This month's Business 2.0 magazine has a great cover feature on "The New Instant Companies". Here's the intro...
"Savvy startups are tapping some of today's most powerful trends - cheap software, offshore factories, the blogosphere - to go from concept to multimillion-dollar sales overnight. Here's how you can too..."
Wow! Sounds impossible, but the stories are incredible, albeit to be understood within the usual context - i.e. all the unmentioned thousands that tried same and failed.
Nonetheless, the success stories are real and they do tell us something. There's still money to be made with good design, especially in niche area. None of these products are "rocket science". They're in good old-fashioned markets: shoes, prams, toys and motorbikes! What's more, the "instant" bit is also real. It is possible to go from concept to product with relative ease compared with how things used to be.
Just when you think it's all been done before, smart designers come up with a new spin on an old theme. It's as if they suddenly realised that the "rules" and "conventions" of a particular market don't apply. Take, for example, Nike's latest shoe - "Nike Free". It has a multi-joint sole that flexes naturally with the foot to give a "bare foot" user experience. Why didn't anyone think of that before?
Then there's the Motorola RAZR, the new chic of flip-phone design with a keypad made from a single sheet of metal. Very cool! I'm glad that Motorola have claimed this spot. As the inventors of the flip-phone, it's about time they gave us something to be proud of instead of the incredibly persistent attempts to make phones as unusable as possible. That embarrassment seems to be behind us.
This leads me to the challenge...
Is it possible to set-up an instant company that produces a new cool mobile phone?
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