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Leaning back in his chair, President Jack Mussell was thinking about the future of his company. It's been seven years since he took this idea of his and turned it into a reality. Now five years into the company's existence and on the eve of the new millenium, he faces a difficult decision. In order for the company to grow Jack felt it was necessary to expand beyond the borders of Canada. Located in Vancouver, BC, TrailBoss Designs is not an overly large company but has been fairly successful considering the competition yet the Canadian market for camping tents, and camping equipment in general, has been leveling off over the past couple years. To make matters worse, the vendor (a factory in China) that has been manufacturing the tents for him since the beginning, recently sent him a fax wishing to change when payments are made to them. Sitting on his computer screen was what looked like a solution to all his problems yet Jack had a feeling that he could still make this work on his own.
Back in 1993, Jack and his son Patrick (VP) took the working concept of an umbrella and applied it to camping tents. Being frequent campers, they noticed that a large and frustrating part of setting up camp was the assembling of the tent. Over the course of several months, after numerous attempts and various prototypes, they finally found a working and commercially viable design. The biggest selling feature of this four-man tent was its ease of setup. Unlike traditional tents where it could take anywhere from 5 - 15 min (sometimes much longer) to assemble, their tent took only 5 seconds, fully assembled. The other selling feature of the tent was its use of materials. Traditional tents typically use fiberglass rods for the frame, which although a fairly light material still weighed quite a bit and for a camping tent, weight was a major factor. Jack and Patrick decided to use aluminum aircraft tubing which was much stronger and infinitely lighter, not to mention...
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