The Process

Project UNITED shirts are live!

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As the old saying goes, the way to a mans heart is through his t-shirt

We are over the moon to announce the release of our first official product, the UNITED performance tee series. The shirts are a light tri-blend material available in Slate (dark grey), UNITED Blue (pretty much just a regular blue) and OMGyellow (eye-burning fluorescent yellow).

We had given the prototypes an absolute flogging over the course of the last few months to ensure that they hold their shape and maintain their colour even after being put through weeks of workouts, washing machines, and dryers. Having …

UNITEDProject UNITED shirts are live!
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The UNITED Shoe v1.0 review

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A few months ago we acquired a few prototypes of the UNITED shoe v1.0 – Project UNITED’s “first draft” of our multi-purpose fitness shoe. The v1.0 was based on shoe models created by market leaders but modified enough to suit the needs of our community, and also to avoid getting brutally sued.

The prototypes were field-tested to see how they performed under the types of strain we’d expect most active footwear to handle. For the most part, they handled it okay, though there was certainly a lot of room for improvement.

Shoe anatomy

Features

The v1.0 was designed and constructed to deliver …

UNITEDThe UNITED Shoe v1.0 review
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What’s a Kickstarter?

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Over the coming months, the UNITED team will be working on the UNITED shoe v1.0 to make sure it is athlete ready. When the v1.0 is ready to bring to the public (most likely in 2016), we plan on launching a Kickstarter project to raise the required funds to commence manufacturing and distribution. Our Kickstarter project will provide us with two critical outcomes:

  1. The finances.
  2. Confirmation that there is a place in the market for the V1.0.

We talk more about the process in The Process posts but for now, wanted to outline how Kickstarter works.

What is Kickstarter?

There …

UNITEDWhat’s a Kickstarter?
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The UNITED shoe, v1.0

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This was always going to be the most difficult part of the exercise: designing athletic footwear that not only performs under the conditions that we subject them to, but also that looked like something that people would be happy to wear publicly. In other words, they needed to work, and look nice. And what looks nice from one person’s mind to another could be any level of difference.

What the UNITED shoe is, and is not

Fundamentally, the UNITED shoe (v1.0) needed to perform strongly across multiple disciplines: squats, lunges, box-jumps, skipping, climbing, short distance running, WoDs, boot-camps, and gym …

UNITEDThe UNITED shoe, v1.0
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Meeting our makers

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Part of the Project UNITED plan is to work towards bringing athletic apparel and footwear to athletic communities with a view to establish a brand that represents community athletes rather than one or two elite performers. Our shoe philosophy can be found here. In previous posts published under The Process, we had spoken about our need to find a manufacturer that suited our objectives.

Finding a manufacturer that we could trust, that wasn’t just trying to get hold of our money was a lesson in persistence and faith. We encountered a lot of opportunistic businesses that saw us …

UNITEDMeeting our makers
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Wait… what?

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[Written be Will Lind, co-founder of United]

What does a guy like me think when a random email drops in my inbox asking if I wanted to be part of a team developing not just a new shoe, but a new way of doing business that builds and develops fitness communities at a grass-roots level? A guy like me says, “Aw, hells yeah!”

When Andrew hit me with the Project UNITED idea, he originally pushed it from the community building aspect (he referred to it as Kevin). That’s where the vision originated and that’s the part I fell in …

UNITEDWait… what?
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“But what’s the point?”

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Putting a project together like Project UNITED takes a lot of time, money, and essentially requires the right people. The right skill-set is important, but what is more critical is for them to have genuine excitement for the project itself. Without this enthusiasm, the project is doomed before it even gets off the ground.

One of the things that makes Will a great person to work with is that he is not only big-picture capable, but he constantly asks why things are being done the way they are: are they being done for a purpose, or are they being done …

UNITED“But what’s the point?”
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So… now what?

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After we had calmed down from the hysteria of the idea (and by “hysteria” I mean confusion), we started to logically outline the basic high-level steps to achieving our goal – the goal being to create a desirable athletic shoe that would supplement our plan to invest in active communities. At this point we were not concerned with what could or couldn’t go wrong, or pricing, finances, logistics, shoe styles, or time frames. We basically “how-would-ya’d” the concept over the course of an hour or two; “how would ya create the product?” “How would ya promote the product?” …

UNITEDSo… now what?
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A “genius” idea

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We had just completed a morning routine and were sitting around having a breather. Sweat was pouring out of us like crazy and that giddy recovery had started to replace the exhaustion. The conversation commenced by bouncing “reviews” of the routine we had just completed off each other. Basically we just swore a lot.

Once we got that out of our systems,  we moved onto general conversation – the weekend previous, the weekend coming, humorous things we encountered up to that point in the week, and new fitness purchases. One of the crew had purchased a new pair of shoes …

UNITEDA “genius” idea
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