-The first discussion was with the MIAD instructor Thomas Maguire. He focused his discussion on creating successful product sketches in the first person using the computer program AutoSketch Pro. This program is not only effective, but it is really slick in creating presentation ready sketches within a very cost effective price of $100. AutoSketch works great with a mouse but even better with a Wacom Pad. For the seasoned designer or a student this program is a must have.
-The second discussion was with Mark Cook of Thesis. Mark and his partner Brian Edlefson learned a lot about starting up a design studio from the ground up. His discussion focussed on what they learned along the way and what tips they could offer to any other designers that have the determination of starting up their own design company.
I personally was part of a start up design studio for nine years. I was their first employee and was involved with the company through thick and thin while learning a lot as we went along. I found it very interesting (and not surprised) how my past company got it all wrong not just at the beginning of the business, but throughout the course of the nine years I was there.
Now it is that time to mingle and network with some other designers and prep for another day of discussions tomorrow....!
Just finished up a discussion with Steve Baumann of Trek Bikes. He went into the history of Trek's history from their humble beginnings in Waterloo, WI to the international success that they are now. He also gave a sneak peak of their new product ready to launch called the B-Cycle. This new direction is basically to provide a bike station on the corner of a street (similar to a bus station) that would provide a rider a bike via a card swipe. The user would be charged per hour on their card or it would go to a pre-paid account. Their target market are: people who can not afford a bike, people who don't have the room for a bike in their apt and the person who would rather ride a bike rather than take the bus... Later this year Denver has volunteered to test out is new system. Trek hopes to have the B-Cycle in every city.