There are a lot of ways to build a barbell holder. At it's most basic, it's just a box with holes in it. Or some pipes welded to a plate. But I'm pretty insistent, both as a designer and as the founder of Warcry, that we don't just look for "me-too" products to make. If we can't make something better, I don't see the point in making it at all. I'm sure there are plenty of MBA's out there who will disagree with that, but I'm driving this car, dammit, and I swear I will turn around right now if you kids can't keep your hands to yourselves back there.
...Wait. Ok, that metaphor got lost. But still. The point stands.
The puzzle with this item was that we were actually kind of spoiled for choice. There are few physical limits here--I can make a stand or holder that bolts to the ceiling and has space for 62 bars, if I want, but I somehow don't think that's really the best solution.
We did have one idea that kept popping up: what if we made a smaller, less expensive holder, that was easy to expand later? A home gym might only have a couple bars, why do they need to buy a stand designed for nine or ten? And a brand-new box or gym may not have more than a few in use at any one time; can we help them reduce their up-front costs? Maybe they only need to hold a couple bars right now, but will expand again in six months or a year. Maybe an established facility is moving to a new space, and the big equipment they bought previously doesn't fit the new layout as well; wouldn't it be great to have some options? There's this question of flexibility--every gym is laid out differently, and floor space is always at a premium. How do we address this?
That all made good sense to me, but I'm the designer, not the user. What if folks were looking for something completely different? After some musing, I said screw it, let's just ask. So I took a sample of my sketchbook and posted it up on Instagram and Facebook (didn't see it? You should be following us then, we do cool stuff like this):
Sure enough, "footprint and cost" were the big ones. "Something I can expand later if I need to."
Yeah, we can work with that.
Update: See part 2 right here
Until next time - Keep Earning It.