Monday, 31 October 2011

a 50M investment for a "beautiful" US designed thermostat?

Revolution is not a rare thing in a US startup. Change the rules. "Innovation." ALL of these philosophies are vocabularies that firm speaks of in the new millenium. But not design. And certainly not from day 1. Unless of course you have been indoctrinated at the US's pinnacle firm: Apple.

Nest Labs new Thermostat, yes a thermostat is doing just this. And with a $50M investment they are definatley not just sketching warm and fuzzy duvets. Designed by the same lead designers of the iPAD and iPOD there is no doubt in the end products beauty and functionality. Even the website is spectacular in it's simplicity and beauty.

How did they do it? Pure European design philosophy - the American's are truly catching on. “I want it to be a jewel on the wall so that it’s a conversation piece. People come over and they go, ‘What’s that on your wall?’ and you go, ‘Oh, you’ve got to check this out.’ If it can invite conversation, we think we’re going to be able to drive awareness. We’re going to drive more interest, and people will actually save energy.” And so it is.


Friday, 28 October 2011

Design requires breakthroughs, Longevity requires cults!

We're often asked, if design is so important what stops design itself from being corrupted? It's simple. Cults. And good design and it is as simple as that.

Take for example the work of Bang & Olufsen and it's consistent commitment to design not only from aesthetics but in their focus to create a following of loyal users and buyers who have no issue with the prices due to the longevity of the items themselves - the whole point to ownership. In the Can the Cult of Bang & Olufsen Last? in Wired magazine, Rob Walker identifies and details the value and desire of consumers for B&O products - for the brand. What is forgotten is why. Because good design creates identity and identity creates memory, "That CD player looks like something from Buck Rogers’ bachelor pad in New Chicago. In fact, for much of B&O’s 86-year history, a common compliment — and complaint — has been how much its products resemble props in sci-fi films." and therefore instant value has been established.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

MAKE IT HAPPEN! - Entrepreneurship & Intrapreneurship - Innovation from Within

Today we deliver a presentations called "MAKE IT HAPPEN! - Launching the "New" as Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs" at London's newest 50M funded Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award winning design school Ravensbourne located at the hub of the 2012 Olympics.

Some helpful "Tools of Preparation" links for MAKE IT HAPPEN! are:
1) AVC.com and specifically the incredible Moneyball for Startups discuss on "....when a great entrepreneur walks into our door, we will recognize him or her..."
2) The rules of the game and avoiding the pitfalls of startup failures The Startup Genome Project Report
3) How to protect what isn't even yours yet - HBS case study: X-IT v.s Kidde final settlement details
4) And simply knowing, "Do you have what it takes?" The Innovators DNA
5) As shown by the master Sharon Wright on Dragons Den

We're sure it's going to be a lively discussion as startup groups are never a boring set of moments!