Post #10: The Power of Three

Update:   Spring has arrived!  Since my last blog post, our family took its first week long vacation in three years.  It has snowed three times in Peoria (at least).   It has taken 3x the patience to get this start up off the ground.   That said, our 3-in-1 ball is coming along.  We are hoping for a summer launch and always reminded of God's love!

Father & Son at the Grand Canyon    

Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, AZ

Our Back Yard on April 08, 2018

The Power of Three:  Things seem to happen to me in three's.  My name is John Hinnen III, or Three as my Grandpa affectionately called me.  I'm one of three children.  Nancy and I have three children and three amazing grandchildren. That means our daughter has three ... for now ;)  

So ... this picture: 

Three balls, two bands and one old man.  There must be some meaning.   On the right... a light weight, safe round ball my 2-year old grand daughter can have loads of fun with.  In the middle, an odd little football that spirals 40 or more yards through the air.  What's left?  A flower-like disc that also spins through the air... and is just as light.   The significance?  A fun new toy made in Central Illinois!

The fact that you use a wristband to change the ball is something that goes beyond the surface in this story.  While waiting for some engineering changes, there has been extra time to think.  What will the impact of this be?  How much fun will people have with the Bandit Ball?  Who can it help?

I did over 100 Customer Discovery interviews in the community last spring and summer.  For most I was dressed in a Bradley t-shirt and said I was a volunteer, asking about a new start up.  I asked questions of folks at events like March Madness, the Pekin Kids Festival and the Louisville Slugger Complex.  The first.... "Would you buy this product?", met with success!  This is a PowerPoint slide from my 1 Million Cups presentation last October.  The color expressions are actual quotes from folks I asked.

Other categories I asked about in the interviews were:

  • Colors: People said bright ... with red, orange, green and blue in the lead.
  • Price:   Believe it or not, the suggestions ranged fro $1 to $20 dollars!  It will be somewhere in between.
  • Uses: People said "Beach Toy" a lot.   Many asked if the ball floats.   It does!

Nate at Panama City Beach, FL  Spoiler alert.... I photo shopped the Bandit Ball image, but you get the idea.

Folks also thought it would make a good promotional/fan experience product.  Think Bradley Cheerleaders throwing them out at games!   Or the Cubs, or Cardinals or, at the local level, even high school teams.   The wristband colors and print can be changed easily.  So many possibilities.....

The question in the Customer Discoveries that was most important to me was about outreach.  When asked if the ball would matter more if it was connected to a meaningful cause, 100% of the people asked said yes.  That will be the subject of the next blog post.

And for your entertainment... here's a video of a young Nate and friend Nick seeing just how far the Bandit Ball will go.

So there you have it ... the news for now.  The next post will have more updates and some clues into our upcoming launch.







John Hinnen

Timeline Update: April 23, 2018. Just finalized 3-D model with Midwest Molding Solutions of Bloomington today. If all goes well, the first production models should be available this summer. Look for our LIVE promo video on social media in a couple of months. That’s the signal!

Tina Pfanschmidt

Love the comments, the concept, the colors, the fun to be had with the bandit ball! So proud of you! Can’t wait!💙

Dan & Micki Ristau

Look great John. We hope it does well. When can I get one for the grand kids.

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