Case Study: Amico Bracelet Challenge
The Amico Bracelet Design Challenge was our idea of an ideal design challenge – cool idea, active participation and dialogue from all sides and an excellent product. The Amico is a Bracelet designed to help people connect with one another. Upload your Facebook or LinkedIn connections to the Bracelet and when you come in contact with another person, it notifies you of whether or not there is a mutual connection. Crowdsourcing the design made complete sense, and suffice to say, they were blown away by the number of entries and the quality of the winning design!
Sean Eliseev is responsible for the product design and marketing of the Amico Bracelet. He heard about GrabCAD through his own connections. Running a design challenge would mean that he could count on GrabCAD engineers and designers to produce a solid product and generate excitement and enthusiasm for the Amico. Sean and I talked a little about how design challenge provide two services for them: a design and customer interest. Often the products that the community creates are the products that the community buys – Trovare got a better gauge of their potential buyers.
During the competition, GrabCAD user Danny Tasmakis had this to say. “Hi Sean, cool concept, I was afraid that meeting and talking to people face to face would be a thing of the past, it’s about time someone’s trying to make the true meaning of social networking happen, where you actually meet a person, in person.” Of course, the point of a design challenge isn’t just market research. However, the fact is that the GrabCAD community is in a great position to make something that they’d want to buy. Some companies ask what people want. The companies of the future get people to design what they want.
Finding the right balance between IP protection for the client and giving the community the documentation and specifications they need was not difficult for this design challenge. The CEO of Trovare was apprehensive at first, but was assured that the winning designs would be protected from counterfeit.
During the challenge, Sean stepped up and interacted deeply with the community, answering questions and providing advice. Ultimately, active client-community dialogue drives the success of design challenges. The brief was not clear to many, but Sean cleared it up. And in exchange, a few users like Tomas provided CAD designs of the USB jack and PCB boards, free to use by anyone who wanted to complete their design and save time.
Tris-D’s design took top prize, for its simplicity, functionality and artistic flair. Now that the project is over, the next step for Trovare is to perfect the design and find a manufacturer that will produce the Amico cheaply. The hope is to keep Tris-D in the loop in the next step. Sean notes, “We are considering talking to the winner (Tris-d) to improve the design”. That’s a really exciting development – more than a few times have clients kept in contact with the prizewinners after the competition ends. When the Amico Bracelet is officially launched, we hope that the odd GrabCAD user will recognize these bracelets worn on the streets. Tell em with pride where they came from!