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Let's Do a Little Quality Control

Originally posted April 25, 2017 by Tommy Goode on the Tiny Cables Medium publication. Bad cables can be really bad. Google engineer Benson Leung learned that the hard way. Mr. Leung took it upon himself to purchase, test, and review a series of USB Type-C cables and accessories on Amazon, where he found a number of cables that were out-of-spec. Not only that, he found a cable that was so bad that it fried his laptop and test devices. His reviews have caused multiple manufacturers to withdraw and re-design products on sale on Amazon, and likely contributed to Amazon banning manufacturers from selling out-of-spec cables. To me, he is Batman, ridding Gotham (Amazon) of evil-doers and miscreants (poorly-designed cables that...

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Let's Kvetch About Sending Money Overseas

Originally posted April 21, 2017 on the Tiny Cables Medium publication. Last night was the night. We had picked cable types, lengths, and inspected samples. We made a logo, built a marketing plan, negotiated fulfillment, and stood in a Walmart staring at packaging for an hour. We learned about the specification that governs power and data transmission in these magical little cables. We negotiated with factories overseas, negotiated some more, and negotiated a little more for good measure. We blogged a lot. Finally, we were ready. It was time to place the order. We received our invoice which detailed the order: USB-A to Lightning USB-A to Micro-USB USB-A to USB-C USB-C to Lightning USB-C to Micro-USB USB-C to USB-C 500...

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Let's Talk About Our Package

Originally published April 19, 2017 on the Tiny Cables Medium publication. It takes one-tenth of a second to render a first impression, and that judgment is nearly impossible to change. You only get one chance to make a first impression. No pressure. For a company that sells something like, oh, I don’t know, charging cables, it stands to reason that a first impression is based on packaging and is an important part of Tiny Cable’s development is considering the box, colors, and copy that we use. A killer first impression is the kind of thing that could give us a real leg up on the competition, especially considering that all of our competition offers remarkably similar packaging for their products:...

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Let's Break Some Cables

Originally posted April 11th 2017 by Tommy Goode on the Tiny Cables Medium publication. My sleep schedule is an absolute wreck. I often go to sleep at 6am or later and sleep past 2pm. It hasn’t caused any issues so far, but it’s not something I want to become a permanent part of my life. Don’t worry, this is about Tiny Cables. I promise. There’s a bright light that shines into my bedroom from the parking lot at night. It doesn’t help my (already messed-up) sleep schedule, so I hung a blanket over the window. Natural light is a strong “wake up!” signal to the human body. If I could build something to pull back the blanket in the morning,...

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Let's Crack the Universal Product Code

Originally published April 1, 2017 on the Tiny Cables Medium publication. If you’re like me, you’ve never thought much about the Universal Product Code (or UPC). There’s a barcode on everything I’ve ever purchased, sure, and the barcodes obviously corresponded to the item I bought, of course, but there are so many questions: How does a UPC code work? Who manages this database of (seemingly) every product ever? How do I get a UPC code? How much does all of this cost? A business who sells through their own channels (e-commerce, small retail) doesn’t (technically) need a UPC code, but if there’s any intent to sell on a larger e-commerce site (like Amazon) or a brick and mortar retailer, you’d...

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