There are a lot of options out there to protect and house your laptop. Some focus on style, while others on protection. For ex-investment banker, Terry Lin, the market offerings were not hitting the mark. Clients expected buttoned-up professionalism and that included the moment when he pulled out the laptop to review the numbers.
“Being sharp, neat, and presentable was key when it came to clients. I found that most sleeves on the market were plain and boring. For someone that needed a more stylish option, there just weren't many out there”, says Lin.
Needless to say, Lin set out to concept and produce his own. The rest, as they say, is history.
Terry Lin calls his laptop sleeve the Black Turtle, inspired by one of the four cardinal symbols in Chinese astronomy—the Black Turtle of the North. “Since the turtle is a symbol of longevity, I felt there was good alignment with the purpose of the sleeve”, explained Lin.
The Black Turtle is made of leather and has a pull zipper that runs along the top and side of the sleeve, allowing for a broader opening (top or side loading). There are two sizes that fit 13” and 15” laptops, respectively. The Black Turtle also includes a pen holder and internal pocket for papers or other items doubling as a business folio.
Backers will also have access to The Black Turtle Power Bank, which is a thin charger, about the size of a phone that can recharge your mobile device 2-3 times. Also included are Black Shell Organizers; pockets of leather that snap closed to keep cords and earbuds detangled and at bay.
Lin left the corporate world and became an entrepreneur in late 2013. It has not been easy, but this is the time in his life where he feels that he can afford the risk. He started out selling wallets under the brand name Baller. He still operates the leather goods company and Black Turtle will be another product offering added to the mix.
“The goal is to have leather accessories that are stylish, sophisticated, and presentable for folks in a professional business setting”, said Lin when asked about the foreseeable future with Black Turtle.
When faced with the decision between crowdfunding platforms Lin chose Kickstarter because of its fixed funding model. “The all-or-nothing aspect of Kickstarter is more exciting…I'm also not too keen on flexible funding that Indiegogo has. If a project doesn't raise all the money needed, it's a market signal that something is off or the marketing efforts need improvement.”
Selecting the proper crowdfunding campaign is important, but driving traffic to your project is vital. Lin shared with me some of the learning he had along the way with his campaign. “Starting out I underestimated the importance of building a pre-launch email list, so momentum was slow to build. The good thing is that new backers are finding the campaign and pledging now.”
Learn more about running your crowdfunding campaign.
Check out Black Turtle on Kickstarter and let us know in the comments below if the project POPs.
Black Turtle’s Kickstarter Campaign Page
Baller Leather Goods’ Website