Interview with Juan Sanchez, co-founder of Bagby
It all started when…
BAGBY Q&A FOR PHONEBREAKUP
Juan Sánchez is an international expert consultant in new marketing, including social media and word of mouth marketing. For the past 12 years, he worked in leading communications agencies across the world (Madrid, Paris, Luxembourg, Singapore and LA). Nowadays, he has listened to his Mediterranean roots and embraced Slow living. He is using all that knowledge from the agency days to build mindful and relevant businesses to save the world from digital sicknesses such us Nomophobia, VGS or PVS. Welcome to Technology Minimalism: LESS technology is BETTER.
Juan Sánchez suggested a #phonefreebedroomchallenge to his wife to take their relationship to the next level. After seeing the benefits this move could bring to the other people (less anxiety, better mood in the morning, better sleep and more intimate moments, etc.) he has created Bagby, the world’s first sleeping bag for your phone. Successfully funded on Kickstarter, featured in top media outlets and recommended by mindfulness professionals across the globe; Bagby aims to become a tech-free tool to help people, especially couples reconnect in a more mindful way.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
What is a bagby?
Bagby is the world’s first sleeping bag for your phone to help people, especially couples to reconnect in a more mindful way. Its aim is really to become a tool to start a phone-free ritual in the bedroom and other areas in any home.
Why was your inspiration?
Actually, my inspiration came from a personal experience and the fact that my wife and I wanted to take our relationship to the next level and have a baby. We realized we used to bring our phones into the bedroom and play with it, so we were totally disconnected from each other. Also, in the morning, checking our phones became a more important thing than even a little ‘Good morning”. Today, and thanks to Bagby, we are first-time parents of our baby girl Luna Mare.
On top of this, I’ve been reading a lot about smartphone addiction, minimalism and digital detox, and practicing meditation and mindfulness. There are two important moments that truly opened my mind and put me to work on the Bagby idea. First, Simon Sinek did a great interview for The Impact Theory (“Millennials in the workspace”) and suggested to put our phones away and buy an alarm-clock. Secondly, a brand that I love (Gin Mare, the Mediterranean Gin) did an event where visitors were requested to leave their phones in a hanging bag to truly enjoy the Mediterranean evening and connect with the rest of attendees.
One thing that grabbed my attention was the fact that everybody is trying to solve this problem by adding more technology (a new app, a new phone, etc.) while the key should be the opposite. Less technology is more (Technology minimalism).
How did you come with the idea? Did you run any research?
We interviewed more than 200 people and ask them why you are still bringing your phone into the bedroom. The results were crystal clear:
99% of people said that they used the phone as alarm-clock.
Bagby comes with a non-digital alarm-clocks with no annoying lights.
90% of people said they like to charge their phones overnight.
Bagby has a built-in slit so you can use your cable and charge it.
78% of people mentioned the fact that the wanted something that they could place anywhere.
Bagby comes with a removable hook that you can mount anywhere.
Why would anyone need a sleeping bag for their smartphone?
I believe people, especially couples, are disconnected from each other because of phone overuse. Indeed, we are facing a huge sleep epidemic which is taking us away from our mindful path. I think this simple move (using Bagby to help you put your phone away) is a great way to start our personal digital detox.
What sorts of effects has using a bagby had on your own relationship (both with your phone and the person who shares your bedroom)?
The benefits are very clear:
- Fall asleep faster
- Improve mood in the morning
- Reduce anxiety
- Have sweeter dreams
- Increase intimate moments with your partner
How do you use a bagby? Do you have any particular suggestions for families with kids?
Bagby comes with a removable hook and a non-digital alarm clock (optionally). Basically, you need to stick the hook, hang the Bagby and put your phone there. That’s all. It’s a simple move and the best thing is that Bagby becomes a reminder for you to do so before entering the bedroom.
When it comes to families and kids, I believe it’s very important for us (parents) to set a good example with our kids. They need our support and focus more than ever. There is nothing that can replace our attention.
For this reason, we also created Bagby Living (4+ pockets) and Bagby Social (12 pockets).
What feedback have you gotten since you launched? (The more specific the better)
People loved the fact that Bagby is handmade in a small workshop in Argentina and it’s easy to use. Also, many people liked the whole brand story and how we are not adding more technology or creating another app that basically keeps you more engaged with your phone.
On the other hand, we are talking about a new problem so people are not fully aware of smartphone addiction being a real problem yet. For me, it’s a little bit like tobacco 20 years ago. Remember, we used to see people smoking in planes, buses, restaurants, etc. Now, I would feel crazy. Translate that situation to smartphones and you get the picture. There is still a lot of work to do in terms of education and nourishment.
Our main goal with Bagby is offering a simple tool to facilitate that move / ritual.
Currently, we are taking all this feedback and working on new ideas and product improvements.
What makes Bagby different?
I think there are about six key elements:
1- Bagby is handmade in a small workshop in Argentina. It's made slowly and with love.
2- Bagby is the result of a real, authentic and personal story.
3- Bagby is based on a primary market research to overcome the three main barriers we have to embrace a phone-free time.
4- Bagby is a non-tech solution. Our positioning is clear, LESS technology is MORE. No apps, no fancy tech tricks. This is our way to fight smartphone addiction.
5- Bagby has a rustic look and fits in any home.
6- Bagby works as a great reminder for your "phone-free ritual" before you enter the bedroom or any other room.
How many products you have developed so far?
Our original product is the Bagby for the bedroom. We have a version for singles (1 Bagby) and for couples (2 Bagbys). Bagby comes in two options; Basic and Full (includes a non-digital alarm-clock).
Besides Bagby bedroom, we have come up with Bagby Living (a bigger version with 4+ pockets for the living room) and Bagby Social (a solution for events, social gatherings that has 12 pockets which I’ve currently placed it in the main entrance door of my apartment).
How can people get one?
Now, we are available on Indiegogo (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bagby-world-s-first-sleeping-bag-for-your-phone-sleep ) and Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/bagbybrand); and we deliver within 2-4 days in the USA and 7-14 days overseas.
Anything else you'd like to share?
I’m very thrilled to had the opportunity to leave my corporate job life and started something that I truly believe in and has a social purpose. As you know, we are not that many people in the space working on the other side of the digital distraction epidemic so I want to use this moment to encourage other people and entrepreneurs to join this “battle”, embrace slow living and work towards a better world.
Bagby is available for purchase at Etsy and Indiegogo
https://www.etsy.com/shop/bagbybrand (Etsy Shop) ( Link everything here)
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bagby-world-s-first-sleeping-bag-for-your-phone-sleep (Indiegogo page)