June 30, 2005

Product niche.

I think if more women were involved in deciding what products to design, what I've been looking for would already exist. I want a very small bag on wheels -- not something that looks like carry-on luggage, but a small, sleek case with a compartment for a laptop and room for one book and a few personal items. There are lots of larger cases, but they don't make them small enough, because -- I think -- men find it easy to carry a small bag (and would be embarrassed to wheel one). But, believe me, women want wheels for a simple laptop case.

And don't make it out of that coarse "technical nylon" with thick velcro-y flaps on the outside. Don't make it multicolored or shape it like a dorky backpack with those ugly padded backpack straps. Make it simple, black nylon and put two zippers on the top. Make the handle slim and the wheels small. There! It's such an obvious product! Somebody needs to start making this. Please. You'll get rich.

15 comments:

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe something like this?
http://www.ebags.com/timberland/r73_wheeled_boarding_tote/product_detail/index.cfm?modelid=41580

Ann Althouse said...

That's close and similar to what I've been seeing, but it's still too large. That measures 13.50 x 14.00 x 8.00, but I want something closer to 10 x 12 x 6. Plus, the styling isn't sleek enough. I don't like the cable-trim. And the interior design is for clothing, not a laptop/schoolbag/wallet set of compartments.

Meade said...

Ann: Your request has already been forwarded to students at one of the nation's top design schools.

Thank you for your patience.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks!

I've really tried looking on line and everything looks like you're going to go travelling, not just to work. I actually have a wheeling travel bag the size of the one freeman found, and I sometimes use it to drag files around, but people constantly ask me about my travel plans. Plus, travel bags never open up easily -- you're not expected to dig around in them and put things in and out constantly.

knoxgirl said...

It's not on wheels, but when I get my powerbook (please, god, one day), I'm getting one of these to carry it...

http://www.acmemade.com/thecargo.html

Ann Althouse said...

As long as something is being designed to order, consider making a bag that you can carry up on your shoulder, like a normal computer bag, but that has a long wheeled support brace extending at the base.

Anyway, for a nonwheeling computer case, I recently got one of these, and I like the style:

Acme Made * The Designer Slim.

Ann Althouse said...

Knoxgirl: Funny that you were linking to the AcmeMade page at the same time I was.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Now that you're talking about personal items you wish for and own, would you give all us 'Althomers' the report on that topaz hair smoother?? Was it worth the price? What about Silvio? How's he doing these days?

Did I just coin a new term? Those who stay at the Althouse are 'Althomers', because you've made your Althouse our home. [Plus the Simpsonian connection is also good.]
Doh!

gs said...

Maybe the Manolo, some advice he could give to the super fantastic Ann. (http://shoeblogs.com/)

lindsey said...

Are you sure there isn't some slim wheel contraption you could just attach a bag to?

I was going to suggest Manolo as well!

amba said...

A worry:

How good is it for your laptop to be bumped along on urban sidewalks and to cross potholed streets on wheels? (This is a New Yorker thinking. The motherboard would be jarred loose.)

Ann Althouse said...

Amba: They'll have to take that into account when they design this thing.

Rick Lee said...

As a photographer, I'm constantly wheeling stuff around. One thing I'd like to point out... if the wheelbase is too narrow, the rolling thingy will constantly tip to the side which is very irritating.

WA-mom said...

While people are searching, another question. Why do they only make small, large or extra large wheeled suitcases. Medium is what I always need.

Slac said...

Funny, just a few days ago I saw a man using what you're looking for. I thought, "huh, that's a small sleek bag on wheels," and it looked light and sturdy. It fit him just fine, particularly because he is a professor who has been there a while and has probably grown tired of carrying that same equipment back and forth over the years.

I apologize, though, for I don't know the first place to look. The bag/luggage market as always seemed so scattered and aimless.

When I graduate I'll have be a marketing manager at a luggage company and make sure we market to you, Ann!