A Review of 2010 and My Goals for 2011
What a roller coaster ride it was in 2010? Just as we thought we were getting out the global economic crisis started in 2009 by the Lehman Brothers crash, we were dropped right into a troubled Euro dollar and European Union.
On that economic backdrop, I have to admit that mine was a pretty eventful year. Inspired by Seth Godin’s post encouraging all of us to take stock of what we did in 2010, I’ve decided to share with you some of my more important highlights.
1) Led the team that developed a range of new designs for the 2010 Philips Home Cinema Sound product portfolio. I also helped secure the design direction for the 2011 range as well.
2) Designed, developed and produced the Spaces for Ideas brand of stationary with the iconic Expandable Sketchbook as the brand’s first product. The Expandable Sketchbook has been well received on the Internet covered by sites such as Yanko Design, WFDJ, Not Cot etc., and on publications such as Epicurious and Home & Decor magazines in Asia.
3) The Spaces for Ideas: 2nd Collection was an even bigger roller coaster ride. Unfortunately it has been put on hold indefinitely, but my learning experience after the whole process was worth its weight in gold.
4) Left Philips Design at the end of September 2010 to start Design Sojourn Consulting, a boutique design agency that delivers great design strategies, easy to understand design lectures, and cutting edge industrial design services.
5) Reignited my passion for teaching, by working with professionals and students on design and design thinking. Notable lectures include “Designing Designers” for the Feng Zhu School of Design, “Design Thinking is Killing Creativity” for the Design and Technology teachers from the Ministry of Education, and “What is the value of Design?” organized by the Singapore Government for small/medium business owners.
Going forward I like to share some of my goals for Design Sojourn in 2011. I’ve split them up in to my lines of business.
Design Sojourn Consulting
1) Find 5-10 really good clients to work with throughout the year. I hope to build a strong working relationship with my clients based on trust, good work ethic, and great communication. I believe it is from such working relationships that the best designs can be created.
2) Continue to build strong partnerships with other designers and build a collaborative work culture. Look out for two exciting announcement in the coming months based on 2 collaborative projects I have been working on!
Design Sojourn Brands
1) Continue to develop the Spaces for Ideas Brand by leveraging from its flagship product, the Expandable Sketchbook. I hope to sell out my entire inventory by July 2011 and then work on an improved version 2 before the end of the year.
2) Look at redoing the Brand’s 2nd collection of products (Storybook and Iteration Book), but this effort will need to start from scratch. At this time, I have a few new ideas that I will be working on with something to show soon.
Design Sojourn Publishing
1) Continue to develop the Design Sojourn blog as an important “home base” for all Design Sojourn related activities.
2) Double my readership by the middle of the year, and double it again by the end of the year. To help facilitate this, I am planning a blog redesign and consolidating a number of blog activities to improve simplicity and focus.
3) With so much diversity in the design blogosphere to compete with, I decided to simplify and center the blog’s activities on its new refined and simplified tagline: “Strategies for Good Industrial Design“. I think this new tagline sums up all my activities in the last 5 years and probably one of the few blogs that is willing to deal with the can of worms that comes from articulating what good design is all about. This direction also aligns well with all 3 of my lines of business.
4) I am hoping to get selected by a great Ad network like The Deck, CarbonAds or Fusion Ads etc. so that I can get more help to pay the bills. This will also allow me to keep blogging while focusing on my consulting side of my business.
So what about you? What are your plans, goals and targets for yourself or your business in 2011? I would love to hear about them, and I hope this post will inspires you to share. Finally, I would like to thank you dear reader for allowing me to share my design sojourn with you!