Unicorn Tracks

The quest for the next great product


Ask pretty much anyone what “industrial design” is and you’ll probably get one of the following responses:

“Aren’t you an engineer or something?…”
“That’s graphic design, right?…”
“Do you, like, make washing machines?…”

…Yes and no.

Basically, anything you hold in your hand, touch on a screen, or buy from a store was designed by someone like us.

We decide how the thing feels, what its physical form should be, what colors and materials to use, how the app interacts with the object, and a bunch of other stuff.

If you want to a more in-depth answer, check out this article by Rob Irwin. But in short:

It’s our job to make sure that the things you buy and experience are made well, feel great, and are (hopefully) of some use to you.

As a product design firm, we’ve created hundreds of products for our clients over the last decade. We have designed and developed products for everyone from startups to fortune 500 companies. These products are sold everywhere from crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter & IndieGogo to big-box retailers like Best buy & Target.

We are culture-freaks, we’re obsessed with products, and we like to think we have a pretty solid pulse on what’s cool.

Pretty much, whenever an executive at a company is all, “why do our customers hate our product so dang much?”, the next call is usually to us.

“They hate our products, we’re losing millions, hahaha!”

But sometimes, when we’re on the train, or on the ski slope, or hitting the surf, we have cool, wacky, interesting ideas of our own.

Sprout Labs is the lightning rod for all of our ideas. It’s a part of our company that is dedicated to bringing our concepts to reality and owning them 100%. The purpose of labs is to find a concept so amazing, so viable, that it we’ll be able to spin it out to live as a company on its own.

As designers, we have to ask lots of tough questions about what’s best for our users and we often struggle to find the answers. We come up with a lot of ideas and cull them down to just a few winners.


In this series, we’ll show you how our ideas come about, how we walk through the design process, and why most ideas don’t make it to market.

We want to show you what it’s like to get paid for creativity (and how hard that can be).

Like so many VCs, we are always looking for “the unicorn”, the next Nest/Snapchat/GoPro.

We want to develop the next big thing that will end up in your living room.

But we hate the term “unicorn”. So instead, we’re looking for unicorn tracks. Which is basically just as good.

You find the tracks, you find the unicorn.


Sprout Studios is an award-winning, Boston-based concept to launch design studio deeply rooted in today’s pop culture and technology. Our multidisciplinary team fuses innovation, creativity, and instinct to design authentic lifestyle-driven products, brands, and experiences. We work at the convergence of hardware and software, bringing UI/UX and digital design together with physical products.


Stay tuned for our first article in this series.

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