In the latest episode of the Creating Zeal Podcast, Adam Cuppy chats with Sparkbox co-founder Rob Harr about his workshop "Awesome Discovery Projects," and why at the end of the day, projects are really people experiences.Listen in as Rob goes through the process of discovery, from setting expect…
Some ideas seem too good to be true. Like this one. It comes from a 13-year-old listener named Amy. She says she knows the government has trouble finding enough money to pay for stuff like schools and hospitals. And she wondered if it has considered just printing more money. She asked us: Can the government do that? Just make more money to pay for stuff?
Fiscal hawks say, ‘no way!’ We’d have crazy inflation! But there’s a group of economists that says, ‘yes, we can create way more money, without disaster. And pay for lots of stuff we want.’ They are the proponents of what’s called Modern Monetary Theory, or MMT. Their ideas are getting out there, they have the memes to prove it.
Today, we try to understand a school of thought that is flipping economic theory on its head. If you buy it, the whole idea of government spending, taxes, the nature of money changes, and, according to the theory, all we have to do is just open our eyes. It’s a bit like staring at those optical illusions: First you see the faces, then, suddenly it’s the goblet.
Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost aren’t afraid to create something different. The founders of Studio Neat are pioneers in bringing physical products to market through Kickstarter. Their first campaign, the Glif tripod mount, helped launch other Kickstarter gadgets back in 2010. Since then, they’ve crowdfunded seven more projects, everything from a wide-grip stylus to an ice making kit. Their products are simply designed and delightful to use.
On their podcast, Thoroughly Considered, Tom and Dan talk about all the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and making their products. Above all, they’re interested in solving problems with cool, functional tools — and so far it’s working. Their operation is simple — mostly going on gut and leaving room for more kernels of whatever interesting idea they have next.
On this episode, Tom and Dan share how a diverse product offering and slow-but-steadfast audience growth are tenets of running their business (7:00). Stephan, Tom, and Dan ponder being generalists versus specialists (12:17). Tom likens Studio Neat to a band (16:04). They talk about growing their email list through Kickstarter (21:18) and the long tail benefits of selling through Amazon (22:40). They talk about the creative process of making practical products (25:10) and how a product story is important (28:05). They explain why outsourcing works for their small operation (40:44), and finally, they talk about jealousy as a source of inspiration and motivation (48:25).
This episode kicks off a brief series of interviews with independent web designers. First up, we talk with Frank Chimero about his responsive design practice and the latest iteration of frankchimero.com.