When Laguna Hills resident Tim Angel, 25, lost his job recently, he flew to China.
He wasn't running away, and he wasn't wasting time. Angel had drawings and a prototype for a case for Apples iPad and was looking for a factory to make the product for him.
Angel has just introduced Zoogue, a fully adjustable, leather case that can sit on a table or strap to the back of a car seat that sells online for $49.99. (Competitors on the Apple Store are priced from $39 to $59.)
(If you search YouTube, you'll discover Angel has chronicled his Zoogue journey in bite-sized videos.)
The project sounds a little chancy for a guy who didn't graduate from high school. In fact, one reason Angel launched this project is because he thought no one would hire him without a high school diploma in this job market. (Orange Countys unemployment rate in May was 9.2%.)
But Angel says he helped his dad start numerous companies over the years to sell everything from scooters to shoes with lights. Apple had just announced the iPad when Angel lost his job. He brainstormed all night, built a prototype out of cardboard and headed west.
I've been inventing stuff since I was a little kid, a cup holder for the couch even a swim device. We always did prototyping with Taiwan, Angel says.
There's a lot of competition out there, he acknowledges, but this is the only one that uses Velcro (fasteners) and can be set at any position. You can use it anywhere.
The Zoogue was featured recently on Good Morning America TV show and Angel is talking with distributors to carry the case. Angel says he is also talking with manufacturers of other devices about making cases for their products.