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April 01, 2024 2 min read

Alex's Journey to Invent SPUD

“It’s official, I’m a student again,” Alex thought to himself as he walked into the classroom. He was starting the next chapter of his life as a Rice MBA student. He had enjoyed working as an engineer, but he really wanted to understand things from the business perspective. And while it had been years since college, he was excited to dive back into school. But it already felt different. Everything was now digital, and all students carried around a laptop or tablet everywhere they went. Everyone was always on the go: students worked in conference rooms, groups met in coffee shops, and classmates submitted their assignments from wherever they happened to be. As Alex became one of them, he realized that his 13-inch ultrabook didn’t give him enough screen space for all of his research, Excel tasks, and large editing jobs. He needed another screen. He needed to invent SPUD.

“Interesting,” George thought to himself, as he listened to Alex pitch his idea. He knew Alex was a business student, but in Alex’s defense, he did have an engineering background. And the idea wasn’t half-bad. In fact, it seemed surprisingly well thought-out. George had come to Rice University as a mechanical engineering student, and he had always loved designing and building things. As Alex continued, George couldn’t help but start the design in his head: The screen had to be large and collapsible. It would have to be lightweight, but sturdy. The mechanics had to be easy and fast. George knew that creating SPUD would be very challenging. He could feel himself beginning to smile.

SPUD Concept Sketch SPUD Prototype Being Tested SPUD in Use at a Coffee Shop Final SPUD Product Design