Prototypes to Products

Written by Parker Gates
Posted November 13, 2015

A few years ago Anna and I started making wall sized calendars in our home offices so we could see a snapshot of the entire year. We were traveling a lot and Anna wanted to keep an eye on the amount of time spent away from the family. Also, our mentors had given us the suggestion of having at least 1 week at home for every week we were “out on the road” as a means of recovery.


We found that an analogue calendar offered something our Google calendar couldn’t: a bird’s-eye view of balance. Were we spending our time intentionally? We’re we building in enough downtime and vacation? Were we choosing work we loved?

We found it so valuable that last year we decided to have a set printed to give away. We gave them to clients, friends and collaborators, and asked them to let us know how they used it, what worked and what didn’t work.

They gave us great suggestions and we now have a 2016 calendar we really love. Some things from our original prototypes were kept and some were cut. Iteration and evolution has been a ton of fun and it’s really interesting to watch everyone push for features they feel are the “right” features. In the end, the users determined the outcome and we now have a product that feels super useful to those who have the same needs we have!

This has been a fun project for us. We’re usually so focused on helping clients launch products and services that we don’t often take the time to do something like this. Something more personal to us.


We hope you like the stoke.d shop that we’ve been using internally for a few years now. These offerings are in response to request from friends and colleagues. Hopefully you like them too!