This industry is full of some truly creative people. Excellent engineers, awesome designers, cracking product managers - a collection of true geniuses.
Take a man like Rupert Neve; passionate, dedicated, focussed and a man of integrity and vision, but who will be the next Rupert Neve and have a legacy like his? So here are my 5 challenges to product designers.
If you can’t do something better then invent something truly new, not just derived from something else. Harness the vision of people like Gutenburg, Edison or Baird. Imagine if Gutenberg had decided to invent a better pen, Edison a bigger candle, or Baird a louder radio?
Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To Be
There’s only so much room for audio nostalgia and admittedly versions of old gear are nice. However don’t just reinvent wheels, build rockets too. Use the past to inform you and create the future.
You May Need To Move On
If your business is run by accountants who just want to build things to budgets or at the lowest possible price then move. Find a business that understands that creativity requires risk and businesses run by accountants are risk averse, you’ll just end up wasting your time and talent. If you can’t find a business like this then start your own business using money from people who can afford to take a beautiful risk.
Do YOUR Thing Right
Keep the main thing the main thing, find your niche and own it. If you used to be the best in class and that market is still bouyant, then sell everything you have to get back your reputation.
It Only Takes A Mouth To Criticise
Take comments in forums and on social media with a pinch of salt, especially of your own products. Of course be open to suggestions, but give every person with an internet connection too much power and they will make you lose focus and allow this entitled generation to convince you to compromise. Remember it only takes a mouth to criticize, it takes smart people like you to create the things.
This list is written with genuine respect and admiration for your vision and craft - some of you already live by the highest set of values, but some of you have had your wings clipped by corporate risk-averse thinking. So product designers rise up and be the best you can be - we the creative community need your visions of the future to make our creative visions come true.
I’ll leave the final word to Rupert Neve “We are dedicated to harnessing the hidden powers of human creativity in electronics, magnetism and sound to enable music to encompass the Earth with harmony and joy.”