We all make big investments in the people around us. Money, time, information, service. How can we know our resources are being well spent? In this edition of The Outrigger we examine the investment of generosity as a mindset, explain how much industrial design costs in a more literal sense, and review a book on anti-procrastination techniques so that your time can be spent wisely.
It’s nice to be back in action after New Years. We hope everyone had some time off and made great memories with friends and family. 2019 is a year full of promise. What are you going to make this year that didn’t exist before? New ideas, new art, new stories, new inventions? Resolutions don’t only have to be about self improvement; they can be about world improvement too. In this newsletter we talk about many great things on the horizon.
Unmet needs + curiosity is a catalyst for innovation. Your business is answering questions for people by creating solutions, or quite literally answering questions by spreading information and resources. If you haven’t reflected on your consumers’ needs recently, let’s do so together. In this issue we explore many questions and many answers.
Designing with the goal of building a better future is the best gift we can give ourselves and each other. More people should think like designers. You may actually be tackling challenges the same way designers do already and not even realize you’re doing it! If the term “design thinking” is new to you, this issue will explain what it means and why it’s risen to such recent popularity. Also this week: Trig team members who went above and beyond last quarter were presented with unique and unusual trophies to honor their achievements. (Are you ready to rock?)
As we head into the heart of holiday season, shoppers everywhere are about to be inundated with an enormous variety of advertisements. Every year there are a few marketing campaigns that stand out as memorable and maybe even delightful. Examining the anatomy of these campaigns we’re drawn to: often the goods or services being pitched are well designed or at least intriguing. The images and writing are on point to attract the viewer’s desire to buy. Every aspect of presentation comes together harmoniously. But how did the designers, writers, and marketers know it would work? The answer is data-driven validation, sometimes called “marketing engineering.”
Happy Halloween Trig fans! We hope all of you and your families have a safe and spooky week ahead. In this issue Trig has predicted the state of medical innovation for the upcoming new year, and composed some insights into the very valuable question of “why.” (Which we guarantee you are not asking enough.) Also, If you have any innovative pumpkin carving designs, we would love to see pictures so send those our way!
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.
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.