Nick Mankey Designs

Custom Endurable Goods & Design Services

The Chronicles of Massdrop: Vol. 1

Nick MankeyComment

When I first approached the purchasing staff at Massdrop about 6 weeks ago, I really didn't think much was going to come of it. As I understood, they seem to handpick what they want to incorporate into their various communities. 

Fast forward a month and 30 emails later: It's happening. I'd mailed off a model of my Ruler Strap to their HQ in San Francisco for studio photography. Another week goes by, I approve their listing, and the date is set for launch: April 26, 2017.


Launch Day is upon us, and in the just the first few hours the event hits the stretch goal of $34.99 a piece! I was jazzed. And if the action had stopped there, I would have been thrilled.


Fast forward approximately 6 days & 12 hours: I'm not even sure how I feel.


It was a stew of anxiety, excitement, and complete shock. Normally it would take me an evening to produce a handful of these- how could I possibly handle such a colossal task? Will Larry (my laser cutter) fail somewhere in the middle of production? Will I disappoint all of the gracious backers by missing a deadline? Will my quality remain high enough to make a good impression? It was pure logistical madness in my mind.


The final count was an extremely ambitious number. Never before had I felt so honored, yet so petrified by the amount of work that lie ahead. But I was grateful, and highly motivated- this has been my biggest break in exposure BY FAR after all, and couldn't afford to blow it. 

Luckily I'd informed the good folks at Massdrop that a personal production limit of 150 should be set (self-imposed two week cap). And had gathered enough supplies prior to make it all happen right away.

These three right here deserve all the credit, frankly. Their encouragement and ceaseless desire to help with the rather monotonous production made every bit of difference. Thanks guys.

We all pulled 10s of hours for days straight to knock these out. But we DID IT, and in record time; The first hundred straps were done in the span of one weekend! The rest came together in just one more day, when I was expecting to spend TWO WEEKS on this project. 


On a more technical level, my basic laser cutter/engraver machine takes about an hour to engrave 7 straps at a time, followed by another hour to cut them out. So while Larry was doing his job, we were processing the straps, steps of which include: de-carbonizing, un-masking, cleaning, trimming, oiling, waxing, assembling, packaging, and finally sorting them into their likeness (there were 21 unique SKUs involved), all while watching a marathon of MST3K and whatever else sounded good at the time. It was actually a pretty good time.


And finally, on Monday the 15th of May, I brought all 133 shining and eager Ruler Straps to the local FedEx and sent them on their way to the Massdrop warehouse in Edison, NJ. It was an extremely relieving feeling that quickly turned into excitement with the thought that just a matter of days from that point on, over 100 people will be wielding and wearing a product forged from my humble apartment space here in San Jose. And I can't wait to hear what they all think :)

'Til next time,

- Nick