Familiar with the professionals in US & UK, I can see the problems that are common to designers everywhere.
I met Kohei back in New York at a US-Japan Innovators network event. I was inspired by his vision and his dedication for the past 10 years!
After years of working for large corporations in the US, I wanted to do something meaningful in Hong Kong (and not waste my time & life at another corporate job!)
I looked at problems that I care about... and try to work on a solution.
One of which is how “creators” are so under-valued here in HK! Designers (and IT professionals) are paid 2x to 4x less than their counterparts in the US & UK.
Business owners and managers mistaken themselves as designer! But only care about the bottom line.
Designers are forced work long hours to produce sub-standard crap - a waste of life.
As a result, designers are not connecting directly with the audience / users, so their designs do not directly address the users’ needs.
No good designs can come out of tightly controlled Designers, and on top of that, business owners don’t respect Intellectual Properties, they think they can just steal designs from others. For this reason, they don’t think they need to value Designers.
Meanwhile, what is true around the world is that individual designers worry about selling their designs, losing its rights to the manufacturers, or worse, blatantly stolen by them.
So what’s the solution?
At CUUSOO.com’s core is its founder, Kohei Nishiyama’s ideal - to help make people’s wishes come true.
CUUSOO.com’s system means that Users work directly with Designers, hence the designs are proven to meet users’ demands.
Designers license their designs to manufacturers through CUUSOO.com, they retain the rights to their designs.
Manufacturers will handle the production and shipment, CUUSOO will pay designers royalty automatically, so Designers can just concentrate on designing.
Since CUUSOO.com is an established business in Japan, they have historical data to back them up.
Users who submit wishes and users who “vote” for them become “Investors”.
(That’s too bad~)
We’re not building a whole new English site for CUUSOO, but rather, we’re putting English contents on the existing Japanese CUUSOO.com.
When the first case has completed its entire life-cycle, we’ll have proven that CUUSOO’s system also works in Hong Kong. We can then move on to duplicate its success by opening to more “wishes” and designs from Hong Kong.
There are 2 different levels of Goal.
For Nick personally, it’s to demonstrate the use of CUUSOO’s system in Hong Kong, prove that it works, market it and get people to come on board.
For end users, the goal is to have Designers successfully license their designs through CUUSOO.com, or sell their designs like a “micro business”; Users to get their wishes fulfilled, and manufacturers to sign on and pick up orders from CUUSOO.
After the first case is proven successful...
Kohei and I also wondered about the risks and other issues that are not foreseen right now... but our thinking is to just take the first step, and carefully navigate our way to make this happen.
It won’t be easy, but if we stay our course, endure hardships and work hard, we will succeed. Our struggles will make a good story!
These are my ideals... I think what we’re doing here is very meaningful, and by doing it, I hope to take Hong Kong’s creative industries up a level!
Bringing CUUSOO style user innovation to Hong Kong
CUUSOO in Hong Kong
Bringing User Innovation to HK (and the world!)
Why am I doing this?
Inspired by Kohei Nishiyama
A Meaningful Life
So what’s the Problem?
“Creators” not valued in Hong Kong
Suppressed by Business owners
No Design Freedom
Designs don’t fulﬁll user needs
A Flawed System
IPs are not respected
Hence Designers are Not Valued
Hired Designers are paid for their time
Individual Designers sell their Designs