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What is your most successful product?

Postby frdiby » April 12th, 2017, 10:38 am

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I recently had to answer this question in an interview. I picked a product at my current day job that I worked on and sold extremely well. The interviewer asked me, "so, it is your most successful product because it has sold well?", I said, "yes", and they said, "Ok, how many did you sell?". I had no idea, so it kinda died there, and we went on. So, I'd like to hear some answers from other designers, what was your most successful product that you took to market, and why? Maybe I can be better prepared for the future. Thank you!

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby iab » April 12th, 2017, 10:59 am


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The one I like the most I call my RICO Act product.

We have been making a particular product line for over 20 years, long before I started. It has the potential of causing great damage, costing our customers thousands of dollars. It caused some of our customers to kick that product out of their facility. Total sales of that product line are about $100MM. The amount of sales lost I think was about $5MM.

We developed a separate product to solve that problem and launched it 3 years ago. It has about a 90% GP and this year we are on track to $2MM in sales. We charge our customers to fix a problem we created.

God bless capitalism.

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby Mr-914 » April 12th, 2017, 11:48 am

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frdiby: Try to get figures. It's important to non-IDers.
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Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby frdiby » April 12th, 2017, 1:20 pm

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Thanks again guys! Sounds like I need to do some sleuth work. The project management guys are always talking numbers like these, I can probably just ask them when I walk by their office in the hall sometime. I might even ask them what they think our most successful product has been...hmm.

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby yo » April 12th, 2017, 9:05 pm

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I once designed a product that sold 300,000 units in a quarter. I got promoted that year.

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby KenoLeon » April 13th, 2017, 12:34 am

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- Haven't experienced big product commercial success ( hopefully one day).
- A few things I've designed have helped me pay rent through the years, and each time I feel like a million bucks.
- Also when clients smile at the end of a project.
- The most successful thing I've made ( or rather helped design,build and manage), was an interactive art installation for a music festival, thousands of people enjoyed it and witnessing it was something very special, no money though.
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Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby bepster » April 13th, 2017, 1:57 am

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Probably the last one that got launched, the K780 keyboard for Logitech.
I lead the design from Logitech's side with Feiz Design in Amsterdam doing a lot of the hands-on ID work.
It was a great collab.

It just picked up a Red Dot "Best of the Best" award. I know those awards are a bit dubious but it's nice to get some recognition.

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Probably the line of B&D laser leveling products I designed from 2001-2007. After a year of focus groups and observational field research, we invented the category and then developed over 20 products to support the various wants/needs. I developed North American specific products for CA/US/SA and then a complementary suite of products (most overlapped but some were regionally specific) for the EU/AUS/NZ.

family.jpg

In that 6 year period the company saw over USD300M in global sales of the various products, we won numerous industry awards (CEA, CR, Castorama, etc) and three of the products are still on the shelves 10 years later...but, the reason I think this family is my most successful is because two of the products still for sale were the only ones for which I was able to implement zero-waste packaging.
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Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby frdiby » April 13th, 2017, 10:04 pm

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Great stuff! I love how these are worded, this is the language of success. Such awesome. Must study! Keep it coming!
5e47a3c6c1f85255c9e32f294a3dd173.png

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I have been in the business for about 5 years and much of my work has been large projects, only some simple products have yet made it to market.
The most successful design I consider the Solar Car I co-developed with the team in Eindhoven, since it won the race and several awards.

It just got featured on the front page of Coroflot:
http://www.coroflot.com/zoontjens/Solar ... lla-design
http://www.designsoul.nl
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While working at Lasko Products I designed a heater which sold 400,000 units in one season. While at Likuma Labs I designed a product for Biomeme which has netted them over $5MM in revenue. I also designed a product this year for a Philadelphia company (being released this summer) which sold to Home Depot before it was even released, a company first for them. Now currently with Noria Technologies which netted 2.2MM in sales from over 5k customers. Accomplishing these things was always the main goal for me when I decided to pursue ID and to make people all over the world happy! Without that in mind, I probably would just have been a model maker forever.

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby Greenman » April 14th, 2017, 12:36 pm

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frdiby wrote:Thanks again guys! Sounds like I need to do some sleuth work. The project management guys are always talking numbers like these, I can probably just ask them when I walk by their office in the hall sometime. I might even ask them what they think our most successful product has been...hmm.


That's a good start, and as a designer I think it is wise to understand the business impact of your work. I'd recommend showing more interest in this than just passing conversation, make an effort to track sales, volume, and positive end-user feedback. Armed with stats like these you can leverage them in performance evaluations to negotiate raises, promotions, etc. If your company is reluctant to share this information with you, then it is likely they don't want you using it for the purposes that I mention, ie., they don't want you to know what their return on their investment of employing you is, in that case I recommend considering moving on.

If you are given access to the info and if you aren't rewarded accordingly for the success, well then at least you'll be prepared to discuss it in an interview at a new organization that may place more value on your contributions.

In most cases you certainly cannot claim all credit for a product's success, there's many folks responsible for that. This is why I mention the customer feedback bit, if there is positive customer feedback that is tied directly with design decisions or feature recommendations that you made, then this tells a better story about you as a designer to a future employer than just the dollars and volume.
All dots connect, even the tiny blue one

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby frdiby » April 14th, 2017, 3:36 pm

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Greenman wrote:That's a good start, and as a designer I think it is wise to understand the business impact of your work. I'd recommend showing more interest in this than just passing conversation, make an effort to track sales, volume, and positive end-user feedback. Armed with stats like these you can leverage them in performance evaluations to negotiate raises, promotions, etc. If your company is reluctant to share this information with you, then it is likely they don't want you using it for the purposes that I mention, ie., they don't want you to know what their return on their investment of employing you is, in that case I recommend considering moving on.


Office politics are a challenge, but I don't want to be critical of my own people. Sometimes I get a little too timid when I need to reach beyond those political office boundaries. It's probably best to try pitching this directly to my manager as a way we both can gauge our success and future design vision. Of course, I'm also trying to gather info to prove my worth to future employers. I'm in a position that provides a lot of experience for an entry level designer, but I've far outgrown it (no challenge). When I do move on, hopefully I can leave a place that will provide an even more fulfilling experience for future designers. That takes some courage on my part to speak up for the value of design. Thanks for your advice Greenman!

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby Jboogie941 » April 17th, 2017, 8:05 am


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bepster wrote:Probably the last one that got launched, the K780 keyboard for Logitech.
I lead the design from Logitech's side with Feiz Design in Amsterdam doing a lot of the hands-on ID work.
It was a great collab.

It just picked up a Red Dot "Best of the Best" award. I know those awards are a bit dubious but it's nice to get some recognition.


I use the Logitech K270 frequently. I keep it on my lap 60% of the time.

Re: What is your most successful product?

Postby iab » April 17th, 2017, 10:08 am


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Greenman wrote:In most cases you certainly cannot claim all credit for a product's success, there's many folks responsible for that.


I'd venture to say in all cases.

And it is something I note in interviews. If the candidate repeatedly uses "I" and never uses "we", that is a serious red flag for me.

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