Dear backers, I'm writing to April + May dispatch backers together because your RiutBags left China yesterday on a ship together and will be posted from England together at the end of May. The reasons for this are detailed in the last update to April backers. Here is a reminder of the key reasons for my lateness: 1) Chinese New Year holiday from factory lasting one month not two weeks; 2) Two improvements to the RiutBags which involved all straps being remade; 3) Following two hold ups, I decided to mitigate shipping risk by keeping RiutBags together at a time of higher traffic from Chinese ports because Apple is shipping its new watch.
I apologise for the lateness, dear backers. Be assured, however, that I believe this solution gives you an improved RiutBag which you will be able to use even better from the moment it arrives + onwards into the future.
Risks + solutions
RiutBags left China yesterday in their own container and are on their way to Felixstowe in England. Whilst it will take 30 days to complete the journey, the fact that the RiutBags are on their way is a major step to completing this project and getting your RiutBag on your back.
With this step completed, the risks have reduced substantially. "Acts of God" or "events out of our control" as the lawyers refer to them could still arise: pirates, war, ships sinking and acts of terrorism fall into this category. These are highly unlikely but they remain realities of global shipping. My timings are based on these risks not arising. I will of course update you to let you know how the ship is doing. For those who missed it, here's the basic route:
Once back in England, the RiutBags must clear customs + be driven to the the postal warehouse where they'll be packaged + posted to you at the end of May. I will update you as soon as I know all the final steps have been completed correctly.
Next steps for Riut
Everyone I meet asks me this: so, what's your next step? I give them all the same answer. The Kickstarter project is not over. This is paramount to me right now. My Kickstarter backers played their part in October - November 2014 + now I must complete my promise to them. That's my focus.
This time last year the RiutBag was still a sketch. After prototyping it, one RiutBag existed + I knew it would work in principle. With your help, and the help of the crowd of incredible backers on Kickstarter, we took that one RiutBag + multiplied it to ensure all the backers who wanted one will get theirs. That was a HUGE step impossible without your interest, risk, trust + support.
You got the RiutBag this far. As well as completing the project, I feel I have another duty. Since you've given it the best possible start, I want to make sure I use this as a launch pad. For the final 150 RiutBags from the first production run which weren't backed, I have set up a websitewww.riut.co.uk to take orders for them.
One backer asked a very reasonable question: are the new RiutBag orders being sent out before Kickstarter backers'? No. Kickstarter backers' RiutBags are coming back with the final RiutBags not backed. They will all be sent out together as soon as they are back in England.
RiutBag User manual
I haven't just created the www.riut.co.uk website for new RiutBag backers and users; I've got a section for my first ever backers on Kickstarter too! I'm building a library of videos to help you get the most out of the design of the RiutBag. It is, afterall, exactly the opposite way round to all other rucksacks. That takes a little getting used to c:
Click here to see the RiutBag user manual:
As you get used to your RiutBag, I'd love to hear your tips for the way you use the RiutBag. Some people use them to pack clarinets, others baby mats! I personally just put a laptop, shoes and clothes for my working week in there. I hope this helps you to prepare and get using your RiutBag straight away when it arrives.
Gadget Show Live 2015: British Inventors' Project
As part of my duty to make the most of the incredible launch pad you and the Kickstarter backers have given me, the RiutBag and I were at the Gadget Show Live 2015 in Birmingham last week. As a finalist in the British Inventors' Project 2015, the RiutBag + I were given a space to show everyone a RiutBag from your production run in person :)
I was interviewed every day by the awesome David McClelland in the innovation theatre about creating the RiutBag and my design philosophy. The reason Riut is called Riut is because it stands for Revolution in user thinking. At its most basic, this describes the RiutBag design: the body of the bag has literally revolved to get the zips to the inside of the bag. But there's another reason. I believe we, as users, are able to spot problems with the things we use most possibly better than large companies. If we use this power to our advantage, we might just come up with better solutions and create them ourselves using social media, blogging and crowd funding :)
When I say "I predict a Riut" I really mean it. I predict a revolution in user thinking where a wave of users find innovative solutions to age old problems we didn't think could be solved. My revolution in user thinking was getting rid of the concern and worry we feel when travelling in urban spaces.
Here's what the people I met at the Gadget Show Live 2015 had to say. You can see more of the reaction on Riut's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/riutbag
I'll keep you updated on the progress of your RiutBags as they literally ship across the world. By this time next month I should be telling you they are on UK land and making their way to the postal warehouse.
Thanks for supporting the project, being understanding and encouraging me to share the things that go wrong as well as things that go right in manufacture + freight as a first time project creator. See you next time!