I love Clip-N-Seals. I wrote about them in a column, and bought a bunch from Amazon, and they keep chips (what I call crisps) fresh for months on end. Amazing, really, for two bits of plastic.
Anyway, they’re going to space, according to Seattle PI’s Insider: NASA buys bag clips, but lips are sealed on their use:
TO CONTAIN ALIEN LIFE FORMS, MAYBE?: Textura Design, a home-based startup in West Seattle, since late 2002 has produced a humble but clever device for resealing plastic bags, called Clip-N-Seal. The soft plastic rod-and-clip device has attracted attention from dairies, manufacturers and the military, among other customers.
Now the Clip-N-Seal (three for $4.99, available in four sizes) may be going into outer space, says company founder D.L. Byron, 38. The company shipped a dozen 40-inch-long Clip-N-Seals, at $7 apiece, to NASA earlier this month.
NASA won’t say when, or whether, or how the clips will be used. The next opportunity they’ll have to fly is aboard the shuttle Discovery when it launches sometime between July 13 and July 31– depending on weather conditions — to resupply the International Space Station. “All NASA will say is they’re for a large object,” Byron said.
The British Antarctic Survey is also considering the clips for use on its next mission. “Not bad for something we invented to keep potato chips fresh,” he said.
Excellent. It’s good to see good products go places. Like Space.
This week’s column is about The Slashdot Effect, (subscription only, I’m afraid) which I’ll mention in more detail in subsequent postings. This first supplement is about the commercial potential of blogs, and a case study those of you reading blogs will probably already know about:
Is it possible to harness this new kind of information flow for business ends? You bet. But it’s not easy. Here’s one success story, and it has as much to with patience and luck as budgets. DL Byron, principal of Seattle-based of website designer Textura Design Inc, came up with an idea for a better way to seal plastic bags – the Clip-n-Seal. He used Clip-n-Seal’s own blog to talk about the product, and told one or two of his blogging friends, who blogged and told their friends, until one day they hit the mother lode: Boing Boing, and two similar other big directory sites. Retail sales went through the roof, but that was just the beginning. “Great for traffic,” Byron recalls, ” but what really happened was a new market found us that we never anticipated.” As Clip-n-Seal climbed the Google search page ranks, industrial customers discovered them and suddenly organizations from crime scene policemen to biomedical companies were placing orders. Byron’s conclusion: Better to spend time on getting noticed in the blogosphere than spend money on traditional advertising. “I can say from our experience that a blog post will outsell a ad. Guaranteed.”