MObile Innovation Lab— We want to be out in the world, to change the world

When we first set out to create our Magnum Opus, flexibility was a word that came up early and often in our discussions.

We want what most people want from their professional lives, what Daniel Pink describes in his book Drive as Mastery, Autonomy, and Purpose, and we want it delivered through a flexible platform.

One summer morning earlier this year, one of our partners found an interesting competition Inc. Magazine (Inc.) and Mercedes Benz (MB) were hosting titled “The Right Van for the Job. Win a new Mercedes-Benz Cargo Van at the 2017 Inc. 5000 Conference.”

The premise for the competition was…

Why is a MB cargo van the right vehicle to take your business to the next level?

Our team was just coming off a beach brainstorming session feeling inspired about life and where our business was headed. During our beach session we were discussing what the office of the future will look like and percolating on an idea to create a mobile innovation lab to meet a couple of goals: 
1.) Host our clients off site to get people in an outdoor environment where ideas can flow freely (outside)
2.) Save on overhead costs while maximizing flexibility
3.) Enable quality free time in Mother Nature when not working (weekend warrior escape vehicle!)

Our team discussed the competition on our next scrum call. It just so happened that we had a bit of downtime between projects. We set-off to reimagine the future workplace, in true design thinking fashion.

First understanding the problem.

Next, coming up with lots of ideas.

Then, looking out in the world for inspiration.

One of our partners had introduced the entire team to the Holstee Manifesto just a few days prior, and this served as our North Star throughout the experience.

After coming with lots of ideas and synthesizing them, we down selected to a set of ideal features and defined the concept. Next, one of our two world-class designers on the team brought our virtual post-it notes to life in a series of renderings…

…which quickly evolved into a well-defined concept…

…that incorporated how we deliver on client engagements — in a little more style.

A part of the competition was to write a small segment of copy to answer the question. Being that we all have strong opinions, we poured our heart and soul and too much time into what we came up with (don’t judge!).

Our final submission to Inc. and MB was in the form of a short video:

We found out a few weeks later that we were 1 of 20,000+ submissions and unfortunately our concept was not selected as 1 of 4 finalists. That hasn’t stopped our excitement and belief in the idea.

The conversation quickly turned from “how cool this idea is” to “let’s make this thing”. Our next step is to shop the idea around and either A.) raise seed money to develop a prototype or B.) bootstrap and develop the concept ourselves.

If you think the concept has legs, drop us a note and send your thoughts / feedback at