Thanks for the reply Richard. I have had this reaction from almost everyone I’ve pitched this idea to, so you are not alone
I agree on the surface, this is essentially about simply making and selling, nothing revolutionary or ground breaking. But at a deeper level, and hopefully what I ultimately am trying to do is open a richer dialogue around designers pursuing (at a multitude of levels of commitment) these types of ventures; and build a resource to house all this, with the understanding that knowledge is power.
I feel like designers as a community are bad about sharing knowledge on almost all things related to money. From salaries and benefits, to freelance rates, to business strategies, to talking about profitability. For some reason we don’t talk as freely about some of these topics and as a result, I believe, there is a collective loss of not only knowledge but also opportunity.
I hope through me going through this process, and sharing it with as much transparency as possible, and extensively interviewing and engaging others doing this type of thing I hope that the end result will be a source of knowledge that others will find useful. I know that that won’t be winning any IDEA or RedDots with this , but just through talking to other designers and students I know there is a lot of excitement on seeing how this plays out, and are excited about the concept of just talking about this type of venture with more transparency.
These are two examples of the type of knowledge resource that on the surface are very simple but I believe add tremendous value to those who are interested:
Studio Neat, the guys that did the Glif and Cosmonaut Kickstarter, published a short e-book on their successes and failures, navigating manufacturing, order fulfillment, packaging, all the small things that 99% of people could care less about but the small things that anyone looking to do this sort of thing would care tremendously about
Design Founders which is a book series exploring the path of tech startups like Pinterest, Behance, and fuseproject.
I think this is going to be the type of project that only starts to make sense the further along it gets, but hopefully it makes a little more sense