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RE:DESIGN Conference: Rule Breaking


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RE:DESIGN Conference: Rule Breaking

  1. 1. RULE/BREAKINGBY MEL LIMtwitter / @mellimdesign
  2. 2. Penang,Malaysia(NOT EVEN SHOWN ON MOST MAPS)
  3. 3. Cheekyat age 5
  4. 4. 1985My first recessionMy first bankruptcyI was 8 years old
  5. 5. 1997―Fresh Off TheBoat‖ (FOB)
  6. 6. 1997My 2nd recessionMy 2nd bankruptcyI was 19 years old
  7. 7. Full-time student+ 3 part-time jobs+ 1 full-time job+ 120 hrs work / week+ 4 hrs of sleep daily+ 4 yrs= GRADUATION
  8. 8. – Malcolm Gladwell, Author ofOutliers: The Story of Success―No one who can risebefore dawn threehundred sixty days ayear fails to make hisfamily rich.‖
  9. 9. Designed my firstinternational mall inMadrid, SpainI was 24 years old
  10. 10. Xanadu, Madrid, Spain Design Firm: Kiku Obata & Company
  11. 11. Break The Rules:— Frugal Innovation— Entrepreneurship— Managing Failures & Aspirations— Cultural Management
  13. 13. Frugal Innovation:A way of improvisingsolutions whereresources are limited
  14. 14. Can less be more?
  15. 15. Scarcity, it turns out,is the mother ofinvention.
  16. 16. Break The Rules:– Rethink your business– Embrace global views– Maximize your resources for biggestimpact and not necessarily the biggestpayoff
  17. 17. Is bigger really better?
  18. 18. ―Small is not just a stepping-stone. Smallis a great destination in itself.Don’t be insecure about aiming to be asmall business. Anyone who runs abusiness that’s sustainable andprofitable, whether it’s big orsmall, should be proud.‖– Jason Fried, Author of Rework andFounder of 37 Signals
  19. 19. The 4 Value Dimensions ofFrugal Innovation:– Affordability– Quality– Simplicity– Sustainability
  20. 20. Tata NanoLiter of LightSiemens’ FetalHeart MonitorEmbrace’s Baby Warmer
  21. 21. Challenge The Status Quo:– Mass consumption– Eudaimonia– Social & Environmental Impacts
  23. 23. ―Statisticallyspeaking, VCs havefunded 30,000 start-upsover the past 10 years.Only about 250 of themhave gone IPO andbecome publiccompanies. And onlyabout 3 out of 1,000become aMicrosoft, Intel, orGoogle…‖–Cynthia Kocialski, Author ofStartup from Ground Up
  24. 24. Challenge The Status Quo:– Do I need to have an MBA?– Or an Ivy League education?– Do I need VC funding?– Do I have to be a certain color, sex, anAmerican to be a successfulentrepreneur?
  25. 25. The answer is NO.
  26. 26. Break the Rules:Look for theunusual suspects
  27. 27. ―You can’t judge great teachers by their looks.Or their English.Or their profession.Or their education.Or where they were born,where they live, how they dress,how much money they make‖– Alan Webber, Author of Rules of Thumband Co-Founder of Fast Co.
  28. 28. Dani Johnson was homeless, adrug addict, a prostitute.Dani Johnson is now anentrepreneur, a multi-millionaire, a successful authorand a philanthropist.
  29. 29. ―Failure meant a stripping awayof the inessential. I stoppedpretending to myself that I wasanything other than what Iwas, and began to direct all myenergy to finishing the onlywork that mattered to me.Had I really succeededat anything else, I might neverhave found the determination tosucceed in the one area where Itruly belonged.‖–J.K. Rowling, Author of Harry Potter series
  30. 30. ―I’m going to make him anoffer he can’t refuse.‖– Don Corleone, The Godfather
  31. 31. ―We can do it!‖– Mel Lim, The Prego-Mama 2011
  33. 33. 2003Started my companyI was 26 years oldWhat the hell wasI thinking?
  34. 34. Lonely,confused,nervous.But I was alsoexcited,energized,optimistic...
  35. 35. ―Failure isn’t failing.Failure is failing to try.‖– Alan Webber, Co-founder Fast Company
  36. 36. 2005Launched product line500+ stores in 1 year1000+ media featuresLondon, UAE, Tokyo...
  39. 39. 100% DESIGN TOKYO
  40. 40. PULSE LONDON
  41. 41. 2008My 3rd recessionI was 31 years oldI survived…
  42. 42. Lessons Learned:– Know your numbers– Grow slowly, with cash– Fuck ―saving face‖– Recognize when an idea isfailing, act, and move on– Look beyond the facade– Business IS always PERSONAL
  43. 43. What is your definitionof success?
  44. 44. Should you always staypositive?
  45. 45. Is it enough?– Top Education– Notoriety– Impressive Career History– Investment Capital– A great business plan– Even a desirable location
  46. 46. Do your experiences orconnections matter?
  47. 47. It’s A New Day!– Focus on core product or values– Avoid upselling– Become selective aboutclients, marketing, and opportunities– Deliver on strengths and within scopeof expertise
  49. 49. What we do in ourbusiness culture has aglobal effect.
  50. 50. The Global Economy
  51. 51. Can we create more value…butcharge less?
  52. 52. Challenge Yourself& Your Team:– Are you doing what you preach?– Can what you create externally mirrorwhat is happening internally?– What is your manifesto?
  54. 54. ―At the end of the day, justremember that if you get theculture right, most of the other stuffincluding building a great brandwill fall into place on its own– Tony Hsieh, CEO of‖
  55. 55. ASPIRATIONWhen you aspire,you design the future.PASSIONOur passion precedes us.We love what we do.EXCELLENCEWe aspire to excel & innovate inevery touch point of our work.HUMILITYWe stay humble so wedon’t tumble.TRUSTNo matter what the circumstance,we must maintain our integrity.APPRECIATIONWe practice the art of appreciation,with small gestures that draw big smiles.TEAMWORKWe are powered by the oneness ofthe we, not the me.JOIE DE VIVRELaughter & fun are company assets.OUR MANIFESTO
  56. 56. ―Ultimately, we are deludingourselves if we think that theproducts that we design are the―things‖ that we sell, ratherthan the individual, social andcultural experience that theyengender, and the value andimpact that they have. Designthat ignores this is not worthyof the name.– Bill Buxton,Principal Researcher at Microsoft‖
  57. 57. When you aspire,you design the future.
  58. 58. Let’s talk!twitter / @mellimdesignemail / mel@mellim.comweb /