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Thread: How's that diaper bag coming?

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by photomatt View Post
    Backpack- I feel your enthusiasm. For the most part. I too love the way TB partners and collaborates with the online community in the designs of their bags...I've never seen anything quite like it!

    However, TB announcements are occasionally bewildering by any stretch of the imagination. When unofficial "official" comments are made (see below) in this very thread, it's head-scratching that we're here almost three years later -- still left to wonder, "when, and how much longer"...

    From 06-11-2008, 10:35 AM:

    The Parental Unit is taking long to be created, yet, I know that parents and Tom Bihn customers want the best, combine the two and the absolute best is expected.

    Tom might have had a design all ready when he heard about a new fabric, somebody among the Tom Bihn crew or in the forum gave him an idea about something that needed to be tweaked.

    For example, many parents now use cloth diapers and Lifefactory glass baby bottle, which is a whole different set up than disposable diapers and plastic bottles.
    Some parents need a toddler and infant bag,others need a twin infants bag, some parents need a child, toddler and infant bag, others need a bag that accommodate multiples of one age and a child(ren) who is/are older.


    Tom Bihn Inc creates bags for the widest population possible.



    I also understand the frustration of expecting and existing parents who want an awesome bag to carry their children things.

    Babies don't wait, toddlers move around fast, children learn and grow fast as well.

    You all want a Parental Unit before youngsters go to college! :)

  2. #107
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    As the father of an 18 year old wastrel son, may I suggest that rather than buying them a diaper bag, you simply just drown them at birth? Actually my 20 year old daughter is a pleasure to have, its just boys that need drowning!

    Eric

  3. #108
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Tom continues to fine-tune the design of the diaper bag, thanks in part to the feedback of friends and family who have been testing the prototypes for us. We like to try to keep you guys updated on the progress of new designs, but understand it's frustrating for some. I think one member suggested spoiler tags for updates/expected availability on new designs -- maybe we can add that in the next upgrade of the forum software.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  4. #109
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    You know, I'd buy into the whole 'we don't release a product until it's perfect' philosophy a whole lot more if I didn't see brand new iPad bags appear with magical precision alongside Apple announcements. Missing an estimated availability date by two+ years isn't a bad estimate, that's just taking your customers for a ride.

    Just be a little honest and say that this bag is pretty low on the priority list. I like your products but this is ridiculous. If you can't come up with realistic projections for your products, don't use spoiler tags, just don't say anything. How hard is that?

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottu View Post
    You know, I'd buy into the whole 'we don't release a product until it's perfect' philosophy a whole lot more if I didn't see brand new iPad bags appear with magical precision alongside Apple announcements. Missing an estimated availability date by two+ years isn't a bad estimate, that's just taking your customers for a ride.

    Just be a little honest and say that this bag is pretty low on the priority list. I like your products but this is ridiculous. If you can't come up with realistic projections for your products, don't use spoiler tags, just don't say anything. How hard is that?
    scottu,

    i understand your frustration. i don't claim to understand how a bag design makes its way from idea to deliverable product, but if you wouldn't mind entertaining one concept, i'd like to offer another perspective -

    you can imagine that you have several ideas for different bags. these ideas may have come from your brilliant mind. they may have come from customer feedback on the forums and otherwise. however they materialized, these ideas are there.

    now, as a bag designer, these ideas develop in that brilliant mind of yours. our mind is able to process multiple ideas in parallel. some of them consciously, and others subconsciously. you may not be thinking about an idea actively, but its brewing on the back burner - your mind is working on it.

    so the leap from concept to approach for a given idea comes not in a systematic assembly line but in spurts. it isn't that you go into the factory and say, okay, i'm going to finalize this design today. it doesn't work that way. design is an art. it comes as it comes.

    but once that leap is made, you probably sketch out some ideas and then gather the proposed materials and sit down at a sewing machine.

    you put together your first prototype. you might take this apart and put it together differently several times. you might opt for different materials. sometimes you have ideas about the ideal material but you don't have it and you have to go looking for it, perhaps even pushing suppliers to make it if it doesn't exist.

    once you are satisfied with that initial prototype cycle, if you're a good designer, you put it to use. not just yourself, but in a team of trusted users. you put the bag to use to gain a better understanding of how that prototype works in the real world.

    you take your experience with that prototype, and the feedback that your trusted team provides, and you revise the product accordingly, making a new prototype that will get put to the test.

    now, while you're testing this one particular design, you're also going to be working on other designs that all will be in different stages of their journey from idea to deliverable product.

    undertand that some designs are simpler, while others are more complex.

    you mentioned the breve for the ipad 2. i think we can all appreciate that the breve is a much simpler bag design than say the empire builder or the tri-star or the synapse backpack, and that the journey that the latter took was comparatively longer.

    i personally don't believe that tom bihn is trying to take customers for a ride.

    tom is very uncompromising in his designs - and this reflects in every bag he ships. every bag that comes out is highly functional, attractive, and durable. as much as i have longed for certain bags to be designed, understand that what drives implicit trust in every bag that tom bihn makes is is uncompromising approach. i know that he won't push a bag out the door if the design isn't ready.

    again, this is just my perspective. i hope it helps you to understand and appreciate the bags that tom bihn produces.
    Last edited by maverick; 03-05-2011 at 04:20 AM.
    -m

  6. #111
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Crip View Post
    ...its just boys that need drowning!
    Maybe it's just boys in odd numbers? Twin boys will be a delight, right?

    (Counting down...less than 7 weeks to go before mine arrive.)

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    again, this is just my perspective. i hope it helps you to understand and appreciate the bags that tom bihn produces.
    Very well said, Maverick. Thank you for taking time to put your thoughts into words.

    The Breve was probably in process for a substantial amount of time, and it was just coincidental that it was ready so close to the iPad 2 announcement. it fits the old iPad, too.

    I'll acknowledge that children have been around far longer than the iPad, but a diaper bag is also a much more complicated thing than a minimalist bag for a specific electronic device. Reading previous comments in this thread gave me new appreciation for the age-old parental wisdom that every kid is different: additionally, every parent develops a different system to handle the needs of his/her unique child. I appreciate that it will take some time to condense all the feedback that's being received from the testers, Tom's own ideas, and our forum suggestions into one bag that will serve all (or almost all) of us.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janine View Post
    Maybe it's just boys in odd numbers? Twin boys will be a delight, right?

    (Counting down...less than 7 weeks to go before mine arrive.)
    Don't worry Janine, I have two boys aged 6 and 3 and they are both a delight :-)

  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pilar View Post
    Don't worry Janine, I have two boys aged 6 and 3 and they are both a delight :-)
    WHEW! I was getting a little worried there for a moment. :)

  10. #115
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    One other thing to keep in mind is that the many of the bags for iPads (and the new MacBook Airs) were variations on existing bags--Ristrettos and Caches--to accommodate the new sizes of theses devices. As Janine said, the Breve may have been in process for some time (perhaps it was originally thought of as a minimalist bag for a netbook, and was modified when the original iPad came out). In fact it appears to me to be an evolution of the Cache, i.e., what would you do to a cache if you wanted it be slightly less minimal (carry a few necessities, attach a strap).

    On the other hand, the diaper bag seems to be a departure from briefcases and travel bags, and requires more novel design and feedback. Being relatively new to Tom Bihn, I don't know how long it takes a bag to go from concept to design to prototype to product, but I wonder how the time for the diaper bag compares to the time to develop other products for novel uses (e.g., the Swift and Field Journal Notebook).
    Owner of Crimson/Steel Western Flyer, Forest/Steel Zephyr, Olive/Cayenne Ristretto for iPad, Olive/Cork/Steel and Cardinal/Hemp/Steel Imago, Plum/Wasabi Side Effect, Linen/Steel and Conifer/Steel SCB, Steel Breve, Plum/Black Swift, Steel FJN, Horizontal Freudian Slip, black Brain Cell, Iberian Packing Cube Backpack, Ultraviolet Packing Cube Shoulder Bag, and various organizer pouches, caches, and other odds and ends.

  11. #116
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    The apologism is pretty comical here. I'm with scottu on thinking it's a little odd to see the iPad 2 case show up right on time.

    "Perfect"? Ain't no such thing.

    Was the Aeronaut perfect when it came out? Evidently not, because it's different now.

    Was the Western Flyer perfect? Evidently not, because it's different now.

    I think Janine nails it....every kid is different. So, if we grant that you can't please everybody, why not please SOMEBODY?!?!

  12. #117
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    the bottom line is MONEY!!! lots of it. tom has to pay the bills, the wages and the rising costs of raw material. apple products are freaking hot!! so what is tom going to do? it's a no brainer, ride on the wave of apple mania, make bags for the apple maniacs. bags go flying out of the tom bihn factory doors, money comes in, tom can buy more japanese nylon to make more bags for you bag fiends. a diaper bag is not going to sell as much as the ipad bags and his caches..etc....diaper bags aren't that popular imo. apple products are right now.


    peace.
    aeronaut[black/solar]tristar[black/red iberian]western flyer[black/steel]synapse[black/steel]side effect[black/wasabi]medium cafe bag[black/wasabi]large cafe bag[black/wasabi]shopping bag[steel].

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackfungi View Post
    the bottom line is MONEY!!! lots of it. tom has to pay the bills, the wages and the rising costs of raw material. apple products are freaking hot!! so what is tom going to do? it's a no brainer, ride on the wave of apple mania, make bags for the apple maniacs. bags go flying out of the tom bihn factory doors, money comes in, tom can buy more japanese nylon to make more bags for you bag fiends. a diaper bag is not going to sell as much as the ipad bags and his caches..etc....diaper bags aren't that popular imo. apple products are right now.


    peace.
    wow!

    okay, if you really believe this, i think you've completely failed to understand tom bihn.

    the reason that tom bihn designs bags that cater to apple products isn't because apple products are hot. the reason tom bihn designs bags for apple products is because tom bihn uses apple products. tom isn't driven by what is going to make money. tom is driven by what inspires him. it is because he designs by what inspires him that makes his bags so wonderful. and the fact that they are so wonderful is what drives sales.

    this is true not just in bag design but in any discipline. you look at the best engineers, the best scientists, the best designers, the best software developers, the best in any field out there. what makes them the best is their passion and love for what they do. they aren't driven by money. money comes as a natural result of their brilliance, of their passion.

    by the way, as wonderful as apple products are, i think the number of parents with infants and toddlers that need a diaper bag is far greater than the number of people use apple products.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdu flyer View Post
    The apologism is pretty comical here.
    In some ways, yes, because IMO it isn't necessary. The whining, ranting, snips, and snarky jabs have gone beyond tiresome to the point of being an embarrassment; hardly worthy of the time and effort to craft a reasonable response.

  15. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by maverick View Post
    i personally don't believe that tom bihn is trying to take customers for a ride.

    tom is very uncompromising in his designs - and this reflects in every bag he ships. every bag that comes out is highly functional, attractive, and durable. as much as i have longed for certain bags to be designed, understand that what drives implicit trust in every bag that tom bihn makes is is uncompromising approach. i know that he won't push a bag out the door if the design isn't ready.

    again, this is just my perspective. i hope it helps you to understand and appreciate the bags that tom bihn produces.
    I get that this company likes to produce extremely well thought out products and if it takes four years to design something, well, that's fine with me.

    I do object to estimates being made about product availability that have little to do with reality. People wait to buy products when they hear that a pre-order is announced. How many products have had pre-order dates announced on the blog and then not met those dates? Lots. Those pre-order announcements are supposed to generate excitement with customers, right? By constantly not meeting those targets, as a customer I begin to feel like Charlie Brown having the ball pulled away at the last second. When you take something that is meant to generate excitement for a product and that excitement changes to frustration, that seems to be a very bad thing.

    I would assume that Tom Bihn would rather have excited customers than frustrated ones. Many other companies that have uncompromising standards manage to create realistic timelines for their products. If this company can't learn to do that, I'd suggest that they make fewer forward-looking statements.

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