companies / etc

Do you think that a design education is a good preparatory degree for someone who wants to develop their own products / own their own company?

From what I’ve gathered, late 30s+ designers usually go into management positions in ID firms. But do many of them go off and start their own product (not ID consulting) companies?

Personally, I would think that an ID degree would help, seeing as you’d be in tune with the aesthetic and usability aspects of the product. But at the same time, an IDer might be slightly behind on the business side of the operation. I guess it might depend on the school.

Basically, I like the core tenets of ID, but I would much rather be somewhat of an entrepreneur, or in a company making my own products, rather than an ID consultant who helps other people make designs (like IDEO).

What are your thoughts?

keifer keifer keifer…
keifer keifer

yes, people do this, there are several cases of IDers breaking off and starting their own non consultant companies.

Coffee Equipment Company - bought out by Starbucks about a year ago?
“The Clover seems to have an almost cult-like following. What I like most about this story is the history and back story of the Coffee Equipment Company. The company was started by Zander Nosler, a former product designer at IDEO, with the purpose of perfecting the single-brew coffee machine, based on research he did designing a commercial machine while at IDEO.” - taken from Clover Innovates the Coffee Maker - Konigi

image from wired

"The Orbit Baby Story

Over 12 years ago in the Product Design department at Stanford, Bryan White and Joseph Hei were pulling an all-nighter to meet a design project deadline and talked about starting their own company. They knew they wanted to build products that worked smarter, looked better, and addressed a challenging problem space. While that project is long since forgotten, the original dream and the vision from that night endures, and Orbit Baby is the result.

In the intervening years since that night, Joseph and Bryan each got married, started families and embarked on careers, gaining experience in design, engineering and manufacturing. Most recently they found themselves working together at IDEO, a celebrated design firm in Palo Alto, California. When Bryan and Joseph ended up leaving IDEO at around the same time, they took advantage of a great opportunity to start something together." - taken from _Orbit Baby Modular Stroller System-

-recently/brilliantly featured on the office

One from my alma-mater Craig Vetter - after designing the Triump Hurricane

and some other cool stuff, Craig started a company making fairings for motorcycles Vetter Fairings

plenty more stories like this, but I’m HOPING you’ll get the drift with out too much more info this time. :wink:

if you want to design your own products then your going to have to learn the process to go about doing it… i.e go to university.

haha, yeah that’s all I needed to hear.

All of the schools I’m applying to are universities (Cincy, Virginia Tech, and Arizona) so I guess that’s good.

Has anyone gone to one of these schools, and have an opinion on taking non-related ID courses, such as business?

I’m british, so over here the last step of higher education is through Universities, we dont have school’s or colleges really.

Either way, go to school, university, college watever make networking connections through peers and work experience and build yourself up from there.

Here’s a thought. If you go to a larger University for ID, get a minor in Business as well. Couldn’t hurt you if you plan on being an entrepreneur.

also while you are at it, minor in engineering, and learn Chinese and take some accounting classes.

Seriously, there are lots of companies started by ID’ers… I’m sure not all of them when to a University.

A few companies started at least in part by an ID’er I can think of:

Yeah, I think that coupled with business you could probably be prepared to start a business. Who knows what you will do with it once you start it but the schooling would get you the pseudo-confidence to start a business. lol

seriously, I’ve heard that if people knew all that would happen to them if they started their own business no one would do it. I can tell that you at least have enough commitment to keep asking questions so maybe that good for something.

Also I’ve noticed that for some reason meeting and dating a photographer in school seems to help with the small business thing, but individual results may vary.