What sets amplify insights + innovation apart from companies that offer the same services?
C: Because we are a small boutique firm, we work on only a few projects at a time and are able to devote our full attention to your project. Our backgrounds at places like SC Johnson, Campbell Soup, and Procter & Gamble means that we know about a lot of different methods and options for developing an effective strategic roadmap for even the most challenging situations.
Do you service a specific industry or niche?
A: Design Thinking is a creative problem solving method, so we have worked in many industries. Innovation is often about taking ideas from one place and applying them differently in another place, so the more industries we serve, the deeper our problem solving skills become. It's like a bee pollinating flowers going from the flower on the magnolia tree to the tulip to the peony. We can help a construction company come up with new product ideas as well as help a restauranteur develop their next dining concept.
C: We’ve worked on many different categories over the years, so we know how important it is to listen to and observe your users and let them educate you on what they need. They are your best guide to developing empathy that will drive the design process. To answer the question directly, no, we don’t specialize in a specific industry. We find that our skills and our processes are effective regardless of category.
What is your personal model for success?
A: I firmly believe that perseverance pays off. If you look at companies that have been built from the ground up by entrepreneurs or inventors, the one thing they have in common is passion for their ideas and it’s this passion that fuels their perseverance to succeed. You can’t accomplish anything if you never try or if you give up too soon.
What is an industry must-read?
C: My latest fascination is with the new book out from the folks at trendwatching.com - Trend Driven Innovation, by Mason, Martin, Luthy and Dumitrescu. I love learning about their process for identifying the trends that matter and the guidance they give for incorporating the key trends into developing plans for your brand.
A: Not one to stick to convention, I would actually recommend the podcast, How I Built This, rather than a book. It tells the hero’s journeys of people like Gordon Segal who created Crate & Barrel, Richard Branson who created Virgin Records and Airlines, and Melissa and Doug Bernstein who created the Melissa & Doug toy company, along with many other entrepreneurs. They all had a strong passion and kept working to bring their vision to fruition. It is a quite captivating and motivating series and you can listen to it while you are driving, cooking or taking a walk outside.
What do you feel will be the biggest innovation trend for 2017/18?
A: There are so many big trends out there; it is tough to pick just one that will be the biggest. One example is artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is going to continue to grow and have a greater impact on more industries. These technologies will continue to allow greater customization to fit the users wants and needs better.