Being a working adult in the year 2018 often means dividing focus between more tasks than ever while also having less time than ever. How do we find happy mediums in our business life and our home life?
The format of this newsletter is intended to share interesting and entertaining content that is relevant to the field of industrial design and innovation. We don’t want to fill your inbox with direct sales messages because we naturally focus on adding value first. That said, we have heard that some of our readers don’t quite know what we do. This issue is a special edition where we lay it all out for you: the specific services we offer, typical timelines, and what it looks like to engage with us on a project. All the fun stuff is in here too, don't worry. This month Trig also takes a fresh look at contemporary art/design aesthetic in Tokyo, and then we follow it up with a book review.
Let's get down to business .
In case you ever find yourself asking "what does Trig do again?" here is the concise answer:
Dr. Andrew DiMeo has been teaching and coaching medical innovators for the past 20 years. It is safe to say the number of people he has directly influenced on their innovation journey is in the thousands. Andrew elaborates on the Trig process for distilling clarity out of chaos.
Kelly Harrigan knows what it takes to set up successful industrial design projects from her experience leading innovation at a global packaging manufacturer. During her time at Trig she has been leading transformative client projects that have the potential to define an iconic product experience of our generation.
We think Industrial design awards are a nice indicator of the quality of our work. Have a look at our designers' profiles for their most recent recognitions and honors. The esteemed Ethan Creasman masterminds our process for taking great ideas and turning them into iconic customer experiences with his department's cutting edge technical expertise.
Simply put, industrial design serves brand. Connie Tran is a master at creating and curating brand experiences through the Brand Asset Management program. Whether you are just now creating start-up marketing, designing your iconopoly, or enhancing the legacy of a heritage brand, Connie shows us how the BAM system can build brand equity.
The Trig Client Experience
How do you consistently capture lightning in a bottle? Innovation ain't easy, but it doesn't have to be unpleasant. We do our best to remove ego from our work, instead focusing on delivering caring and thoughtful solutions to our clients, for their customers. As digital natives, we can easily invite clients into our process, such that they can collaborate with us as we explore and teach the latest technologies and techniques.
Tokyo has spent decades at the forefront of art and design innovation, but it was recently expressed in The Monocle Travel Guide, Tokyo: "the Japanese are sensitive to small-scale beauty but insensitive to large-scale ugliness." This claim seems dubious, so we explored current art trends both in local galleries and also in towering public works to see the fascinations in store for a casual traveler with a keen eye for aesthetic:
Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
You've heard it before: Hard work is the key to success. Though we bet you've never heard it the way Ryan Holiday presents the concept in Ego is the Enemy. This tough-love guide to reaching your maximum potential is written in a way that leads you with a firm resolve while also taking into account factors like inequality and societal privileges. Difficult topics are met with empathy while never losing sight of the message. Make a plan, talk less, grind more. Do you have what it takes to see your goals past the kick-off?
You're familiar with the beloved cuckoo clock design, so get ready for a completely new vision on an old favorite. Artist Guido Zimmermann reinterprets a classic in these contemporary brutalist apartment complex clocks. Each building is still complete with the little bird in the bottom to sing your steady hours. Check out the vast array of structural styles created so far:
Until next time,
In this newsletter we would like to present you with a new concept: The Iconopoly. This idea was inspired by reading Peter Thiel’s book, Zero to One, in which he makes a compelling argument that, in order for any company to exist, they should seek to become a monopoly.
Not sure if you're like me, but when things are "too quiet" that's code for "up to something." If that's your suspicion, then you're right. Trig quietly rolled the car out of the garage, started it at the bottom of the hill, and took it to the shop for some upgrades, a nice tuneup, and a supercharger. That's right, we've been quietly perfecting our service lines of insights & ideation, product design, and brand asset management. We've had promotions and personnel additions. We've acquired trig dot com (what's that now?) Oh, and of course we've been reading, among other things, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts..." by Susan Cain.
This might sound like the start of a joke, but what happens when a virtual company meets in person? We found out recently by getting together for our annual meeting. As it turns out, we can be quite productive in person—refining our vision for the next 10 and 100 years, as well as tackling the key challenges we face today as a growing organization. As a result of our efforts to step back and think about where we want to go, you’ll be seeing a lot of changes at Trig in the coming months.
Our own Kelly Harrigan has really taken the Four Tendencies personality type methodology to heart. I was initially skeptical of a new personality type after having been let down by Myers-Briggs, but having read the book and seeing it listed as one of Forbes' most influential business books of 2017, I had to take it seriously.
I had one of those santa-isnt-real moments this week. There is a personality typing test called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) that is used by 89% of the Fortune 100 companies. I've taken it a few times, specifically as part of Organizational Behavior classes taught in business school. While it is widely adopted by the business community, very few psychologists or evidence-based practitioners take the test seriously.
I recently got obsessed with a game that could have come from an MBA Operations class simulator. The premise is simple enough - manage cash flow, manufacturing, and supply chain to provide enough paper clips to meet demand. Along the way, you start using artificial intelligence to automate some tasks. The problem becomes, the more tasks you delegate to the AI to make manufacturing easier, the faster you bring about the downfall of humanity.
I think there is a broader lesson for our Trig community - we are all building amazing things that have potential to change the world. Once we think we have found success, it is easy to forget the disciplines of humility and open communication that got us to where we are today. If we allow ego to get in the way, we rob our future potential to build something greater than ourselves.
Last year ASUS introduced a 3D printing project in which they provide CAD files through community forums for printable components that can be installed on ASUS products. In our latest thought piece, we dive into the idea that ASUS and other hardware companies could use this open-source methodology, along with 3D printing, to fundamentally accelerate the advances of our hardware world and bring the design process to the consumer.
For a long time people have referred to playing musical instruments or meditating as a way to stimulate your "right brain" and, in turn, boost creativity. While those are, in fact, ways to boost creativity, it is not exclusive to just the right half of your brain and unless you're playing the drums, you'll need a bit more movement to maximize the effect.
Does it seem like every Disney movie is the same? They are. We've seen the hero save the girl hundreds of times throughout human history, we know what's going to happen, but we still pay millions of dollars a month to keep consuming the same story. It's no coincidence. It's science, and it's called archetyping.
The paradox of ideation is something our team chats about often and a driving force behind our updated core values (see below for more on that). High team performance is critical to success but groups are inferior to individuals with regard to creative performance. This paradox is exactly what inspired our virtual ideation program.
One of the most exciting advancements for Trig in the past year has been the development of our virtual ideation practice. Traditionally, ideation sessions pull together people from across a company to creatively solve big problems. We’ve found that the traditional model isn't truly optimized for creative output.