Imagine the scene: You are a student in England, living in a broken-down house further broken down into noisy, thin-walled apartments (or “flats,” to use the local term). One of your junkie friends has sold you a (totally legit, honest) iPad for just £50, and you need somewhere to stash it for both security and protection.
You look around your decrepit kitchen and see a chipboard door hanging from one of the cupboards. You rip it off and attack it with a saw, screwing and glueing until you have a sturdy box for your non-stolen tablet. To close the hole in the top you pull the artists beret you’ve recently taken to wearing from under a pile of dirty laundry and cut it to fit over the gap. Behold! An iPad case.
But what to do next? If your name is Eric Rea, you quickly form a company called Fine Grain, open up a Kickstarter project and start hawking your new invention under the name “BOWDEN + SHEFFIELD Minimalist iPad Cases.”