August 27, 2001

We threw an iPhone off a 6 story building

When something is enormously important to us humans, we tend to walk around with blinders on. The thinking narrows as we want everything to be flawless, the focus shifts from what has already been achieved to what is still lacking. 

In this mental state, just a minor inconvenience can feel like the end of the world. We have experienced that a lot during the past weeks of product testing.

Testing can be harsh: you have to watch the very thing you invented with lots of love be torn apart by the ruthless conditions it has to be put through. Even though it may hurt to actively destroy it, it is necessary to draw the line between the product’s capabilities and its boundaries.

We have been developing this product for almost two years now and became used to throwing our smartphones around. We reached a point where we don’t even question the safety of our phones anymore - we just know it is, no matter what. 

So, a couple of days ago we threw our phone off a 6 story building onto an asphalt surfaced skatepark! Check the video here, I’m the one missing the catch.

As expected, the phone survived. Only our product had some scratches and a crack in the safety glass. While the skaters cheered in awe and disbelief of what they just saw, we went home - frustrated by the setback.

“Frustrated”... I have to grin while writing about this odd situation now. Usually, a drop of just one foot is enough for your screen to splinter in a thousand tiny fractions. If you will, we’ve built a throwable indestructible phone case but still were disappointed.

So what I learned this week is: when working on ambitious projects, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. It is crucial for the team's motivation!