Graham Stevens
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Preserving Laptop Stickers - A Post Factum

TL;DR - With such an overwhelming response to the original post, I have turned this into a KickStarter in an attempt to make this work. You can check it out here.

A few days ago, I posted about my MacBook Pro sticker prototype to help protect the lid, preserve my various stickers, and subsequently show how it can be removed to archive my laptop lids through time.

I posted it to HackerNews and watched it prompted drop off of the ‘new’ section, at which point I closed the laptop lid and carried on with my evening. However, much to my surprise, it reached the front page…

The first I knew about it was the flurry of mentions on Twitter & the occasional email from Keybase to say that someone new had followed me – a very unusual occurrence for someone so inactive as myself. A quick refresh of HN showed it in the top 5 articles, and the Google Form I had used to gather feedback was also incrementing slowly.

Due to the unexpected response I received based on the prototype, and the ‘marmite’-like nature of some of the comments I’ve seen, I thought a post-mortem post-factum may be of interest to some.

Overall visitor stats for grh.am, courtesy of goaccess.

  • In terms of unique visitors (IP addresses, for sake of simplicity) which visited the blog post: 90,296
  • 1,891 Form responses
  • ~149 links to the post on Twitter
  • Top referrer, after “-”, news.ycombinator.com
  • Mentions on a few blogs from Germany, France and even Japan.

All of this was much more than I had expected, and the form responses were incredibly useful in deciding the next steps.

Kickstarter

As the hits ramped up, so did my efforts to figure out what it would take to turn this into a real product. Initially I planned to use a hobbyist-level die cutter, but the use of a stepper-motor made me doubt the level of accuracy of the cuts. A pro-grade machine suddenly made the initial costs too prohibitive to fund this myself, plus the response rate of the form almost certainly won’t directly convert to actual sales.

Therefore, I needed a way to help fund this & figure out real-world demand…

This fits perfectly within Kickstarter’s remit, so after a day or two putting together a campaign & a few days for them to review, I have happy to report that the Kickstarter of LidLayer is now live!

A note on names…

So the final question of the form was as follows:

What should this product even be called…?

The responses were interesting. They ranged from ASCII shrugs (¯\(ツ)/¯) to long-form comments on the idea. Here are the top few:

  • StickerSaver
  • StickerShield
  • StickerSticker
  • MacWrap
  • ???
  • No Idea

I skimmed through the list, and decided fairly quickly to discount anything hinting at Mac or Apple, purely for copyright reasons. I then checked each of the names for domain & social media availability, again discounting anything that was generally taken.

I came up with 16 potential names, based on some of the submitted ideas and a mix of key terms like lid, cover and top.

I settled on LidLayer due to availability and the fact that I feel to fairly well describes the product at hand. It even conjured up a logo which I am particularly pleased with.

The LidLayer logo, probably.


$ whoami I am Graham Stevens, a Cyber Security Specialist based in the South West of the UK. If you're lucky, I very occasionally post updates on Twitter.