Following a neck injury that required surgery, Argentina-based Bruno Hernán Gallo began looking for a laptop stand to ergonomically ease his long office hours. "I couldn't find any that I liked," he writes. "I found them boring, plastic, and unoriginal."
After spending "Many weeks of learning 3D design and how to prototype for CNC routers," Gallo cobbled together a workable prototype on his balcony:
It's not clear how he got the word out, but what Gallo had inadvertently designed was the perfect corporate gift—and companies noticed. Slap your brand's logo on a pair of these, and you have the perfect useful, inexpensive (about USD $22) object to hand out at company events and holiday parties. "Many companies (FYO, Unilever, JP Morgan) began to place orders with a personalized logo," Gallo writes.
"Our confidence increased and we took a very important step: We rented a workshop, a dedicated space where we could cut, sand, engrave and package all our orders, which until then had only been made outsourcing much of the machinery work (cuts and laser). Two years later, with great fortune we were able to buy the necessary machinery to do 100% of the work in our workshop."
Gallo's brand, Cactusmade, now sells a variety of simple, CNC-cut plywood accessories like monitor stands, headset stands and phone stands alongside the original laptop risers. They also donate a portion of their proceeds to Banco de Bosques, a nonprofit that uses donations to prevent the Argentinian real estate market from swallowing up the country's last remaining forests.
Not a bad way to turn a neck injury into a win!
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