Tom Evans, CEO and Creative Director of the BleepBleeps, has always worked within branding and design technology. Then once he had children, he decided to combine the two to benefit himself as a parent and to create a hardware brand for families.
BleepBleeps began as a side project, then as his children grew older he decided to take a leap - and in the words of Evans himself: “The rest is history!” The company has just finished its third round on Kickstarter.
“Our products wouldn’t even exist without Kickstarter,” said Evans.
Kickstarter is a great help for product validation and for raising money for production, and generally encourages the whole ‘put your money where your mouth is’ idea, and crucially, it forces startups to articulate their brand and story in a way which is reliable.
The products all work with a smartphone and use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) with a range of up to 30m - handy for when children wander. The products are all completely safe for children, CE Certified and made from PC-ABS plastic, which is safe, durable and glossy.
Evans laughed when asked if his children were the guinea pigs for the new products: “My kids usually get them very early on, not necessarily the first, but yeah my kids are guinea pigs.”
THE USER EXPERIENCE (UX)
“We didn’t start with a piece of technology and then work it out, we started with parenting and design, and the problems that we thought about solving for family life. Then we set out designing experiences around that.”
Evans believes that it is important for the product to be essential and he actually changed his products based on his experiences. The kind of products that they were originally going to make changed based on consumer experiences.
“We started off wanting to make more conception devices, which were more medical. When we made Sammy Screamer that made us realise we want to make products that people will use every day.”
This is when the products they were going to develop (ultra-sound scanners, female ovulation devices) were put to one side, as they realised it would be harder to do, both medically and to engineer. They decided to focus on everyday activities such as sleeping, cleaning teeth and location tracking.
Evans has thought of all the little extras that can help you out further with the products. For example, the products come with a mini-lanyard to hang on your stuff, and additionally they are magnetised on the back so again it can stick to your belongings.
A TEAM EFFORT
The BleepBleeps team consists mainly of two part-time employees and Evans, with the addition of consultants and PR agencies. They work completely virtually currently, but Evans shared that it will be nice to grow his team as the products and company grows.
“What is most surprising about the startup journey, is that it is endless, there is no finishing line, which is in some ways tiring, but it keeps you going – there is always another milestone to head to.”
It was a long and slow process of trial and error that brought Evans to where he and BleepBleeps are today.
SUM IT ALL UP IN A SENTENCE