I had a chuckle today when I noticed that the previous forum I posted at ... what's the best mattress forum ... decided that they needed a new web page called "The Mattress Underground" in their buying guide section. Of course the page is not about this site or any of the concepts of this site ... it talks about buying "cheap" mattresses and being wary of whether or not they are really new ... but their decision to take advantage of the growing presence of this website and use its name for their benefit is quite a compliment in a strange kind of way.
If you do a google search for "The Mattress Underground", you will see the link listed after several from this site. I guess that the idea is that if they become the first link for this search term, then people might mistake their site for this one and come to believe that the name is connected to their site. That would be unfortunate as unwary consumers looking for information would not be able to take advantage of the discounts available from our manufacturing members or come to know about the information on this site and the many places that offer such amazing value in mattresses.
They have a great forum and there is lots of great information there including 809 posts under "phoenix" from when I was posting there. Unfortunately, their business practices do not quite measure up to the same "great" standards. Sad in a way when all of the "informational sites" out there should be about helping consumers rather than trying to "capture" an informational market for financial reasons. There really is a real difference between "money machines" and "mattress people" in all areas of the industry.
These kinds of practices of "the big guys" trying to suppress smaller "competitors" and many others that are so common in all areas of this industry are exactly the reason why The Mattress Underground was founded and it is gratifying to me to see the response from so many high quality local manufacturers who truly support the vision and ideals of what we are doing.
One step at a time, genuine quality purchased from outlets that really care about what you are buying can once again become the "norm" in this industry as real information replaces "stories" in the selling of mattresses. While there is a long way to go before this happens, I believe that real value and the truth will always come out ahead and that consumers and the manufacturers who produce this value will once again become the focus of the mattress industry.
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Well ... this is an great day!
Its time to release the initial founding group of manufacturing members of The Mattress Underground. Each one of these represents what I believe to be one of the highest value mattress manufacturers in North America and I am excited that they are part of this.
I am fortunate to have had the chance to speak at length with each of them and every one of them are what I consider to be "mattress people" who are dedicated to making great mattresses at great prices. While they each of course have differences in their mattresses and in the markets they target, they share in common a commitment to quality and transparency in what they produce and sell and there isn't a single one of them that I would hesitate to purchase from. I am also grateful for their support of this project as it is not always easy to be an "early adopter" of a new idea and go against the natural inclination to "wait and see" before becoming a part of anything that represents something different.
This is a great beginning ... but of course it is only a beginning. While there will be more over time as I continue to talk with other manufacturers and invite those who share these same values to become a part of what we are doing, I will always be grateful to this initial group who were instrumental in the launch of The Mattress Underground.
They are (in alphabetical order) ...
Arizona Premium Mattress Factory: http://www.mattresses.net/
Beloit Mattress Company: http://www.beloitmattress.com/
Buis Mattress: http://www.buismattress.net/
Custom Sleep Design: http://www.customsleepdesign.com/
Gateway Mattress Factory: http://www.gatewaymattressfactory.com/
My Green Mattress: http://www.mygreenmattress.com/
Sleep EZ Factory: http://www.sleepez.com/
The Mattress Factory: http://www.themattressfactory.com/
Thank you to each of you for becoming part of this and for all the help and ideas you have shared.
PS: The current membership list is here
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It's been a very interesting month with a lot happening behind the scenes both in terms of website development and in terms of manufacturer membership.
I re-arranged the "internal workings" of the website so that a commenting system was available on all the pages of the website with all the comments being posted directly in the forum as well as on the page itself. This is an amazing system and for those of you that are interested is part of the Kunena forum that I am using and is an add on called Kunena Discuss. When I first started developing the website I was using a content management system called K2 which was great but was not compatible with Kunena discuss so I had to switch back and turn all the pages back into Joomla articles ... not as easy a job as I thought it would be.
I will also be publishing the initial list of the founding manufacturer membership in the next few days with a menu link on the main menu area so it will be available from every page on the website. I'm excited about this as it is a wonderful group of high quality manufacturers that represents amazing value in mattresses. All of them without exception have been truly supportive of what I am doing and have offered great feedback, ideas, and insights.
Once this is published, I will of course continue to talk with manufacturers but will also start to focus more on creating a "consumer presence" on the web and beginning to get back to what I love the most ... which is helping people to find great mattresses at great prices and that fit their unique needs and preferences. It is an exciting time and the beginning of much more to come.
PhoenixDiscuss this article in the forums (0 replies).
I was excited when I finally found an image that expressed perfectly what we were about.
Our logo is made up of two components. The three interlocked rings are called Borromean rings that are unique in that if you remove any one of the rings they all become disconnected and fall apart. We thought this was perfect as for us the rings represent consumers, retailers and manufacturers who are interconnected. If you remove any one of these the whole structure falls apart.
The strip inside the rings is called a Mobius Strip. This is also unique because a mobius strip has only one side even though it looks like it has two. If you take a strip of paper and give it a half twist and then tape the ends together you have a Mobius Strip. If you then take a pen and start drawing a line along the strip, the line will end up on both sides and come back to where you started. This for us represents that all 3 parts of the industry are actually on the same side.
Finally, the theme of 3's represents the 3 basic principles that are the foundation of The Mattress Underground. These are Knowledge, Service, and Value.
By bringing together those who share these values, we intend to change the industry and the Logo is a graphic representation of exactly that.Discuss this article in the forums (0 replies).
Well, it's been an incredibly busy few weeks. Learning how to build a website from scratch, going through the learning curve ... and many many late nights. The site is probably 60% finished with all the layout and navigation templates pretty much finished and now it's just a matter of fine tuning. Then I have to write all the content into a form that is suitable for publishing and then it's time to go live. I'm guessing it will be about another week to 10 days.
Then comes the fun part where I can get back to doing what I love the most, writing and helping people along with of course continuing my ongoing journey into connecting local and regional manufacturers, retail outlets, and consumers.
Several of the manufacturers I've talked to have been very interested in what I am doing so I have a very good feeling about the direction this is going. It has been one of the most intense periods of my life but it has been worth every moment and I've learned a lot.
I think a few people will be more than a little surprised when the site launches :)Discuss this article in the forums (0 replies).
Well, I'm getting ever closer to the point where I feel comfortable launching this. Even though I have hundreds of articles yet to write, I believe I am close to the point where the 50 or 60 pages or so that will be published when I launch will be both helpful and practically useful enough, especially in combination with the forum, that there will be enough value here to make launching worthwhile. The rest can be added over the coming weeks, months, and years.
It's interesting to me the role that what's the best mattress forum has played in all of this. Many of you who initially come to this website will be familiar with my posts there. When I originally disclosed there that I was planning to go into business as a consultant as is required there for anyone who is in the industry, I had no idea that I would be developing this website ... and certainly not within any near term future. I didn't even have a clue where to begin to build one in the first place and even the terms that are so common in the world of website building such as CSS, CMS, php and hundreds of others had no meaning to me. However when they somehow decided to apply a different set of rules to me than they had to anyone else in their history, and even though I had already self-disclosed an even stricter set of rules than anything they had required that I intended to abide by both in the public forum and in our private email exchanges, they decided to delete my disclosure post and to ban me anyway for undisclosed reasons. One of life's amazing ironies. This forced me to learn how to build a decent website very quickly.
They also chose to keep the 809 posts that I had put there, many of them with information that had not appeared in any single place on the web before. I believe that because they are primarily in existence for commercial reasons, and because I also have reasons to believe that they may be "connected", either formally or informally, to some rather large mattress manufacturing concerns, that their decision was primarily out of self interest and for competitive reasons and on reflection I completely understand their decision ... although I would not have made the same decision if I was in their place. I find this all rather interesting how seemingly random events can lead to interesting and unexpected outcomes. I believe too though that they foresaw better than I did that I could be some kind of "competition" for them even though this was not in any way my original intention and I truly enjoyed helping the people that I helped there. My original vision was to include them in "the mattress underground" and help them to become a better source of unbiased and accurate information. Their decision forced me into building this website so that I would have a place to publish and control better versions of what I had already posted and many hundreds and probably thousands of articles and forum posts that are yet to come. In the end I am grateful that they "pushed" me into this as I no longer have to be careful in linking to other sources of great information that they do not not allow to be posted (for competitive reasons that they have already acknowledged to me), am able to speak my mind in ways that I couldn't there, and primarily because I would not have gone in this direction without them.
So all in all in this brief moment of reflection before I officially launch The Mattress Underground, I would like to say a public THANK YOU to what's the best mattress for the "push" to get this project started in the way it is :)Discuss this article in the forums (0 replies).
Well it took a little longer that I planned but I finally reached the point where there is enough value here to launch. Many many long days and nights and especially the last week as getting all the "kinks" out of the website was not as simple as I thought it may be. I guess with website building it never is. Of course the more public launch and visibility of the website is yet to come in a couple of weeks or so as I focus more on talking with the first few manufacturers and retailers but the "on switch" is on :).
So I'm happy. Now I can eat a bit and sleep a bit and maybe if I'm lucky reduce my hours to about 14 to 16 a day. Sometimes it seems that the more I do the more ideas I get about all the things to add to the site ... but I know that it will take some time. For now though, I'm looking forward to letting a few people know that I exist.