Okay here goes... My name is Matt, I'm a product designer/developer. A little while back I was hooking my G4 PowerBook into my TV to watch some movies that I had pulled off the net like always and suddenly found myself extremely annoyed at the process. Going from my desktop to entertainment mode there were 14 connections that had to be pulled out or plugged in again. Then when the thing was plugged in there were cables all over the place, I thought there had to be a better way of doing this. But, as a frequent desktop user I had looked into docking stations for Macs and knew there wasn't a great solution for this kind of problem. All the ports on the G4 PowerBooks were on the same side so I quickly sketched up an idea for a vertical docking station. My plan was to CAD model the dock body and have a single unit rapid prototyped. I couldn't figure out a decent way of incorporating the connections so I was planning on co-molding all of cables into the dock with a pourable two part plastic. I didn't consider the concept to be worthy of trying to form a business around at the time since the only compatible computer at the time was the 12-inch G4 PowerBook (the rest of the lineup had ports on both sides of the computer). The cost of the rapid prototype at about $1,000 scared me off of the pet project for a few months.
A few months later the new unibody Macs were announced, amazingly on the same day that my G4 PowerBook gave up the ghost. I rushed out and bought a 13-inch MacBook and immediately noticed that all of the ports were on one side, in fact the whole line of MacBooks now had their ports all on one side. This meant that the docking station concept was now a viable product, not just a one off pet project. I'd quit my day job a few months before to launch another company that was now humming along on its own, so I was looking for another product idea and the docking station fit the bill. I started putting together some more detailed sketches of what a vertical docking station might look like.
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