A Good Product Needs A Good Craftsperson

Your business needs a great product. You might have the idea of a great product, but do you have the real thing to go with it? Some business owners will rely on expertise to help them polish off the final creation, which is all well and good. But to really understand what works about your product, what doesn’t, what costs, and what saves, you have to get closer. Every business owner needs to be a craftsman in some aspect.

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Know the processes

You need a good idea before you have a good product. Intuition, creativity, and an eye for demand help you get that far. But they aren’t enough. The materials, the manufacturing process, how it’s all put together. These are what dictate quality. If you’re using plastics in your product, then consider some injection molding training.

If you’re starting a woodworking enterprise, then make sure you know the different kinds of woods involved and how they can serve a design better. Get to know the physical properties of your product and how it actually feels. That way you know what changes are necessary to evolve the product, rather than just wondering if you can do it better.

Know the costs

A deep knowledge of those processes involves knowing how much it costs to use them. You will want an idea of how much it costs to create every product, yes. But you should also know how much every step in its creation costs. That way, you can figure where you can cut costs if you need to without sacrificing the most important aspects of the product.

You can also be aware of potential downtime and maintenance in the different steps of the manufacturing processes, helping you create a proactive and preventative policy that reduces the risks.

Know what your customers know

Simply put, you need to get hands on with your product. Knowing what the customer wants is key to a good product concept. Feeling the product, its weight, how easy it is to hold, where it can be positioned. That’s how you know what the customer knows about it. The subjective experience of handling a product can be as big a benefit or as annoying a barrier as how much use someone gets out of said product.

Have passion

Working closely with your product is also going to make you more passionate about its design and success. While you want to avoid becoming obsessed and unable to see the bigger picture of the business, passion is important. The market sees passion as a positive and is willing to put faith in a product that has real belief and care behind it. Plus, the more you know about your product, the more in-detail you can talk about it to different consumers, showing you’re a business that has real expertise in what they do.

The closer you are to your product, the more likely you are to the spark of inspiration that changes your products for the better. Also, the less likely you are to miss the failures that customers will be able to see all too easily.

How One Practical Entrepreneur Followed His Passion All the Way to the Bank

Until 20 minutes ago (December 15th @ 7:22pm) I had no idea who Magnus Walker was. Now I’d describe him as an inspiration; a man who followed his dreams without hesitation and fear.

I was just browsing YouTube like I’ve always done looking for interesting things to watch and decided I’d look at some TEDx videos. The title “Go with your gut feeling” caught my attention.

I sat and listened to someone who if judged by his appearance alone, you’d probably not be able to guess his story. This guy, however, is one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever had a chance to hear. From writing a letter to Porsche at the age of 10 wanting to be their designer, to moving his life from Sheffield, England to Los Angeles, California via ‘Camp America‘.

He’s gone with his gut feeling his entire adult life. It’s taken him on some adventures that makes you realise that when you pursue what you feel you should be doing, life has a way of making it happen. Magnus’ best insight to me was when he said, “success really is the freedom to do whatever you want to do”.

Call it “luck” like he has, or call it a combination of vision and aspiration. Whatever you call it, I call it success.

Watch Magnus’ TEDxUCLA delivery of his unbelievable ride through life. Video’s below.

Nelson Mandela on Playing Small: Day 1

Madiba - Day 1

Day 1

In honour of one of my biggest influences, I will be creating a clean and simple photo-blog between December 9th to 13th capturing some of Madiba’s greatest quotes. I am certain, each one will make you take a look inside yourself.

We can all become better individuals and live our lives not only for ourselves, but for others as well.

RIP Nelson Mandela.

What I Learned from the Virgin Leader and the Apple Creator

I admire Richard Branson as the CEO of the Virgin Group and Steve Jobs as one of the greatest visionaries in the world of technology of the Apple Inc.

I like Sir Richard Branson for his approach in branding everything that falls under the Virgin brand from Virgin Airlines to Virgin Trains to Virgin Money and the ultra famous Virgin Mobile. All simple and practical names. I applied that concept to the phresh Ideas and Designs brand.

I also liked Steve Jobs’ approach to the Apple brand. His return to the company when it was at its worse, led him to revamp Apple by reducing the many products they had been building to just a handful of great products ergo the dawn of the Apple iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. I also borrowed Jobs’ model on products and services and applied it to my business.

There is a lot to be learned from these guys and there is always something you can adopt and apply to your own business and personal life. Branson’s approach has always been “Screw it! Let’s do it!” and Jobs’ outlook has always been centered on pursuing one’s passion. A free spirit and a visionary.

On a side note, the name ‘Virgin’ always gets me and it comes with a really good back-story, not to mention its fitting logo and colour recognised anywhere and literally has its presence everywhere in the world. As for Steve Jobs, nothing more needs to be said than “iSalute you”.