Re: Industrial Design Entrepreneurs?

Postby TaylorWelden » November 21st, 2012, 12:46 am

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yo wrote:Anything is possible. But if you go the starting your own business route, figure 5-10% of your time will be spent on design, and 90-95% of your time will be spent on sourcing, distribution, sales, and operations..... are you going to design school to end up doing that more than 90% of the time?

What yo said.

I'm actually a full-time freelance Industrial Designer, and I'd say that 55-65% of my time is spent designing. The rest is customer calls, meetings, dealing with factories, accounting/taxes, collecting $, etc, etc, etc.

I couldn't imagine if I were developing and selling my own product under my own brand. Shipping, packaging, marketing, branding, graphic design, writing copy, sales, even more meetings. Heck, I'd guess 1-5% of your time would be designing, the one main thing you're supposed to be an expert on.

Focus on ID (your expensive degree), then feel it out from there.
Taylor Welden

Industrial Designer

Industrial Design Portfolio

Re: Industrial Design Entrepreneurs?

Postby Generatewhatsnext » November 21st, 2012, 10:49 am

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Lmo wrote:
Oh, and after that experience I decided NOT to have mahogany walled hallways, chrome sculptures, a two story designer library

My senior year at Purdue, I interviewed with the Dodge truck division. What I recall, most vividly, was that the office of the R&D department's manager was finished with corrugated cardboard with brown pin stripe accents. "Trucks" were still just trucks in 1973 and soccer moms hadn't been invented yet so I guess there wasn't any budget for mahogany.

If GM's Design building had been even the slightest bit modest and if there would have been ANY indication that anyone cared or wanted to make their products better in any way I might have stayed longer but none of that existed. It was truly shocking but as I look back on it I understand that they were all living in a sort of candyland where reality didn't matter. I seem to remember figures like 50 billion dollars of fall back money, 250 million dollars advertising budget - just crazy numbers.

The most telling memory I have of GM before the 'fall' was that almost every day I went to the dome, where they took all the promo shots of the clay models and pre-production vehicles, we had a project going on in one of the conference rooms there - you walked in an underground tunnel (not mahogany walled, but close) to get there and every day I passed the same two guys sitting on a black leather & chrome couch at the trailing edge of the tunnel. I never thought much about those guys, other than the fact that they were always drinking coffee and reading a newspaper - and that they were ALWAYS there...until the day I stopped to tie my shoe and said Hi as I sat down. I asked, "Can I ask what you guys do?, I always see you here." One of them smiled and said, we're union forklift operators - we move car models back and forth when they need us." I asked, "Cool, how often do they need you" and the response was, "about once a day for 30 minutes or so - other than that we sit here making $72 an hour." He saw the look on my face and continued, "the best part is that I'm guaranteed 10 hours of overtime every week if I want it."
Scott Snider
Partner, Product Development
Generator, inc.
skype: generatewhatsnext

Re: Industrial Design Entrepreneurs?

Postby choto » November 21st, 2012, 12:10 pm

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steppenwolf wrote:Maybe this book is of some help for designers who wish to become entrepreuners:

"DesignDirect - how to start your own micro brand" by R. Ball and H. Overhill - ... B007WPPBAA.

Thanks for sharing, looks like a decent read, just read the first chapter and will have to pick it up

I found the brief ebook that Studio Neat put out "It will be Exhilarating" to be a nice quick primer for "indie capitalism"

Nothing ground breaking, but definitely worth the couple hour read and some good tips on different avenues for handling the logistics of drop shipping,manufacturing and sourcing in the USA, handling customer service, etc. all the little things that can consume your life.

Re: Industrial Design Entrepreneurs?

Postby coffeekicker » December 2nd, 2012, 11:21 pm

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sam hagger wrote:It certainly is possible, and happening

The use of Kickstarter has proved invaluable to designers in the US. The developments in rapid-prototyping and companies such as Protomold have meant Injection Mould tooling isn't the investment it once was and relatively small production runs can produce components for less than you might think.

Dutch landscape designers Elma van Boxel and Kristian Koreman of ZUS used crowd funding to build a pedestrian bridge in Rotterdam. They got funding to design a wooden bridge that cuts right through an office block. These two designers simply made some sketches, set up a website and then began selling their bridge idea over the net. Since products/services are given away on Kickstarter (kind of like a form of equity, or in return for a donation you will receive product X), the designers offered to engrave peoples names into the wooden planks to those who donated.

Anyways, if extreme projects like these can be created on Kickstarter then anything can be created and funded. The next time I have an idea, I think I will try to turn to crowdfunding. It is also a great way to guage the future success of a product. :D


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