The story - how I came to design Plinth


Royal Fleet Auxiliary Navigator

My first career was as a Navigating Officer in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, where I spent 8 happy years working with the Royal Navy all over the world.

In 1986 I left the sea to study for a degree in Industrial Design in London.

Then came 2 years in consultancy and a year in Industry, before starting my own Design company in 1991.


Product design engineer

John Bull Design Ltd grew to a team of eight, based in West Sussex. We designed some amazing products, from children’s nursery equipment, sports gear, laboratory test appuratus to Insustrial safety equipment. 

In 2000 we won a presitgious Millenium Product Design Award.



The impact of iPad

As a designer, I had always dreamed of  being able to draw and paint directly onto the screens I was using every day. To interact directly with fingers and pens, not a mouse.

So, it would seem, were others!


Frustration with stands and cases


I loved my first iPad – but could I find a stable, portable, adjustable stand which was easy to keep with me, and fast to set up?  No. 

I started to play with ideas for a handy pocket stand which would do all I wanted a stand to do.


Crowdfunding my new design

With no money to afford the £23,000 needed to get my idea into production, a friend introduced me to the crowdfunding world of Kickstarter.

It took me 3 times to get a campaign to cross the winning line, but in February 2014 I did it, and Plinth went into production (in the UK, of course).

Click me to watch


Dragons’ Den

In early 2016, I had a call from the BBC; they’d seen my website, loved Plinth, and wondered if I’d like to appear on Dragons’ Den.

I said ‘No’, of course.

Then my friends told me to get a grip.

(To watch the episode, click the picture)


Kickstarting the Ezl phone stand

I noticed that I was forever picking my phone up every time it went ‘ping’, then putting it down again.

It was annoying.

Once again, I found everything on the market was too big, too thick, and too clumsy.

Back to the drawing board…