We love this ESPN story about designer Michael Princip and his self-taught football helmet redesign project because it shows Princip not only thinking about the design but the business side of the project as well.
First of all, the design. The innovation of Princip’s Bulwark design is to segment portions of the helmet in order to dissipate shocks causing concussions:
Inspired by vintage MacGregor E&H helmet shape lines and modern rugby helmets, the Bulwark helmet is the result of an idea where stitch lines or a multi-section helmet could be brought back to the modern age and utilized. the best in concussion helmet technology. The central focus of this football helmet is a multi-component bumper helmet design that has a single shell at the base and then a layer of energy absorbing material (air / gel cells) followed by another layer multiple or single hard shell (s).
On the business side, Princip knows that the helmet companies are well established (Riddell and Schutt are the big dogs) and that he can’t beat them, but should join them instead. As ESPN reports, “Princip doesn’t want to compete with them – he hopes to sell or lease the Bulwark concept to one of the established headphone brands and then be part of the development team that brings it to market.” A smart way to proceed, especially since concussions are even worse than concussions.