Story of a simple idea, with a big purpose!
Carlo is 26 years old, he is a web-master and has a 17 month old child David.
Michele is 46 years old, he is a business consultant and has an 8 year old girl, Matilde.
Carlo and Michele are colleagues, working for a management-consulting firm in Bologna.
The morning of June 7th 2013, Carlo arrives at the office upset and goes straight to Michele: “ Did you hear what happened? How is it possible that such things can happen! How can you forget your child in the car .... and we are in 2013, with all the technologies that we have! You would only need some instrument that you put there .... that is attached to .... that beeps when you turn off the car, reminding you that you have a baby on board.”. He can hardly breathe, from the excitement, amazement and anger that he feels all over his body.
Michele listens quietly. He lets him vent and smiles.
Then he says, in a serious and stern manner as if he was his older brother: ”Carlo, you're young, but you're right. The world goes too fast and often you do things automatically, controlled by the frenzy of everyday life. Think of that poor parent, how he is feeling right now .... think of the burden will have to carry for the rest of his life! He is also a victim of the system.”
They meditate a few seconds and then Michele adds excitedly: “as you were talking I had the chills. Do you believe that a similar thing happened to me too? It was late May of 2008, when my daughter was just over 3 years old. A similar tragedy had just occurred and, having heard the news, I shivered and thought pretty much the same things you've just told me. Also the technical solution that I imagined is very similar to that which you have described. At that time I was taken with so many projects and I remember thinking: “Actually, I'm so busy that could happen to me ... how many times I took the wrong road ... I had to go to a customer and I found myself in the office ... I would have to go to my parent-in-laws and would I find myself on the way home ... could it happen to me? ...... NO! I always carry with me the computer bag which for convenience I put behind my seat so everywhere I go, when I arrive I open the rear door and .... I'd notice my child was still in the car! I know it's bad to say but tremendously practical. And then I put that idea in a drawer of my memory, so simple and ordinary, and then I forgot it. And it has been there until now, when you opened that drawer.”
Michael thought for a minute, Carlo is still thinking about that poor father to whom that tragedy happened.
Then, almost simultaneously, the two rise and, each with his own words , they exclaim: “We have to do it, now!” , “It must be simple, cheap and easy to use!” , “It should be easy enough to use for my mother-in-law!” , “It must be inexpensive, be available to all!”.
And so Carlo and Michele define the attributes of the product, the basic features that will be the guidelines to the precise definition of the project. It's easy. They have known each other only a few years, but they’ve always shared the same principles, values, and often are chatting about many topics, also that do not pertain to work.
And a river of ideas started flowing, technical solutions, patterns of operation. Michele called Pierluigi, an electrical engineer friend, and without saying what it is (they have already thought of a hypothesis for a patent!) he describes the schematics of how the product would operate. “Well, yes, you can do it, it's simple!” replied Pierluigi infected by the enthusiasm that he perceives via telephone “Tonight after dinner I’ll jot down the circuit diagram and check on the components”.
And the hypnosis continues. “ ... and you should not have the ability to turn it off permanently, otherwise then maybe you forget to turn it back on!”, “ .... there could be a blue LED that indicates the presence of the baby! .... yes, and a red one that indicates that the device is working. No. Red no . Let's go with green , it's better!”
The idea was born. Michele and Carlo now have the product right there, as if it were real. They touch it, turn it, open it, dismantle it, make it beep. They try to evaluate every aspect that could create false alarms or malfunction. Each one is dealt with an immediate solution.
They decide: “Let's go forward, then we will decide which street to take: we patent it and sell the patent, perhaps with a royalty on sales. Or define the business plan and sell the whole project. Or find a financer. We'll see.”. It is not the economic aspect that drives Carlo and Michele, or the business idea itself to flow emotions in the two colleagues. Rather, it is the image of a person who, arriving out of breath at work, turns off the car and hear the device beep reminding him that his son is on board, while he was supposed to leave him at the nursery. In the rush he found himself in the parking lot of the office. It 's like if Carlo and Michele were watching a movie. They could see this person who turns to the rear seats and sees the baby, a little angel sleeping peacefully in his car seat. He looks at him, smiling and whispering “Honey, I'm sorry, I have to think more of you". Then looks at that simple device that he now has in the cigarette lighter socket and thinks: “Thank you, whoever you are, you've invented such a tool. Thank you.” And a tear trickles shyly down his cheek.
And this is the story of how the idea was born. A simple idea, but with a BIG purpose!
Carlo e Michele