Meet Los Angeles-born Lucas Lappe, the talented individual behind the Fondoodler; a reloadable hot glue gun for cheese.
Hong Kong is finally getting the recognition for its startup scene thanks to the growing number of new generation of creatives and entrepreneurs. With new trends popping up, it’s clear the first step to starting a new product is to have a great idea. In November 2016, BuzzFeed Product Lab launched the Fondoodler, a USD$25 hot glue cheese gun. Designed by Design Engineer Lucas Lappe, who tells Hive Life how his side project turned into a viral product.
Lucas, a laid back LA native studied Mechanical Engineering and Design Innovations Society at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. “We had classes where we created and analysed products. We had to validate our concept and addressed a range of issues like usability. Our professors would question us, ‘Does the solution solve the problem? How did we get to the final stages?’ I had so many crazy ideas,” he explains fondly.
The Fondoodler started as a joke with his former colleague Avi Bajpai, “While we were working, he was eating a piece of cheese string, and I was using a hot glue gun. Suddenly, the idea clicked, we thought ‘let’s smash a piece of string cheese into a hot glue gun,” he recalls.
Even though the young designers came up with a great product, it took over a year to refine their idea, “The product went through a lot of redesigns. If you design a product that’s smooth and a certain size; it looks like the thing you’re thinking of,” he explains.
Over the year, it took a lot of motivation to keep the project going, “It has gone through waves. We had a lot on our plate including new jobs, and we wanted to give up but managed to push through. No matter what the product is, the first month is the honeymoon phase, but by month 6, you’re thinking ‘Am I still working on this project?’ Is it not done yet?’ And, that’s the hardest part; staying in love with the same project.”
Since the launch, the product has gone viral as hell partially thanks to BuzzFeed who pushed it through all their channels like Tasty, Nifty and Buzzfeed Foods. The Fondoodler was the first project launched by Buzzfeed Product Labs and quickly followed by the Tasty Book.
Any last words? “I can’t believe it happened, but it did!”