Jonathan J

Yeah, so, start a webstore they said, it will be fun they said – hah…

It’s been nearly a year since we started the NoKipple project and I thought perhaps that you may be interested in reading a little about the process, the challenges, the existential dread, the cliff-like learning curves and the actual genuine pleasure in making a thing real.

I’ve been inventing companies, concepts, inventions for years now – all from behind the fictional safety of a warm four pint enclave in the pub. It all seems so straightforward – booze inflates egos, removes objections and applies a faux clarity to the notional plan – then you wake up the next day and go to work. Hmmm. After vexing myself multiple times in this way I got sufficiently impatient - let’s do it.

The easy bit is at the beginning: We need a name! NoKipple is a compound word – “kipple” is a science fiction neologism that means garbage, rubbish, unwanted dreck; “no” is the obvious modifier here – from the very beginning we wanted to sell genuinely great gear made by cool people – I believe we have made a good start.

Other easy things – researching brands, rinsing the web, talking to like-minded enthusiasts, sitting in the pub again looking at early samples and reading product catalogues, buying new things, emailing with new people in different countries, sharing ideas and energy, moving from notional bullshit to the inkling that it might be able to exist.

Less easy things – finding the money, facing up to the cash burn rate, juggling a full time job, long haul coach class when you’re 193 centimetres tall, taxi rides in Jakarta, projecting your genuine enthusiasms and earnestness to strangers through a fog of jet lag and humidity, managing expectations.

Even less easy things – the burn rate, learning critical technical skills, managing front and back end dev resources, product photography (my knees hurt), imports, tax incredulity, obsession with margin viability, storage, domestic harmony, detail obsession.

The hard things – the fucking burn rate, ugh – got to go to work, acceptance that everyone will have an opinion – about the gear, the website, the photography – exposure, right? The realisation that getting to launch is just the beginning – who knows what will happen?

What I have learned most of all is that execution is a bitch – I’ve helped other people out before with their own projects and companies – so what, it’s easy to have an idea – execution is everything. That little prick Yoda had a point – do, or do not – everything else is pints and wanking.

We’ve made it to launch, let’s see how the dice fall.

This is me, Jon (NoKipple)