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Where is the good 3D design? Tom and Tracy discuss what’s lacking in the 3D print market and don’t want to settle for the least worst design to meet a need. In this episode they discuss can one create a “wow” product and what it means to have a significant product.
Listen to the podcast here:
Good 3D Design Is Hard To Find
I have been spending a lot of time doing interviews for my Inc. column and sitting through a lot of conferences lately. In doing so, I have had a lot of exposure to other ideas and concepts and have been applying them and thinking about them in terms of 3D printing and good 3D design.
Especially one in which the idea, that minimum viable product—I hate that term. I really hate it. A really interesting speaker, Dan Clark, totally inspirational, wrote the book The Art of Significance. He talked about it as minimum requirement mediocrity. I really like that term, and he thinks it is absolutely contagious, which I agree with. I think it is contagious. I think it’s acceptable for you to put out a minimum viable product, and that is okay, and to be mediocre.
I don’t think that’s the case. Don’t get me wrong, minimum viable product comes out of the software world where it is so expensive to code, but it encourages the idea that you just have to put out the minimum requirement instead of the maximum valuable. I like to call it MVP as well, but I call it Maximum Valuable Product. I think you have to hit it from the get-go, the most important thing that is of most value to the consumer, to whomever is buying your product. There is always a buyer somewhere.
But the issue that I have with thinking about it in terms of 3D printing is I spent a lot of time looking at a lot of mediocre design. The libraries are full of them. And I’m looking for something significant. So when I read his book and I heard him talk, that’s all I could think about. What is missing is significance.
We see a lot of cute fun things, like the Shapeways emoticons. They were fun. They look great in a photo. But I am still missing significance. I am seeking it, and I want it to come out of there.
Dan said something really interesting. He said that he used the same twelve notes in a music staff. All music is created from the same twelve notes. When you create that same music from the same twelve notes, the difference between a lousy songwriter and a great songwriter is passion, creativity, and imagination.
I think it’s the same thing when you think of the same boring twelve colors on a 3D printer or the same nozzle size that we are all constrained to or whatever it is. When you live within those constraints, the difference between a lousy designer and a great designer for 3D printing is passion, creativity, and imagination. I think that that’s really what I’m looking for when I say I want to see something significant. I see a lot of designers out there going for what is marketable. Fine.
I am a designer who cares about selling stuff. I understand that. And I am not in it for art. Not art for art’s sake. But in reality, the reality of selling something, and everybody should really make note of this, is that if you want to sell something, you need to make an emotional connection with the consumer. That is what it is about: making an emotional connection. What is going to do that? If your object is average and common-looking, you’re not going to make that connection.
I always call it buying out of duress. I hate to be the product that you buy out of duress because there is nothing else that meets your need, and you have to have something today to meet your need. I find that all the time I am out there looking for cell phone cases, and I have to buy one out of duress because I have an Amazon Fire phone and nobody makes cases for it. So I will admit that it is my tech problem here, but there are mediocre cases out there. I have to buy something, so I buy the least worst.
That does not inspire repeat purchases. That does not create brand loyalty. That is almost not worth making a product for at all in my mind. That’s where I keep coming to. I want to have significant 3D designs. I want people to love them. I want people to say, “Wow,” when they see it. I want people to say “Wow.” I want people to say, “I love it. I love using it. I love showing it off to people. Where can I get one? You have to have this.” That’s what I want. That’s what I’m looking for whenever I go out there to make our compilation for the month of the favorites.
Right now, I am looking for significant Mother’s Day designs. I want you guys to send me significant Mother’s Day designs. The designs that you know will make your mom so happy. The ones that are going to make her, “Oh my gosh, my children love me.” I want to see those.
I want to encourage you to do as Dan Clark says and create 3D printed art of significance, good 3D design. Love it. That’s a great message. And I think it’s business-related. It is design, but it is business. We need to make a difference. It is standing out above the crowd. If you’re in business, that’s what you need to do, especially if you’re small. You don’t have money to throw at it. The only thing you can do when you’re not significant is throw a bunch of money at it. Good point. That’s probably what a lot of big companies will do when they don’t have passion, creativity, and imagination.
Dan Clark also has another great quote that I wrote down from hearing him speak: When money enters the equation, you don’t have a relationship. They should never ask how much something is. That’s a great point. It shouldn’t matter how costly a significant 3D printed object is. If it is significant, if it resonates, and if it has made that emotional connection it’s a good 3D design.
- Inc. By Design column
- Dan Clark – The Art of Significance
- Shapeways Emojis
- Best of Mother’s Day 2016 3D Prints
- Design Principles for 3D Printing
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