Whoo-ee! Now I really am a full time "inventor"!
Granted, it’s taken until I’m not far off eligibility for the NZ old age pension to get to this state- but better late than never! But, here’s a worry; maybe now that I’m sort of officially ‘there’, I'll wake up one morning and find that I can’t ‘"do-it" anymore- invent things that is;- invention dysfunction?- Is there a Viagra equivalent for this?- probably not or we’d be getting spam about it.
But how has this ‘promotion’ happened? Well, as was outlined last month, Peter Lynn Kites Ltd (Jenny and Craig) is formally separating from Peter Lynn Ltd (Elwyn and I). Peter Lynn Kites Ltd makes single line kites, buggies, KiteCats and now KiteSleds, and re-sells other traction kite products sourced from Vlieger Op, (Netherlands, Peter Lynn kiteboarding and traction kite licensee). Peter Lynn Kites Ltd announcements about new products and the like will now
come directly from Jenny and Craig. They are at 117 Alford Forest Rd (+ 64
(0)3 308 4538, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com ) but will soon be moving to new premises (that are currently being re-built) further from the road frontage but with a lawn area large enough (4000 sq.m or so) to lay out very large kites and even for the odd spot of test flying.
With 700sq.m’s of building, they should also now have adequate manufacturing and storage space. The plans were prepared and a start made 5 years ago, but on account of an unbelievable boom in construction activity in the Ashburton area that started about then, keeping any builder on the job has been totally impossible until the last month or so. It’s 3 weeks since work resumed, and 20% of the roof is now on; In by Xmas (which Xmas though?).
With Peter Lynn Ltd, (105 Alford Forest Rd, +64 (0)3 308 0030, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com ), Elwyn and I retain the bits that support licensing; the PL brand name, IP (patents and such) and the research and development end of the business. R and D is fun (for me) but it is also a black hole into which we throw all our money- any that hasn’t already been gobbled up by patenting expenses that is.
All of us are gradually coming to terms with our new roles:
Jenny’s looking VERY harassed- but really needn’t worry, she’s been running PLK Ltd for years- just hasn’t realised this.
Craig’s looking increasingly pained also- and so he should- there’s nothing that sucks fun out of anything as rapidly as turning a hobby and passion into a business.
Elwyn still has the job of shoveling perfectly good money into various black holes- but it’s going to be a bit more difficult for a while now as, for PL Ltd, one of the major sources of ‘fuel’ has just dried up (making and selling kites). She’ll manage- always has so far.
It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good though; I’m smiling: Almost my only responsibility now is (together with Pete and Chris) to come up with enough breakthrough ideas to keep our licensees bubbling along at the leading edge of the industry- and to this end, have nearly complete freedom and close to perfect facilities (useable mid range winds excepted).
Inventing is a strange game though:
What seems to be the next big thing can fail to live up to expectations- even after endless expenditure of time money and hopes- the flip side being that sometimes a really good idea comes along but isn’t recognised as such until much later.
Then, ideas occasionally appear fully formed as if from nowhere and work straight away.
But more often the birth process is slow and painful. There just doesn’t seem to be any pattern, no process that is any more likely to yield good results than random flailing about (my specialty) - which is why managers find innovation to be amongst the most difficult business processes to manage I guess.
To survive and prosper in the kite world (35 year and running), it seems we need to find a big new thing about once every two years.
Our newly sharpened focus seems to be working already:
The KiteSled surprised me last year and I thought that this would fill the allotted quota for a while. Then, two days ago, a traction kite thing*** I (we), and everyone else have been pushing away at for at least 15 years suddenly worked- like a bolt from the blue.
For "thing", read "holy grail".
It’s a principle really rather than a specific, but I tested it on an existing kite to be sure. And it is (major) and I am (certain).
The next few years are going to be very exciting (and busy)!
Watch this space!
I’m just back from kite events at Dieppe, (Canada) and Bintulu (Sarawak)- both excellent- and am leaving tomorrow for Scheveningen (Netherlands) and Coolum (Australia). These are now classed as "licensee support" activities I guess- but kite events are also a great source of inspiration for me- that is, I see what everyone else is working on and can maybe "acquire" a few ideas!
And, having to sit in enforced boredom (albeit with nice ladies bringing me the odd glass of red) on aeroplanes for 4 or 5 days each month provides a perfect and timely thinking environment. Now I know why the pace of innovation in this world really took off after the invention of the aeroplane!
105 Alford Forest Rd
2nd Sept ’05
PS: You will notice a new web site in our header,
this leads you to a fully informative web site on the KiteCat that Stefan
has put together, thanks Stefan.