Stand By Your Man (and by ‘man’, we mean ‘bag’)
A problem is a chance for you to do your best.
Recently we’ve talked at length about how to get the best from your Minaal gear. In response, you’ve sent a glorious torrent of compliments, questions, and marriage proposals (I said yes! Three times!!!).
Also, we’ve learned way more than we expected about the bag, just from hearing how you use it.
SOME OF THE LEARNING WASN’T SUPER FUN
One of the biggest surprises has been how reluctant you are to hold us to the high standards we set for ourselves. When you join the Minaal community, it means you believe in considered design, high-quality components, and _real user support _– which means our relationship doesn’t end after you buy the bag.
Instead we stay with you as you work, travel and live around the world.
Recently, we found out that a known defect in early versions of the bags (weak zipper pulls) is more widespread than originally estimated (<1%). Some people have told us about their pullers breaking, but we’re pretty sure that some of you reading this have stayed stoically, heroically silent.
Let’s end that now.
Please email us at: feedback[at]minaal[dot]com, with any details of components that have failed or broken before their time. We’ll sort it out.
So the (ironically) bad news for us is that you’re really good at sending your love, but not so willing to share disappointment or frustration.
We sat down, shed a tear, called a few of our users. We wanted to know why you’d hold back on telling us that your Minaal experience hadn’t been perfect. Here’s what we learned:
1) You’re used to crappy service from huge, unresponsive conglomerates who don’t really care about you (or your bag).
2) You’re not the complaining type, you’re really busy, and the problem isn’t affecting your usage.
3) You know we’re a small startup and feel bad making complaints or requests.
BUT HERE’S WHY WE NEED YOUR FEEDBACK
We always want to hear about any problems or questions you have!
1) It makes your experience as positive as possible, by ensuring your bag is in full working condition.
2) It helps us improve the gear over time, which benefits everyone.
3) We get to hear cool stories about how you’re using the bag!
A CASE STUDY
We mentioned the pullers above. Here are the steps we’ve taken, over multiple production runs, as we’ve learned about the issues with these components:
1) Increased the depth of the cord inside the rubber mold.
2) Introduced intensive manual hand-pull and machine-pull testing at the supplier end.
3) Fully evaluated and improved the engineering of the mold.
4) Investigated alternative supply options.
We took the above steps because – if the aim is constant improvement – they just make sense. And we want to improve.
Because we actually care.
Most fellow entrepreneurs advised us to not write this message. “Risky”, “makes people think your products aren’t perfect”, etc etc etc. Well, that’s what happens with products in the real world – sometimes stuff isn’t perfect.
Our feeling is that – like Duke said above – it’s how we react to imperfection that defines us.
Our feeling is that the people who read this – and appreciate the honest approach – are our sort of people.
As with any products, Minaal gear will experience wear and tear over time. It’ll adjust to your body, and adapt to your lifestyle.
But, on the rare occasion your Minaal gear actually breaks or isn’t working correctly: please let us know.
That’s why we’re here.
J, D & the Minaal team