My brother has a large labradoodle that often rides shotgun with him. I have two kids. Their full complement of gear often rides shotgun with me. When my brother came to me with his idea for a product that would silence the constant alarm ringing that comes with heavy objects in the passenger seat, I thought it was brilliant.
We hunted down as many makes and models of cars and trucks that we could find and measured their seatbelt clips. With the dimensions and variances in hand, we 3D printed a few designs to try. After some refinement, and the addition of a bottle opener (who doesn’t have one on their keyring?!), we took a trip and found a factory that could produce these in solid steel with a variety of finishes that would stand up to the abuse this product will take.
For a while we sold Tikit through various retail outlets. The story was the same every time. After selling incredibly well with a huge positive response from customers, one of the company lawyers would decide they can no longer sell it. The world-class customer satisfaction, intended legal use cases, and the hypocracy (of selling deadly-when-used-as-intended products, like cigarettes) didn’t win the day with a single lawyer. So we said fine, fuck you, we’ll give the people what they want directly!
Now that we market and sell Tikit online, we are forged in the fire of Internet commentators. The assumptions, the hate — directed at us personally, our customers, even our family — the satisfied customers coming to our defense (like EMTs, ranchers, car dealers, off-roaders, NH residents, etc.), the occasional changed mind; it’s ceaseless and it’s not for everybody.