Doug Barber: The Minaal Story

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Need to fit your entire life (including computer) into a carry-on, use the same bag to summit a mountain, and then show up to a meeting looking the part? Well look no further, the Minaal backpack is here.

Doug Barber, Co-founder of Minaal, shares how he and his friend Jimmy Hayes came to develop their successful product, and went on to raise $350,000 on their first ever Kickstarter campaign.

From their 18,000 mile road trip around North America in a Plymouth Grand Voyager van, to Doug’s experience as a corporate lawyer in New Zealand, this entrepreneur’s path is anything but ordinary.

“It’s a mixture of travel for fun and seeing what’s along the way. If we know there’s a particular industry in a certain area, we will go check it out… because you can search things out on the Internet, but there’s a lot that you’re not going to find out until you actually go to the place and start talking to people.” – Doug Barber

Travel Topics:

  • Presenting as a guest speaker on the Nomad Cruise [0:55]
  • The history of Minaal [1:25]
  • From road trip to corporate law [3:12]
  • How to plan the best study abroad year ever [6:00]
  • Traditional job by day, business dreams by night [9:52]
  • How to position yourself to run an international company [10:35]
  • Living ‘cozy’ and eating ‘the meal of champions’ [12:05]
  • The importance of developing quality fabrics for travelers [15:27]
  • What you can learn from tailors in central Vietnam [16:58]
  • How to develop a startup…. Hint: Teamwork makes the Dreamwork [20:00]
  • Producing a prototype that speaks for itself [21:31]
  • Benefits of getting honest feedback from your community [23:02]
  • Pros and cons when creating a Kickstarter campaign [25:40]
  • What it takes to build a brand and product [31:24]
  • Finding inexpensive, high quality manufacturers and warehouses in Vietnam… Get prepared to get sweaty [33:07]
  • How to choose the right factory to manufacture your product [36:35]
Minaal’s first Kickstarter video

Doug Barber’s Talking Points:

  • Explore the world with Digital Nomads on the Nomad Cruise
  • Connect with Doug:

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Take Action:

Doug was willing to take an 18-hour bus ride through rural Vietnam to research the highest quality manufacturers. What project or passion would drive you do to the same?