Ian Ruder“So, instead of sitting on a cushion filled with air, you want me to sit on a solid, hard ‘cushion’?”

If you’ve lived any part of your life in a wheelchair, there is probably a product that changed your life, and if you’re lucky, there is a good story behind how you discovered it or what it did for you. My product story starts with me asking my most-trusted physical therapist the above question.

Picture me, with a blank look on my face, as if my brain had just exploded, trying to comprehend what she had suggested. I had been sitting on a high-quality, air-filled cushion for the first four or five years after my injury, and while it wasn’t perfect, my skin had been consistently OK. Most importantly, an air cushion made perfect sense — if you want to avoid pressure, what better way could there be than to float on air?
A hard cushion? That made no sense to me.

I have zero sensation, a fact driven home by my one previous experience with a pressure sore. I ended up sitting on a har