If you're not ready to be a full-blown designer/builder, there is a way you can ease yourself into the marketplace. Lately I've noticed a bunch of people are fabricating items to sell on Etsy that are not finished products, but complementary components. Some examples: Slovenia-based LeatherEU sells these handsome
Kickstarter is arguably the most well-known crowdfunding platform out there. At any given time, you can pledge to support virtually any project you could imagine, from magazines on the future of food to sand-cast metal bowls to desktop digital fabrication tools. The wide range of projects the platform attracts is
After seeing the graphic below posted by Business Insider, folks on social media have misinterpreted it to mean that "Fashion Designer" is the most popular job in New York. It's not. It's the most disproportionately popular job in New York, meaning that fashion designers nationwide account for 1.4 out of
Recently throughout the business press, there have been countless articles about CCOs and CDOs and their value. Large companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi, 3M, Electrolux, and Hyundai have added these positions over the last few years. Most people behave like this is a remarkable new development. It has been the
Here's the situation in Japan: The population is graying; the birth rate is declining; and car sales are shrinking domestically as Japanese youth, like American youth, are less keen on purchasing cars than they once were. Toyota is tackling this problem in an interesting way, and that's by viewing themselves
Rakuten NFC Reader Piu is the first in-store payment device in Japan equipped with NFC functions to support 14 major electronic money brands, Apple Pay, and Android Pay. Elemental8 is proud of working closely with Rakuten in Japan to define, design, develop, and produce its digital payment systems.
Chadwick Parker and Joe Huang, the industrial design duo behind Big Idea Design, have done it again: Sixteen successful Kickstarter campaigns and counting! And two of their last four campaigns broke the $200,000 mark, which the current one might as well. Even if it doesn't, it's already a smash hit:
The business of making and selling clothes has waste built right into the process: Rolls of fabric have patterns cut out of them, creating unusable scraps; retailers must guess what will be popular and how many units will sell, and whatever doesn't move becomes clearance. That results in slashed price
In an earlier post, I lamented receiving an order from Staples where the box was way too big for the product. I had a vague idea of why that had happened, but reader Andrew Roberson did us one better, tracking down the company that provides Staples' fulfillment machinery, like the
After seeing a show the other night, my wife and I walked down Madison Avenue. This strip of New York City has some of the more rarefied shopping in the world. While the stores were all closed, the windows were lit, and a theory that has been banging around my
Three years ago we started prototyping a new kind of incubation as a service. Not a building filled to the brim with young guys and their high tech, high growth app-building ventures, but instead, a kind of service that comes to you—and gets plugged into centers, workspaces, labs, makerspaces and
Designers pride themselves on their execution. But the licensing model requires you to be willing to relinquish some control. There are enormous benefits — and self-employment is freeing.
This month marks the beginning of a time most of us in the creative freelance world dread: tax season. Back in my first year as a bona fide freelancer just out of school, I simply totaled up my invoices for the year and lumped them onto line 21 of my form 1040 ("other income"). It took two years for the IRS write me a sternly worded letter about this not
Every cycling enthusiast dreams of ordering a custom frame, made to fit their specific dimensions and riding style. Based in South Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, Firefly Bicycles have been fulfilling the dreams of a dedicated client base since 2011. They produce around 120 bikes a year, and will build any style
Congratulations, you've made it to 2017. Last year was a rollercoaster ride and it's safe to say we all deserve a pat on the back for getting through it. With each new year comes new opportunities. We're not talking short-term resolutions - we're talking goals to make big things happen.
Some of us still earn our livings making physical things, putting them in boxes and sending them out of the building. Professional furniture making ends not with the last coat of wax, but with shipping whatever you made out of the workshop. We have dozens of cabinet shops in our
Have you ever wanted to search for existing or expired design patents not only in your own country, but in the countries where you'd like to sell your designs? A website called DesignView has wrangled together the design patent databases of 45 countries, plus the ARIPO (African Regional Intellectual Property
I'm pretty clueless as a businessman; my background is in tools, computers and mechanical engineering. So I read a lot of books on sales, marketing, and running a business. My favorites are first-hand accounts, and the old books are the most interesting to me. Right now I'm reading "Forty
Back in May we pointed out the central design flaw in China's Transit Elevated Bus concept, which is meant to straddle two lanes of traffic like a catamaran. Nevertheless, we were amazed when they built a prototype in August and began running trials; it spoke of both the will to
Self-driving Teslas and beer delivery trucks are cool. They will also contribute to the obliteration of an entire class of jobs, with a cascading effect; if truck drivers disappear, there's no need for the things truck drivers spend their money on between points A and B. "Truck stop waitress" is
The Atlantic's ongoing "Inside Jobs" series lets you "hear what American workers have to say about their jobs" in candid terms. So far they've got folks from 103 different professions, everything from deliverypersons to CEOs, delivering answers to give you a sense of what their work lives are like.
There's nothing like meeting someone to face to face, but obviously, you can't rely on trade shows exclusively to license your ideas for new products. They're yearly events! Whereas—especially given how important speed to market has become— embracing a sense of urgency will serve you well. That's where LinkedIn comes
Whenever someone's referred to as the "architect of destruction" of a particular thing, that person is rarely an actual architect. Except, of course, in the case of the Death Star's architect; last year we heard him mount an impassioned defense of his design for that ill-advised exhaust port. Now for
A setback I experienced as an industrial designer: Getting really good at a particular CAD package or Photoshop rendering technique, then having my entire bag of tricks become obsolete with new packages. To put it in hockey terms, I was the dummy who was always focused on where the puck
Let's be honest: Companies can be prone to making some very questionable branding decisions. As many business owners may be familiar with, there is no magic formula for executing this daunting task of giving your company a voice—in fact, branding fiascos nowadays have become so familiar they become rich parody
Have you ever wondered what it would take to start your own design studio? Despite all of the open-source information for a variety of subjects available on YouTube and Reddit, it's still a topic that lacks instructional transparency. HAWRAF, a very newly formed New York based studio housed in NEW
If there's one thing we Americans love, it's spewing hyperbole. It's our own personally-generated clickbait. And with every Presidential election, a segment of the population swears they'll move out of the country if the other candidate wins. They never do move, of course. But that hasn't stopped Swedish creative agency
I need some help, dear readers. As I'm outlining projects I want to build in future semesters of The Hand Tool School, as well as future projects on my Renaissance Woodworker site, I have come across a design conundrum: Technically everything I do both on my free RW site and
Last month we wrote about American Field, a traveling pop-up event that showcases "the best of American-made brands." Since some of you entrepreneurs in our readership could benefit from getting a booth at AF's events, we broke down the numbers in their post-event reviews, to give you a rough idea
Want a reminder that simple, beautiful, problem-solving design changes the world? Well, too bad. Instead, look at this golf club that's also a portable urinal. Sometimes I research old TV advertised products to learn about unexpected consumer "needs" I've never considered. When there's-got-to-be-a-better-way there's a fifty-fifty chance I've got no
For jaded designers and/or consumers, it's tough to get excited over Google's new products, as they're all derivative of existing offerings. There are some incremental improvements: The Pixel phone can reportedly gain 7 hours worth of battery life off of a measly 15-minute charge, for instance. But taking a close
There was a lot of talk in the '80s and '90s about the paperless office. As personal computers began to proliferate, we were told, paper would go away. We now know the opposite happened, and that we use more paper than ever. Similarly, in design schools of the '90s, one
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