From The Products By Design Podcast
Recently on the show, we hosted Delanie West - the founding creative director at Be Super Creative. She tackled the challenge of infusing creativity into the reliability-focused, process-guided thinking that product engineering requires.
Delanie West founded Be Super Creative to help business with product development, marketing, and design. She's a creative leader that helps people and brands execute their creative ideas.
Question 1: What's the Best Part of Being in Product Development?
Delanie: "Goodness... It has to be the process. I love the challenge of problem solving... the most rewarding aspect of product development is seeing your results.
"It's how consumers and customers receive them... their lives are improved by the products and innovations that you create."
Question 2: How Do You Balance Accelerating Product Development and Finding Innovation?
Delanie: "I always ask, 'Whose appetite are we feeding (by) accelerating product development?'
"Why faster? There's so much to be gained by slowing down the process and having a lot of rumination and good insight and research for the product, right?
"I personally no longer prescribe to creating things that aren't useful. I want to make things that are lasting, and I'm thoughtful about the projects I take and the clients I work with.
"I ask questions like, 'Are they doing meaningful work or are they in a rush to feed a distribution pipeline?'
"I've been working in
- Integrated manufacturing in a multidisciplinary approach...
"(It's still about) creating a product that allows you to be really efficient on timelines. I think it's the understanding of the developer, if they understand those three areas, they can be really efficient on timelines and make the process faster."
Question 3: What Final Insights Do You Have for Other Manufacturers?
Delanie: "When you say manufacturers, you're talking about makers.
"I was talking about it from an end of the supply chain perspective – the actual place where the products are being made. I think that if we can be more thoughtful and careful about the products we're making, that's the goal.
"We are problem solving. If we're problem solving or widget making, let's try to improve somebody's life experience by not creating stuff that's going to end up in a landfill. That's the thing that we got to try and do.
"Also from a production perspective, you need to improve the success of your partners by sharing a more comprehensive overview on what your equipment can do from the factory making perspective – where the product's being built – so your partners can consider how to leverage your processes and your equipment to be more creative and efficient.
"Don't just limit that to a 10 minute factory tour. Really educate them about what you have and what it can do."
Question 4: What's the Craziest Thing You've Seen in Product Development?
Delanie: "You mean on camera? Okay, I have a story for you...
"It's happened many times. I walk into manufacturer's showrooms and see them pitch me a product that I designed in my packaging."
Tony: "That's a violation!"
Delanie: "Violation! Can't have that product in their showroom, but it happens all the time. Most insane thing I've ever seen and I'm just like, 'Okay okay...'".