Studio Neat’s It Will Be Exhilarating: Indie Capitalism and Design Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century
Studio Neat is Dan Provost & Tom Gerhardt — two fellas who launched two products I own with very successful Kickstarter projects: the Cosmonaut, a fabulous iPad stylus, and the Glif, a tripod mount for iPhone. IWBE is a short book about what they’ve learned in the two years of being in business for themselves.
Don’t make a product because you want to quit your day job… Don’t make a product because you want to get rich.
Make something great because you care deeply about it. Make something because you stay awake at night thinking about it. Make something because you feel invigorated when you work on it, and anxious when you don’t.
Studio Neat is what you might call a “small batch business” — a company intentionally staying small so they can focus on the work they really want to be doing. (The authors quote Walt Disney from back in the day: “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.”)
I picked up their book after seeing a few tweets about their XOXO talk. I particularly liked this bit: “Tell a story. People really do want to see how the sausage gets made.” The idea is that today customers want to feel connected to creators and they want to know where their products come from. This happens best when creators speak directly to their customers, tell stories “straight into the camera,” share lessons, insight, and cool bits of inspiration, and show their behind-the-scenes process(es). “The best way to promote your products and your company is to simply be active online. Do stuff. Make things. Say things. […] By putting things out there, consistently, you can form a relationship with your customers. It allows them to see the person behind the products.”
Dan Provost blogs over at The Russians Used A Pencil