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Thread: Does Tom Bihn really exist and what does he look like?

  1. #1
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    Does Tom Bihn really exist and what does he look like?

    I tired to google him wondering if anyone ever met him, took a picture with him, etc. Can't find anything which leads me to believe he's a very private person or just a "spokesman" that the company invented to have a story when selling excellent bags.


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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Uhh...

    http://youtu.be/LccefgiCGjc


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    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    And he has a brother. Dan Bihn.

    http://youtu.be/6BBJgR0ZTuo


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    The plot thickens!
    Owner of: Super Ego briefcase (Black / Indigo / Steel) with Reflective Strip, Brain Cell (Steel), Horizontal Freudian Slip, various Organizer Pouches and Key Straps, and a Side Effect (Black / Wassabi) worn as a belt-style hip-pack.

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    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    dorayme's avatar might offer more proof of Mr. Bihn's existance.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

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    This has to be a joke. I have bought several TB Backs and not one of them I bought because of the person Tom Bihn. (well obviously that is not true because thous bags would not exist without him but him as a person was not my reason for bying)
    So even if he WOULD be just a story (what for very well proved above reasons he is not) the products are so good they speak for themselves. Why else would so many here repurchase to a degree they feel addicted? That is something a what ever good story could not achieve.
    I picture the TB Crew (and maybe Tom Bihn himself) reading this and laughing out loud for the joke value of this.
    If not for a laugh this thread is totally useless and pointless.

    Ilkyway

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    Interesting about the "spokesman" part, a little while ago a co-worker stopped by my hotel and saw a bunch of my travel gear, He commented on how strange it was to see a product with some dudes name on it. I guess he has a point, we have kind of strayed away from the days of "R.B. Smith and Sons: Blacksmiths and Urologists" where you just put your name on it and do your best not to disgrace your entire clan. It seems like most luggage nowadays is named by corporate focus groups after something meaningless like: "that sounds outdoorsy!" Or just complete BS "it's the Swahili word for 'maximum allowable spinner wheel roll-aboard carry-on"

    It's takes a fair amount of testicular fortitude to name your company after yourself because if your product and customer service surrounding it are crap your name and reputation are on the line. In a word, Tom is Committed, Tom Bihn the man and Tom Bihn Inc. are one and it shows in how Tom Bihn Inc. is run. A lot of people would have taken the easy route and traded their dreams and integrity for shareholders and boardrooms, action items and vertical integration, power lunches and opportunity spaces. It would be a shame to see the ecosystem that has been built around Tom Bihn Inc. disappear into a jagged line on some investment chart because the shareholders thought moving production to China would increase profits.

    Sadly the developed world is sick, the richest keep on getting richer by pulling the carpet out from under the middle class, liquidating their jobs overseas in the name of easy profits. The Walmartification of an entire continent, the vicious cycle of choosing to buy cheap mass market garbage from employees on welfare, and watching as the locally owned shops and manufacturers are forced out of business and soon the next thing you know everyone is on welfare, working at walmart and shopping at walmart because that is all they can afford all the while increasing the taxes of the middle class who are footing the welfare bill.

    So in summary Tom is a real person, selling real bags made by real people in a real factory in Seattle Washington and I, for one, hope he continues doing things that way for a REAL long time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    dorayme's avatar might offer more proof of Mr. Bihn's existance.
    Well, I assume that if the OP couldn't find any information about Tom Bihn or his pictures, he wouldn't know that @dorayme had a picture taken of Tom standing next to her when she visited the Tom Bihn store, and then subsequently used it as her avatar.

    Here are a few other resources in addition to the YouTube videos that @Badger linked:
    • Blog post on Haute Americana Interviews Tom (dated 16 March 2014, includes picture of Tom, excerpted interview section, and a follow-up link to the full interview)
    • Many! other recent videos from last year featuring Tom listed in the Looking Back at 2013 blog post. These include examples where Tom himself narrates (e.g., Our Materials), demonstrates (e.g., How to tie cord zipper pulls or Adjusting the Internal Frame in The Guide’s Pack), and where he appears, but where others give their perspective on his work (e.g., John Ball’s narration in the Innovation in Fabrics). There are other example, both in earlier years and in this list, and I won't duplicate @Badger's links. Also check out the listed links to Interviews with Tom that include his photograph.
    • Tom's review of The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau (and is included in this book) is described in the blog, and the linked forum thread. This is a book about people who start businesses based on doing things that they love.
    • The Bleeding Edge 019: A Visit To Tom Bihn (August 4, 2006) - a video that shows Tom talking about the design process amidst the bags of his Store (back in 2006). Clck on the download link for "iPod-formatted H.264" below the episode description to play this video. This is one of my favorites among the earlier videos that I've linked to in posts, because it features Tom's comments and idea sketches rather than product reviews. For those of us who have never managed to visit the store, this provides us with a peek (two incarnations earlier, when they still sold Trager bags in addition to their own products, and when you could order Brain Cells in many colors.) I can see the old Apple Mini cases (eM2), Lux bags (Swift predecessors in Ballistic Nylon) in Grape, Kiwi, etc., old style Yang Imagos, original Buzz sling backpacks, and the Archetypes (in Snow Leopard, rather than Cork). The video showed Tom working on the Zephyr prototype (not yet named), and there was also a great shot of Tom's dog, Riley. And by the way, I miss Riley's old web page.
    • Finally, you can view a picture of Tom at age 17 from the old April Fool website redesign thread .


    moriond
    Last edited by moriond; 03-30-2014 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Added link for dorayme's 5/25/2011 visit to Tom Bihn in her Flickr stream

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget Guy View Post
    I tired to google him wondering if anyone ever met him, took a picture with him, etc. Can't find anything which leads me to believe he's a very private person or just a "spokesman" that the company invented to have a story when selling excellent bags.
    Early April Fools' Day joke?
    Last edited by bb93fo57; 03-30-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bb93fo57 View Post
    Early April Fools' Day joke?
    I would NOT be surprised. Darcy is liable to get up to just about anything.
    Moose
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  11. #11
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    So, there once was a man named Tom Bihn...

    There once was a man named Tom Bihn.
    He made the most awesome bags and things.
    Everyone in town loved his wears.
    But hearing his name everywhere became a nightmare.
    He tried to change the brand to Black Bag.
    But that just caused sales to sag.
    So he changed the company's name back to Tom Bihn.
    And he changed his own name to Eddie Bauer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    …And he changed his own name to Eddie Bauer.
    @maverivk that last line doesn't scan properly!

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    I think the guy in the pictures and videos is an out of work actor they hired at a local casting call

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    Quote Originally Posted by moriond View Post
    @maverivk that last line doesn't scan properly!
    Doesn't scan properly? I don't follow.

  15. #15
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    Scansion is the term used to describe the reading of a poem for its meter. I will hazard that moriond was saying that the final line breaks the meter established by the opening line, which draws from the familiar limerick form (there once was a man from Nantucket). Limericks are in five line anapestic meter, which means that two short syllables are followed by one long syllable. The fifth (final) line of a limerick should have either nine (e.g., ending with "Nantucket") or eight (ending with "Tom Bihn") syllables. With 11 syllables, the final line of your ditty breaks from the traditional eight syllable, anapestic form. Note too that the first, second, and fifth lines should rhyme with each other, so the last two syllables of your poem should rhyme with "Tom Bihn." So, "Huck Finn" would make rhyming sense, but is nowhere near as clever as Eddie Bauer, which I really liked (bags, Seattle connection, perfect comparison and yet comically random). So while it doesn't scan properly, it's still pretty freaking funny.

    And THAT, friends, is what multiple degrees in English can do for you.




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