP

    We're trying to sell the whole world!

    Many of you have seen the Lake Superior bottle opener for sale on the website. Well, I'm doing some product development, and using this so-called internet as the focus group.

    These are the current stage of design. The shape of Lake Superior already works. So does Washington. Go Seahawks. Michigan works but is too big and needs some work.

    I'm asking you because I'd like to know what other geographical regions or other shapes you'd like to see for sale. South Africa is on the way, for example. All of Africa could work. Australia. Mexico. It takes some finagling, but if it looks like it might conceivably work, we can probably turn your favorite thing into a bottle opener that you can eventually bequeath.

    The other question is on the key attachment. The stainless steel cable eliminates the need for a key ring and is tough as hell, but requires a larger hole and costs slightly more. The wire triangle is tougher than it looks, but wouldn't hold you up if you were to use your bottle opener as a wedge for trad climbing gear. Which would you prefer?

    If you've got ideas or requests of shapes you'd like to see, post them here or email me at asp@tmapllc.com.

    These are not free to make. So, if you're willing to pitch in toward development costs, you'll be the first to get one, probably made out of delightfully haggard 1/8" stainless steel or 1/4" mild steel (like the ones in this photo).

    Friends at Seamly.co

    I've just been in touch with Kristin at Seamly.co because I wound up on their site by virtue of the internet fates. They're amazing, so I thought I would write about them.

    Start by reading Seamly's mission. I couldn't be more on board.

    Then take a look at some of their products.

    They are able to consistently source pre-consumer materials and to turn them into incredibly clever and beautiful designs. The Versalette, besides having a name straight out of 1963, is a brilliant garment that has led to pinterest boards and online challenges.

    We hope to work with seamly in the future, but in the mean time, we'll just proudly champion them.

    The TMAP mission

    On a recent trip to Argentina I was reading through Inc. Magazine. It's a pretty amazing source of information for the entrepreneur. I was genuinely surprised by the breadth and applicability. I had been sure it would be a moderately useful Business-Bro publication. In fact I read it cover to cover. That could mean I'm a business-bro, but I doubt it.

    While my brain was on fire with ideas, I did some work on narrowing down what drives the TMAP brand. Asimov was an inspiration.

    We seek to carry products that satisfy these rules. The first two are inflexible requirements except in the complexity of their evaluation. The rest are merely goals to seek.



    1. Ethical
    Although we understand the question of ethics is hazy, we stand against injustice. We sell products that do not unduly strain the world or the minds in it. This is the most important measure of work, and we need to hold each other accountable to this.

    2. Effective

    Products, like professionals, should do the jobs they set out to do. This is the second most important measure of work.



    3. Lasting

    A product that lasts your lifetime often increases in value as time passes, and its cost per use falls. Longevity is a very attractive feature for a useful product, and should be a priority, so long as it does not interfere with a product's effectiveness.

    4. Maintainable

    A product that can be maintained over its lifetime serves its owner in many ways. Every time that product is repaired it is improved, like the callus that improves your hand. A scar on a good product reveals the story of that product, educates you, and establishes a relationship with it.

    5. Repeatable

    To sell a one-off, like an antique, undermines the idea of being a retailer.

    6. Beautiful

    The lowest priority, except when one of the problems being solved by the product is an aesthetic one.

    Fires and friends

    Some unfortunate but temporary news about Whitelines. The warehouse containing all of the US stock burned down last month, and all of it was lost. The small good news is that we have a stock of the items we carry. They'll be scrambling to rebuild their stock, but it's going to be a while.

    Some awesome news is that TMAP has a new buyer. Josh is completely on board with the TMAP mission. He lives in Tacoma and is connected to a lot of brilliantly creative people there. He'll be in charge of finding new products that align well with TMAP's goals.

    He'll also be contributing occasionally on the blog now.