A Think Tank for Camera BagsBy Think Tank Photo, PRNE
Monday, September 6, 2010
SANTA ROSA, California, September 7, 2010 - One most often associates think tanks with groups of analysts pondering
such heady issues as energy policy and global peace. But a think tank
dedicated solely to camera bags? This didn't stop designer Doug Murdoch from
doing just that five years ago when he launched Think Tank Photo
(Photo: photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100907/LA53850) (Photo: www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100907/LA53850)
Think Tank Photo's roots are those of a classic American start-up. Like
Hewlett-Packard and Apple, Think Tank Photo literally began in Murdoch's
poorly lit garage in Northern California. There, surrounded by bolts of
fabric, sewing machines, and a cutting table, he created a revolutionary
vision for the camera bag business.
Like a classic think tank, Murdoch founded his company on the principle
that its output-the camera bags-should be the result of soliciting input from
hundreds of professional photographers and having his team of world-class
designers mull, sift, argue, prototype, and refine different designs.
"As someone who had made a good living designing bags for numerous
brands, I could have comfortably continued doing that work," said Murdoch.
"But I knew there was a very big opportunity-a new business model-that had
the potential to revolutionize our industry."
For years, Murdoch and his former colleague, Mike Sturm, had the
opportunity to design products for the photo industry and observe how other
camera bag companies determined what to create. They concluded that camera
bag requirements specific to professional photographers were not really being
"This was wrong," said Murdoch, "and an opportunity."
As lower prices were becoming such a dominant force in camera bags, he
realized that there was a niche available at the high end for tailored, well
constructed bags. What the company might lose in volume, it could make up in
superior design and quality that justified higher prices. Thus, the
underlying business model for Think Tank Photo was born.
While Murdoch and Sturm teased apart the industry and probed for the
hidden opportunity, their thoughts kept going back to two photojournalists
from their past who had wanted to provide input into their designs:
Pulitzer-prize winner Deanne Fitzmaurice and Kurt Rogers. With over 50 years
of combined front-line photojournalism experience-from wars to weddings, from
sports to politics-Fitzmaurice and Rogers had seen and photographed it all.
They all wanted Think Tank to be an actual think tank, a place where the
very best photojournalists and other professional photographers would have a
powerful voice in designs, policies, and how the company grew.
Their newly released Sling-O-Matic(TM) shoulder bag is a classic example
of how the company's "think tank" solved a basic problem that had been
plaguing the industry. Sling bags, which are shoulder bags that until now
could be worn over only one shoulder, cause fatigue.
"That is exactly the problem we solved with our new Sling-O-Matic(TM)
sling bag," said Murdoch. "Professional lenses and bodies are really, really
heavy. A full day in the field with a traditional sling bag slung over one
shoulder invites exhaustion and muscle and ligament damage."
Think Tank Photo's Sling-O-Matic(TM) is the photo industry's first sling
bag that can be easily switched back and forth to be worn on either shoulder.
With one smooth motion, the Sling-O-Matic(TM) can be quickly switched to the
opposite shoulder without losing the characteristics that have made sling
bags popular among photographers.
In only five years Murdoch and his colleagues have been able to grow
Think Tank Photo into a major force in the global photography accessories
"Our goal now is make our gear available to every serious photographer in
the world," said Murdoch. "We work with retailers and distributors in all
corners of the world and invite others to represent us in their countries.
"Starting Think Tank was a tremendous personal risk. But, based on my
relationship with photographers I knew that if we truly listened to their
needs and created products that reflected those needs, that they would
support us in kind. By staying true to our vision and mission, our dream of
being an innovation-driven and customer-focused company has come true."
CONTACT: Brian Erwin Brian_Erwin@thinktankphoto.com +1-707-527-0101, ext. 208
Note to Editors:
A picture/s accompanying this release is available through the PA
Photowire. It can be downloaded from www.pa-mediapoint.press.net or
viewed at www.mediapoint.press.net or www.prnewswire.co.uk.
A picture accompanying this release is available from the European
Pressphoto Agency (EPA) at www.epa-photos.com.
Brian Erwin of Think Tank Photo, +1-707-527-0101, ext. 208, Brian_Erwin at thinktankphoto.com
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